Defending champion Djokovic will face Kyrgios, who is playing in his first ever Grand Slam singles final, on Center Court on Sunday.
While you’d normally expect a tinge of animosity between two players about to go head-to-head, two of tennis’ biggest indexers have instead decided to exchange pleasantries on social media.
Nick Kyrgios (L) and Novak Djokovic (R) have had an up-and-down relationship recently
Posting their quotes ahead of Sunday’s final, Kyrgios captioned his Instagram story: “@djokernole Are we friends now?”
The Serb, who was defended by Kyrgios after he was deported from Australia under the false pretense of a vaccination exemption, responded by saying he had accepted an invitation for dinner or drinks, before adding that the winner of Sunday’s final pays.
“If you invite me for drinks (sic) or dinner, I accept,” he wrote. “PS pays tomorrow’s winner.”
Kyrgios, who is known to be a bit of a party girl compared to other players on the men’s tour, then added another response, suggesting they should both “club” and “go crazy”.
It looks like the two players are enjoying each other’s company right now
“Ok, let’s go to a nightclub and get crazy,” he wrote.
Sunday’s Wimbledon final pits two of tennis’ most controversial stars, both with divided opinions on the game.
The Instagram exchange may give the false impression that the relationship between the two players has always been easy. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Speaking on the No Challenges Left podcast in 2019, Kyrgios bemoaned the “horrible” nature of Djokovic’s antics.
“I just feel like him [Djokovic] has a sick obsession, a desire to please. He just wants to be like Roger [Federer],’ he said.
Both players have been busy on social media ahead of Sunday’s Grand Slam final clash
The Australian will compete in his first Grand Slam final against 20-time major winner Djokovic
“He just wants to please me so much that I just can’t stand him. All that celebrating (blowing kisses to the crowd) that he does after matches is like horrifying. It’s very horrible.”
Djokovic himself responded by asking why Kyrgios is “stating all this”.
“What can I say to Nick Kyrgios. I don’t think he’s a bad guy at all. I don’t know why he is declaring all these things, whether he wants to attract attention or some other motives,” said the 20-time Grand Slam winner.
Meanwhile, in 2020, Kyrgios further risked angering the Serb when he told Andy Murray live on Instagram that he was better than Djokovic.
Kyrgios, who is unseeded at this year’s tournament, played some of the best tennis of his career
“I think you are better than Djokovic. Djokovic dodgeballed my serve and you hit it as a win. He tried to dodge it, you were on him like a light, he said.
In the summer of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Djokovic organized an exhibition tour that resulted in a number of players contracting Covid-19.
Speaking about the event, Kyrgios said that people cannot criticize him for the “irresponsibility” he did.
“Prayers to all the players who have contracted Covid. Don’t yell at me for doing something ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupid’ – that takes the spotlight,” Kyrgios wrote on social media.
Djokovic will try to win his seventh Wimbledon crown against Kyrgios on Sunday afternoon
Djokovic said that if he had the chance again, he would still do the Adria Tour.
The animosity grew when Kyrgios said Djokovic, in his eyes, would never become the greatest of all time because he had not beaten the Australian in two meetings.
“No matter how many majors Novak wins, he will never be the biggest to me. I’ve played against him twice, and if he can’t beat me, you’re not the greatest of all time,” he said.
Tennis’ controversial Serbian beat Cameron Norrie in his semi-final on Friday in one set
That irked Djokovic, who said he doesn’t respect Kyrgios off the court. “I don’t have a lot of respect off the court [Kyrgios]to be honest, he said.
With some further comments between the two, the relationship seemed to be at a point of no return. However, the unlikely bromance has worked and the two players are likely to greet each other warmly ahead of the first innings of Sunday’s match.
When the first shot is fired, however, the love between the two individuals is unlikely to be lost.