Nick Kyrgios launches astonishing attack on ‘cringeworthy’ world No 1 Novak Djokovic

Nick Kyrgios has given his unfiltered thoughts on tennis’s greatest players, admitting that he ‘can’t stand’ world No 1 Novak Djokovic.

In an outspoken interview on Wednesday night the forthright Australian also accused Rafael Nadal of being a bad loser, and described his uncle Toni as an ‘idiot’ for criticising his supposed lack of education.

But it is Djokovic who is the particular subject of his ridicule, especially when it comes to his ‘feel the love’ celebrations after he has won matches.

Kyrgios said Djokovic has a ‘sick obsession with wanting be liked’ and that Nadal was a ‘super salty’ sore loser.

Krygios also said he is now friends with Swiss player Stan Wawrinka despite once sledging him about a rival ‘banging his girlfriend’ – a comment Kyrgios said he still considers ‘hilarious’.

Outspoken Nick Kyrgios has launched a stinging attack on 'cringeworthy' Novak Djokovic

Outspoken Nick Kyrgios has launched a stinging attack on ‘cringeworthy’ Novak Djokovic

In a remarkable interview with the No Challenges Podcast from the Italian Open in Rome, Kyrgios conceded he lacked disicipline while taking aim at Djokovic and his attempts to court popularity with the public.

‘I just feel like he’s got a sick obsession with wanting to be liked,’ the world No 36 said.

‘He just wants to be Federer. I feel he wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This whole celebration thing is so cringeworthy, it’s very cringeworthy.

‘Djokovic just riles me the wrong way. He always says what he thinks he needs to say rather than his actual opinion. The celebration just kills me. Honestly if I play him and beat him again, I’m doing the celebration in front of him, that would be hilarious.’

He acknowledged the Serb’s undeniable prowess as a player, but expressed surprise that Andy Murray does not have better record against him.

‘He (Djokovic) is unbelievable, a champion of the sport, one of the greatest we will ever see. I think he will get the Grand Slam count and overtake Federer. But no matter how many Grand Slams he wins, he will never be the greatest to me.

‘Simply because I’ve played him twice and, I’m sorry, but if you cannot beat me, you cannot be the greatest of all time. If you look at my day to day routine, at how much I train and put in it’s zero compared to him.

‘I feel he (Murray) is so much better than Novak, I’ve played them both. I think Andy returns better, his serve is better. He should have won so many more Grand Slams. Against Murray you can’t slice, he knows that’s garbage. But I feel Djokovic doesn’t really know what to do.

‘For me Federer will always be the greatest of all time. What Rafa has done has been pretty scary too.’

The Australian star claimed Djokovic would never surpass the greatness of Roger Federer

The Australian star claimed Djokovic would never surpass the greatness of Roger Federer

But Kyrgios, who has an unusually strong record against the top three players, has not liked Nadal’s reactions when he has lost in their meetings: ‘He’s super salty every time I beat him,’ adds the Australian.

There is, however, one Spaniard he dislikes even more, flamboyant left-hander Fernando Verdasco: ‘He’s the most arrogant person ever. He thinks he’s god’s gift but, dude, your backhand’s pretty average.’

‘Verdasco drives me nuts man. That guy… I don’t even want to talk about it,’ he said.

‘It gets me so vexed, I’m like angry now that I just heard that name.’

Kyrgios said fellow Australian player Thanasi Kokkinakis was his ‘brother’, and that he had made amends with Swiss player Stan Warinka after telling him Kokkinakis had slept with his girlfriend Donna Vekic.

‘Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that, mate,’ Kyrgios told Warwinka during a game in 2015.  

Kyrgios is no stranger to controversy, regularly being the target of ire from fans for his open apathy towards the sport. 

Kyrgios has little time for Fernando Verdasco, labelling him 'the most arrogant person ever'

Kyrgios has little time for Fernando Verdasco, labelling him ‘the most arrogant person ever’

He has previously said he ‘doesn’t really like tennis’ and that he would rather play basketball, and has admitted to giving up during games.

In March, Kyrgios was called a ‘foul-mouthed little brat’ by tennis journalist Tony Jones after an on-court tantrum at the Miami Open.

Kyrgios was unhappy with a number of calls during a doubles match and lashed out at the umpire after the final point.

‘What the f*** is wrong with you? You’re a disgrace. Absolute f***ing disgrace,’ Kyrgios yelled at the umpire, before smashing his racquet and continuing his rant in front of fans.

‘Do you think that’s alright, yes or no?,’ he asked the crowd.

‘Just give me the answer. He’s a disgrace.

‘I come out and give 100 per cent and I have to deal with idiots like him. Does he get fined for his mistakes? It’s rubbish, man.’

Months earlier, Kyrgios criticised Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, accusing him of favouritism.


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