Skip to main content

Winning a title is not something to boast about if you don’t ‘go through Novak Djokovic’ along the way, says Nick Kyrgios.

Kyrgios and Djokovic have formed an increasingly close bond this year. It started when Kyrgios was one of the few players to speak up for Djokovic over his deportation from Australia in January, and continued through to an official declaration of a ‘bromance’ following the Wimbledon final.

Djokovic won that final, and he will be back at the Australian Open again this year too. Rather than fearing Djokovic preventing him from winning a major again, though, Kyrgios says you have to relish the challenge of facing the best in the world.

“I think Novak needs to be playing at all costs,” Kyrgios said at the World Tennis League in Dubai.

“He’s one of the greatest of all time and as long as he’s going to be playing and hanging around, we need him at these tournaments.”

Scroll to Continue

Read More

“I think, as a competitor, I want to see him there. And if I win a tournament, if you don’t go through Novak, then you kind of know the tournament isn’t really a tournament.”

Djokovic was due to play Kyrgios in the World Tennis League on Wednesday, but the Serbian withdrew at the last minute due to ‘not feeling 100%.’

Grigor Dimitrov stepped in to play Kyrgios instead and beat him in straight sets, but the Australian was fine with Djokovic withdrawing, even if there was a lot of disappointment among the crowd.

"I was pretty excited to play Novak obviously, since the Wimbledon final and all that, wanted to go out there and have some fun with him," Kyrgios said.

"But he's got to look after his body and obviously he's a got a big couple of months coming up with a lot of expectations, so I wasn't surprised if he wasn’t feeling 100 per cent to get out there."

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to bookmark our home page.