Nick Kyrgios has shown his full support to Novak Djokovic as the nine-times Melbourne champion waits to hear whether he will be permitted to enter Australia and compete in the Australian Open in January.
Djokovic was deported from Australia and banned from entering the country for three years this year for not abiding by the vaccination requirements that were in place at the time.
Kyrgios explained that it was important to allow Djokovic to play while there is still chance, making reference to Roger Federer’s recent retirement and acknowledging that, at age 35, Djokovic’s own retirement may not be too far behind.
‘’I hope he’s here, for the sport, we just saw one of the legends leave the sport – Roger [Federer] – and that’s some shoes no one is ever going to fill,’’ Kyrgios told the Herald Sun on Friday.
‘’So, I think while Novak and Rafa [Nadal] are still around, we need these type of players to be at the Grand Slams.
‘’People of Australia, we love the Australian Open. Ash Barty brought us a crown, me and Thanasi [Kokkinakis] have won it, we want to see the best players in the world there.’’
Despite losing to Djokovic in his maiden Grand Slam final earlier this year at Wimbledon, Kyrgios also shut down any speculation that he’d prefer Djokovic’s absence from the Australian Open in order to improve his own chances of winning.
‘’Me being a competitor, I want to see Novak there,’’ Kyrgios added.
‘’He is some of the reason I play, as a kid you want play the best players in the world in the best stadiums.
‘’Hopefully he is there, I know he’s had a rough run the last nine months, not being able to play here. Hopefully Australia welcomes him with open arms this time.’’
Earlier this week, Djokovic announced that he was hoping to have an answer as to whether he would be allowed to compete at the Australian Open in the next few weeks.
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