Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios have come a long way from their frosty relationship of years past.
ahead of the Wimbledon men’s final, Kyrgios has gone as far as calling it “bromance” – though Djokovic believes that’s pushing it.
“We definitely have a bit of a bromance now, which is weird,” said Kyrgios, a talented and mercurial Australian in his first Grand Slam final.
“Everyone knows there was no love lost for a while there. I think it was healthy for the sport.”
Speaking ahead of the final, Kyrgios added: “We actually message each other on DMs in Instagram now and stuff, it’s real weird. Actually, earlier in the week, he was like ‘hopefully I’ll see you Sunday’.”
Djokovic smiled when Kyrgios’ comments were put to him.
“I don’t know if I can call it a bromance, yet, but we definitely have a better relationship than what it was probably prior to January this year,” he said.
The thaw in their relationship began when Kyrgios was among the few people to defend Djokovic when the 20-time Grand Slam champion was detained in Australia during the row over his vaccination status – and ultimately deported from the country.
“When it was really tough for me in Australia, he was one of the very few players that came out publicly and supported me and stood by me”, said Djokovic, who is hoping to win his seventh title at the All England Club.
“That’s something I truly appreciate. So I respect him for that a lot.”
In 2019, Kyrgios called Djokovic “cringeworthy”, saying the Serbian former world number 1 was obsessed with wanting to be liked.
He also said Djokovic was a player who riles him “the wrong way”.
Djokovic said at the time that while he respected Kyrgios’s talent on a tennis court, he had no respect for him off the court.
Now the pair exchange friendly social media messages, including jokingly making plans for dinner together after the end.
In an Instagram exchange, Kyrgios asked: “We friends now?”
“If you are inviting me for a drink or dinner, I accept. PS winner of tomorrow pays,” Djokovic came back.
Kyrgios replied: “Deal, let’s go to a nightclub and go nuts.”