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Novak Djokovic reveals his appreciation for Nick Kyrgios’ support amid expulsion saga, scheduled for Australian Open practice match


Novak Djokovic has revealed he is planning an exhibition match against Nick Kyrgios ahead of the Australian Open, while revealing the origins of the duo’s ‘bromance’.

The Serbian’s relationship with the Australian has totaled 180 over the past 12 months, after they weren’t on good terms for much of Kyrgios’ career.

The mutual respect between the pair was evident when Djokovic beat Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final last year, with the Australian describing his opponent as “a bit of a god”.

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Kyrgios hasn’t played in the United Cup and has withdrawn from a tournament in Adelaide next week as he continues to recover from an ankle injury suffered in December, but could return to the pitch alongside Djokovic next week before the Australian Open.

“We are discussing with the Australian Open to do something a week before the start of the tournament,” Djokovic revealed.

“Yeah, I’ve talked to Nick and I’d like to play with him, and he agreed, but he wants shorter sets. Let’s see if that works out.”

Djokovic added that the clash with Kyrgios will likely be part of a series of practice matches the Australian Open plans to have where fans can watch.

When asked what tipped the relationship with Kyrgios into a more positive space, Djokovic noted Kyrgios’ support after his unceremonious expulsion from Australia last January.

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“I wasn’t his favorite guy – let’s take it like this – for many years,” he said.

“But he was one of the few who supported me last year, and I respect that and appreciate that.

“In times like these, you can really see who is really supporting you and who is on your side and who is following the mainstream of society and the pressures the media puts on you.

“He was supportive in times when I was challenged a lot, and him as an Australian I respected him a lot.

“Since then, our relationship has changed for the better.”

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