A cheeky Nick Kyrgios says he was “trying to spread the good word” of Novak Djokovic’s trademark celebration when he recreated it on Sunday.
Kyrgios was seemingly hiding in a hoodie, cap and facemask during his post-match press conference after he and Thanasi Kokkinakis were knocked out of the Men’s Doubles at the Australian Open.
Heading onto the court for their match with Wesley Koolhof and Lukasz Kubot, the Aussie emulated Djokovic’s ‘heart-throwing’ celebration to the empty stands of Show Court 1.
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Because of his mask it was unclear whether Kyrgios was speaking with a grin when he was asked about the act.
“Just feeling the love. Just trying to spread the good word of the celebration. Everyone loves that celebration. It’s well liked,” he said.
Kokkinakis jumped in to add: “We were just having some fun out there really because there was no one in the crowd so we were just trying to enjoy ourselves and kind of get a bit of atmosphere and energy about us.
“It’s nothing malicious, we just like to have some fun. Look, looking around there’s literally just blue, and we’re like, wow, this is tough. But we’re just trying to have some fun.
“I know tennis players are very serious, so I think that’s why we’ve kind of got a bit of energy about us.”
Kyrgios then said: “We just banter anyway. When we tweet or when we just do stuff, it’s for fun, you know, like you can’t take it all too seriously.
“We’re just having some fun. Novak, I’m sure, doesn’t like me and we both have respect for each other, but I don’t like him at all, so it’s fun.”
Earlier on Sunday Kyrgios questioned whether Djokovic had been exaggerating the injury that nearly cost him his third-round match against Taylor Fritz.
“Imma take a medical real quick Fritzy, I’ll be back in 2 hours,” Kyrgios commented on Fritz’ Instagram.
Kokkinakis had tweeted about Djokovic’s recovery this weekend but then deleted the tweet.
“For me I have no idea what he’s feeling or what he’s going through. I just heard he thinks he has a torn muscle. I didn’t mean it in a bad way at all. I’m like, if he can recover from a torn muscle in two days, like hats off. Like teach me, yeah,” Kokkinakis said.
“But I don’t know, I just — because I knew some Serbian fans would take that in like a negative way, and I copped abuse for it, but it wasn’t even taking a shot at him. I’m just like, if he actually has a torn muscle and can recover in two days, that’s impressive, because I haven’t been able to do that and it’s taken me months.
“But obviously he’s a hell of a player, and yeah, I don’t know, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t play tonight. But yeah, I don’t know.”