Nick Kyrgios shared his thoughts on the controversy involving Novak Djokovic and Ben Shelton in the semifinals of the 2023 US Open. One of the standout moments at Flushing Meadows was the clash between the world No. 1 and the young star in the tournament's semifinals. When Djokovic secured the victory (6-3, 6-2, 7-6), he replicated Shelton's celebration, which many interpreted as mocking.
Throughout the tournament, Shelton emerged as the surprise package, celebrating each win with a phone-cutting gesture, a move Djokovic mimicked upon winning. According to the Serbian, he did it because he "loved" the celebration and found it "very original." On the other hand, Shelton mentioned that he didn't see the celebration at the time and played down the situation.
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Kyrgios supports "adding spice" to tennis
Nick Kyrgios recently weighed in on the Shelton-Djokovic controversy during an interview with Eurosport, expressing his enthusiastic support with the words, "I love it." The 2022 Wimbledon finalist remarked that the 20-year-old Shelton is one of the most intriguing figures on the ATP Tour:
“Ben is one of the more exciting personalities we have in the sport, and he’s going to take the game a long way. A big American server, who’s got a lot of personality, and that celebration was cold, I’m not going to lie, against [Frances] Tiafoe at the US Open.”
“But then my boy Djokovic took it a step further and did it to the guy who did it first. I loved it, I watched the video so many times, I think it’s hilarious,” Kyrgios claimed. “If it gets eyes on the sport, and it’s not too crazy, I’m all for it, but I like it, I love it.”
“Look, I’ve had some crazy matches like that too. Me and [Stefanos] Tsitsipas haven’t always got along, and we still respect each other’s games. That adds to the spiciness of the match-ups, that’s why you watch.”
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Kyrgios' Comradeship with Djokovic
The Australian tennis sensation, Nick Kyrgios, has showcased a close bond with Novak Djokovic on social media platforms. On numerous occasions, he has come to Djokovic's defense, notably during the time 'Nole' faced criticism and deportation from Australia for not adhering to vaccination requirements. With the culmination of Wimbledon, their relationship seems to have strengthened further.
"We had a rocky relationship at the start, and a couple of things changed that. Now we speak nearly every day," revealed Kyrgios, shedding light on the evolution of their camaraderie.
“We talk about anything; we send memes to each other. He hit an unbelievable volley the other day, and I was like, ‘Where do you even get these hands from? You didn’t have them against me at Wimbledon,’ and then he was like, ‘Oh, I got them from you.’”