“Our LeBron James”: Nick Kyrgios Urges Novak Djokovic to Set an Example for Tennis Players

Published 01/26/2021, 1:22 AM EST
ACAPULCO, MEXICO – MARCH 02: Novak Djokovic of Serbia snakes hands with Nick Kyrgios of Australia after losing the match as part of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel 2017 at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess on March 02, 2017 in Acapulco, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/LatinContent via Getty Images)


Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has been an outspoken critic of Serbian World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, and fans have thoroughly loved this banter. But now, the 35-year-old reveals that he has great expectations from the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

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In terms of organizing a tournament, Tennis Australia is far ahead of last year’s chaos amid the pandemic outbreak. Even the Serbian ace had been responsible for some of the mess. Organizing the Adrian Tour during the season shutdown, Djokovic opened himself and others to the coronavirus risk. Later on, he along with many players were tested positive for the virus.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his quarterfinals match against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on day seven of the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament at Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)

Annoyed by this, Nick Kyrgios slammed the players involved on Twitter, including the Serbian. Looking back, the Australian stated that Djokovic got caught up at the wrong time.

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“I think when he was doing some of the things that he was doing during the global pandemic, it just wasn’t the right time,” Kyrgios said.

Moreover, the World No. 47 believes that the Serbian ace has the responsibility of taking tennis forward, and so when he is at fault, one must also stand up to him.

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Nick Kyrgios compares Novak Djokovic with LeBron James

Kyrgios explained that Djokovic is at a stature where people are looking at him as a role model. The Australian said, “He has to set an example for all tennis players out there and set an example for tennis.”

But given his criticism of Djokovic on social media, the 2-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist has no regrets. Instead, Kyrgios drew parallels between Djokovic and the LA Laker’s small forward, LeBron James.

“I think it’s very important, especially one of the leaders of our sport. He’s technically our LeBron James,” Kyrgios said. “I know everyone makes mistakes. Even some of us go off track sometimes but I think we need to hold each other accountable.”

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning set point during his Men’s Singles Semifinal match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on day eleven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 30, 2020, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Moving forward, they are both looking forward to competing for the Australian Open 2021 title. And given Kyrgios’s reputation of causing great upsets, he’ll definitely be the one to watch out for.

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Meanwhile, the record 8-time champion of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, has also been defending the tournament for the last two years.

All in all, it will be an exciting tennis encounter between them. And given their history, Kyrgios is leading 2-0, which means Djokovic will be eager to win one against the Australian.

Do you think Djokovic can beat Kyrgios?

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Purav Joshi

932 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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