FILE PHOTO: Aug 9, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Nick Kyrgios of Australia returns a ball to Reilly Opelka of the United States (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
January 11, 2022
(Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios said he was “embarrassed” by the way Novak Djokovic has been treated in Australia after the Serb won a court challenge to remain in the country for his Australian Open title defence.
Djokovic’s fight over his medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination may not yet be over as he still faces the threat of being detained by the Australian government for a second time and deported despite the court ruling.
Public opinion in Australia, which is battling an Omicron wave of infections and where more than 90% of the adult population is double vaccinated, has been largely against Djokovic, who has confirmed he was unvaccinated.
“I feel quite embarrassed as an Australian athlete that’s seen what this guy has done for us and the sport,” Kyrgios said in an Instagram video on Tuesday in which he also criticized the media.
“I just don’t think it’s right how we’re handling it but the media loves to do that, loves to divide and I don’t want this to take away from any of the great results the other Australians are having.”
Kyrgios, who pulled out of this week’s Sydney Tennis Classic after testing positive for COVID-19, said he was feeling well and taking all necessary precautions before the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 17.
“It’s not ideal, a week out of the Australian Open, but I’m doing everything in my power to feel OK and get out there and hopefully give you all a show,” Kyrgios said.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)