Melbourne fans will have the chance to watch a duel of cracks before the Australian Open Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios will play an exhibition match at Rod Laver Arena on Friday the 13th. Tickets went online Tuesday morning for $20 and sold out in 58 minutes.
Then Djokovic and Kyrgios will compete in front of a packed crowd, putting on a good show. Novak and Nick were far from friends in the past, as the Australian used any opportunity to attack the Serb. Their relationship improved last year, when Nick defended Novak during their 10-day saga in Australia.
Kyrgios defeated Djokovic in their first matches on Tour and they met again in the Wimbledon final last year. Nick played well to reach his first Major semifinal, receiving a walkover from Rafael Nadal and setting up the title clash against Djokovic.
The Serbian needed three hours and a minute to prevail 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and 7-6 and lift his seventh Wimbledon crown. Novak saved five of six break points and broke Nick for the first time in his career in the second set to kick off his comeback.
Nick got off to a perfect start in his first Major final, taking the first set 6-4 in 31 minutes. He broke Novak at 2-2 after a double fault from the Serb and held after the deuce in the tenth game with an ace on the T line for 6-4.
Novak pressed on the return at 2-1 in the second set and created three break points with a crossover backhand winner. He got the first after a lucky winner who brushed the net gave him a huge 3-1 lead. Djokovic served for the set at 5-3 to find himself down 40-0.
Novak kept his cool, denying four break points and hitting a service winner on set point to level the score at 1-1 after 70 minutes.
Kyrgios praises Djokovic
Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios, who have been at odds in the past, appear to have buried the hatchet well in recent months.
«Yes. It’s (the Australian deportation) probably the worst thing tennis could have done to him. Because now, he’s just hungry. Every event he plays, he does, he knows he might not be able to play next week, so he’s going to everything possible to win that tournament.
It’s almost harder to beat now,» said Nick Kyrgios. “Yes, we talk a lot now. At the end of the day, if you stand up for someone, in real life situations where you know, you expect people to stand up for you.
No one else did it except me. And now, I was really thinking that there is no chance that Kyrgios (does it),» the 27-year-old recalled. «No one is supposed to be treated like this, whether you are a tennis player or not, (or) from another country,» he added.