Kyrgios last week labelled Djokovic ‘a tool’ after he wrote a letter to Tennis Australia requesting changes to quarantine arrangements for players ahead of the Australian Open.
Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Kyrgios said Djokovic set a bad example for all players in the sport when caught partying during the pandemic.
“I think it’s very important [to hold players accountable] especially when its one of our leaders of our sport,” he said about Djokovic.
“He’s technically our LeBron James in the way he has to be setting an example for all tennis players out there; he sets an example for tennis.”
Kyrgios’ comments were his most recent shot at the Serbian in an ongoing feud. The Australian, who has said he doesn’t believe Djokovic will ever be the greatest ever because he has beaten him, revealed his real feelings last year in a podcast.
“I just feel like he has a sick obsession, wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger (Federer). He just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him,” Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios told CNN he would keep calling players out on poor behaviour based on the “morals” he had been raised with.
“When he (Djokovic) was doing some of the things he was doing during the global pandemic it just wasn’t the right time,” he said.
“We have to hold each other accountable. We are colleagues at the end of the day we compete against each other we play in the same sport and no one else was really holding him accountable.“
After having almost 12 months out of the game due to COVID-19, Kyrgios will not take part in the ATP Cup next week due to his world ranking having slipped below Alex De Minaur and John Millman.
The two singles slots in the ATP Cup are filled by the two highest-ranked players from each country with 23rd-ranked de Minaur and 38th-ranked Millman taking part for Australia.
Instead, he will play one of the ATP 250 events in Melbourne before the Open.
Canberra-based Kyrgios said while he didn’t feel safe travelling last year to play overseas he felt the Australia Open in Melbourne was going to go ‘really well’.
“I actually feel quite safe,” he said. “As a nation, Australia has dealt with the pandemic really well as a country we’ve come together, we’ve worked well.”
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.
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