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Kyrgios: Novak is Our LeBron and Must Be Accountable


Nick Kyrgios has a simple message for Novak Djokovic: We're all accountable for our actions.

The outspoken Aussie who recently branded the world No. 1 "a tool" after Djokovic submitted suggestions to Tennis Australia on behalf of players confined to Melbourne quarantine, told CNN Djokovic is tennis' LeBron James and must be held to a high standard.

Nadal: Some Need To Make Public Everything They Do

Kyrgios, who blasted the 17-time Grand Slam champion and several of his fellow players on the Djokovic-led Adria Tour for going maskless, partying in a Belgrade night club and largely ignoring COVID-19 safety protocols, said he's one of the few pros willing to call the eight-time Australian Open champion out when he crosses the line.

“(Djokovic is) one of our leaders of our sport. He’s technically our LeBron James in the way he has to be setting an example for all tennis players,” Kyrgios told CNN. “When he was doing some of the things he was doing during the global pandemic, it just wasn‘t the right time.

“I know everyone makes mistakes, some of us go off track sometimes, and I think we have to hold each other accountable. “We‘re colleagues at the end of the day; we compete against each other, we play in the same sport. “No one else was really holding him (Djokovic) accountable."

Tennis Express

Djokovic, who is quarantining in the Adelaide bubble with fellow superstars, published an Open Letter last week in response to criticism he received after speaking out in behalf of those players in Melbourne quarantine.

"My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful," Djokovic said in a statement. "This couldn't be farther from the truth.

"I genuinely care about my fellow players and I also understand very well how the world is run and who gets bigger and better and why...Not every act is taken at its face value and at times when I see the aftermath of things, I do tend to ask myself if I should just sit back and enjoy my benefits instead of paying attention to other people's struggles."


Kyrgios, who has not played a Tour-level match since retiring from his Acapulco opener last February, wasn't ranked high enough to secure a spot on Australia's ATP Cup squad.

The 47th-ranked Kyrgis is planning to play the ATP 250 event in Melbourne to tune-up for the Australian Open, set to start on February 8th. Kyrgios told CNN his public shots at Djokovic are efforts to help the Serbian "pull it back."

"Everyone loses their way a little bit, but I think he just needs to pull it back," Kyrgios told CNN. “I‘m not doing any of this sort of stuff for media attention: These are the morals I’ve grown up with and I was just trying to do my part.”

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

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