Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic agree to dinner… with the winner paying

Wimbledon finalists Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic have taken the unconventional step of engaging on social media prior to Sunday’s showpiece. 

The defending champion, Djokovic, will meet Kyrgios, who is playing in his first ever singles Grand Slam final, on Centre Court on Sunday. 

While a tinge of animosity might usually be expected between two players set to go to battle with each other, two of tennis’ biggest mavericks have chosen instead to exchange pleasantries on social media. 

Nick Kyrgios (L) and Novak Djokovic (R) have enjoyed an up and down relationship recently

Nick Kyrgios (L) and Novak Djokovic (R) have enjoyed an up and down relationship recently

Posting a grab of their quotes prior to Sunday’s final, Kyrgios captioned his Instagram story: ‘@djokernole We friends now?’

The Serbian, who Kyrgios defended after he was deported out of Australia having entered on the false pretence of being exempt from being vaccinated, responded by saying that he accepted an invitation to dinner or for drinks, before adding that the winner of Sunday’s final pays. 

‘If you are inviting me for drink (sic) or dinner, I accept,’ he wrote. ‘P.S. winner of tomorrow pays.’ 

Kyrgios, who is known to be a bit of a party boy compared to other players on the men’s tour, then added a further response suggesting that the two should go ‘clubbing’ and ‘go nuts’. 

The two players are currently in a moment of enjoying each other's company, it seems

The two players are currently in a moment of enjoying each other’s company, it seems

‘Deal, let’s go to a nightclub and go nuts,’ he wrote. 

Sunday’s Wimbledon final pits two of tennis’ most controversial stars against each other, with both dividing opinion within the game. 

The exchange on Instagram could give the false impression that it has always been plain sailing between the two players in terms of their relationship. In fact, that could not be further from the truth. 

In 2019, speaking on the ‘No Challenges Remaining’ podcast, Kyrgios bemoaned the ‘cringeworthy’ nature of Djokovic’s antics. 

‘I just feel like he [Djokovic] has a sick obsession, wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger [Federer],’ he said. 

The two players engaged on social media prior to their Grand Slam final clash on Sunday

The two players engaged on social media prior to their Grand Slam final clash on Sunday

The Australian will compete in his maiden Grand Slam final against 20-time major winner Djokovic

The Australian will compete in his maiden Grand Slam final against 20-time major winner Djokovic

‘He just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This whole celebration thing (blowing kisses to the crowd) that he does after matches, it’s like so cringeworthy. It’s very cringeworthy.’

Djokovic himself responded by questioning why Kyrgios ‘declares all these things’. 

‘What can I say to Nick Kyrgios. I think he’s not really a bad guy. I do not know why he declares all these things, whether he wants to draw attention or some motive is different,’ the 20-time Grand Slam winner said. 

Meanwhile, in 2020 Kyrgios risked the irk of the Serbian even further when he declared to Andy Murray over an Instagram live that he was better than Djokovic. 

Kyrgios, who is unseeded at this year's tournament, has played some of the best tennis of his career

Kyrgios, who is unseeded at this year’s tournament, has played some of the best tennis of his career 

‘I think you are better than Djokovic. Djokovic was playing dodgeball on my serve and you were slapping it for a winner. He was trying to dodge it, you were on it like a light,’ he said. 

In the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Djokovic controversially organised an exhibition tour that resulted in a number of players contracting Covid-19. 

Speaking about the event, Kyrgios said that people could not criticise him for anything ‘irresponsible’ that he has done. 

‘Prayers up to all the players that have contracted Covid. Don’t @ me for anything that I have done that has been ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupidity’ – this takes the cake,’ Kyrgios wrote on social media. 

Djokovic is bidding to win his seventh Wimbledon crown against Kyrgios on Sunday afternoon

Djokovic is bidding to win his seventh Wimbledon crown against Kyrgios on Sunday afternoon

Djokovic said that, if given the opportunity again, he would still have carried out the Adria Tour.

The animosity went up a level when Kyrgios said that Djokovic, in his eyes, would never be the greatest of all time, owing to him not beating the Australian in two meetings. 

‘No matter how many majors Novak wins, he will never be the greatest to me. I played against him twice, and if he can’t beat me, you are not the greatest of all time,’ he said. 

The Serb, who divides opinion within tennis, came from one set down to defeat Cameron Norrie in his semi-final on Friday

The Serb, who divides opinion within tennis, came from one set down to defeat Cameron Norrie in his semi-final on Friday

This irked Djokovic, who said that he had no respect for Kyrgios off the court. ‘Off the court, I don’t have much respect for [Kyrgios], to be honest,’ he said. 

With some further comments in between, the relationship appeared to be at a point of no return. However, an unlikely ‘bromance’ has fostered and the two players are likely to greet each other with warmth ahead of the first serve in Sunday’s match. 

When the first shot goes down, however, there is unlikely to be any love lost between the two mavericks.  

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