Nick Kyrgios has taken a cheeky swipe at his critics after it emerged a pre-Australian Open exhibition match featuring the Australian star and Novak Djokovic had sold out in less than an hour.
Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley on Monday confirmed Kyrgios would take on Djokovic this Friday night in an exhibition match “extravaganza” at Rod Laver Arena.
Tickets for the blockbuster event featuring the star duo went on sale at midday on Tuesday — and they were hot property, with the match sold out amid incredible demand.
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In fact Melbourne-based media man Luke Dennehy revealed on Twitter Friday’s match had sold out in 58 minutes.
Upon seeing Dennehy’s tweet, Kyrgios had a dig at any critics that believe he’s unhealthy for tennis’ image.
“Wow Nick Kyrgios is bad for the sport! Wow what a disgrace, a national embarrassment! How dare he sell out another stadium, the arrogance,” a sarcastic Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
All tickets were priced at $20, with proceeds going to the Australian Tennis Foundation.
The match is a replay of last year’s Wimbledon final, when Djokovic beat Kyrgios in four sets.
The first Grand Slam of 2023 begins next Monday, which will see nine-time Melbourne champion Djokovic return to the tournament following his ban a year ago.
The famously fiery Australian Kyrgios once labelled the Serbian “a tool”, but publicly offered his support last year when Djokovic was deported over his Covid vaccination status.
“I wasn’t his favourite guy – let’s say it that way – for many years,” Djokovic said in Adelaide last week. “But he was one of the very few that stood by me last year, and I respect that and appreciate that.
“In those moments you can actually see who truly supports you and who is by your side and who goes with, I guess, the flow of the society and the pressures that media puts on you.
“He was giving me undivided support in the moments where I was being challenged a lot, and him as an Australian, I respected that a lot. Since then, our relationship has changed for better.”
The match will also give Kyrgios a badly needed run-out ahead of his home Grand Slam, having been sidelined so far this year with an ankle injury.
Djokovic saved match point on Sunday before defeating Sebastian Korda to win the Adelaide International and reinforce his status as a heavy title favourite for Melbourne.
— with AFP
Originally published as Nick Kyrgios’ cheeky dig as Novak Djokovic exhibition tickets sell out in 58 minutes