Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic are planning to play an exhibition match at Melbourne Park prior to the Australian Open, according to the 21-time Grand Slam champion.
With Kyrgios’ injured ankle meaning he was forced to pull out of the United Cup and Adelaide International, the Serbian star revealed there was talks in place for the two to play in a friendly match in the week leading up to the first Grand Slam of the year.
It will be the final chance for Kyrgios to get significant match practice with his last competitive action coming at Dubai’s World Tennis League before Christmas.
Djokovic said there were certain conditions Kyrgios wanted for the contest, which will likely be available for the general public to watch.
“We are talking with the Australian Open about doing something in a week prior to the start of the tournament,” Djokovic said from the Adelaide International, where he is preparing to play Denis Shapovalov in the quarter-finals.
“Yes, I chatted with Nick and I would like to play with him, and he accepted, but he wants shorter sets. Let‘s see if that works out.”
MORE: Get off Nick Kyrgios’ back: Controversial star is right to focus on winning the Australian Open and a Grand Slam title
Can fans watch Kyrgios vs Djokovic?
MORE: Is Nick Kyrgios playing in the Australian Open? Updates ahead of 2023 tennis tournament
If the match is scheduled, fans will be able to attend the game at Melbourne Park with the Australian Open planning to schedule a number of exhibition contests in the week before the main event.
In previous years, qualifying (which begins on January 9) has been free for fans to attend, but in 2023, with the added addition of these marquee practice matches, adult tickets will cost $10 and a child‘s entry is $5.
There are no details on whether the exhibition matches will be televised or streamed.
Is there a ‘bromance’ between Kyrgios and Djokovic?
After Kyrgios called Djokovic a ‘tool’ in 2021 following his complaints regarding lockdown hotels on the ATP tour, the relationship between the pair has been repaired, with it seeming like they are now good friends.
The improvement in relationship occurred after Kyrgios supported Djokovic’s quest to get a visa for Australian Open 2022, while it continued to flourish as the duo fought each other in the Wimbledon 2022 final.
Just prior to the recent New Year, Kyrgios used his Instagram to hint that he and Djokovic could play doubles together in the future.
“I wasn’t his favourite guy – let’s take it that way – for many years,” Djokovic said of the relationship with Kyrgios.
“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 the flow of the society and the pressures that media puts on you.
“He was giving 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 the better.”
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