Tennis rival’s surprising Kyrgios claim

The pair were embroiled in an ugly war of words last year, but Boris Becker and Nick Kyrgios have seemingly buried the hatchet.

Becker has been an outspoken critic of Kyrgios over the years, regularly taking aim at the Australian for his on-court behaviour and controversial views on coaching.

After Kyrgios called out Germany’s Alexander Zverev for ignoring social distancing last June, six-time grand slam champion Becker labelled him a “rat”, sparking an ugly Twitter war.

“Don’t like no rats! Anybody telling off fellow sportsman/woman is no friend of mine!” Becker tweeted at the time.

“Look yourself in the mirror and think your (sic) better than us.”

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Kyrgios quickly responded: “For goodness sake Boris, I’m not competing or trying to throw anyone under the bus.

“It’s a global pandemic and if someone is as idiotic as Alex to do what he has done, I’ll call him out for it. Simple.”

Team Germany captain Boris Becker at the 2020 ATP Cup.Source:AAP

The heated exchange continued for several hours, with Becker eventually resorting to criticising Kyrgios’ performances on the court.

“I really would like to see Nick Kyrgios fulfil his potential and win a grand slam!” Becker posted.

“He would be an incredible role model for for the youth of the world addressing the issues of equality/race/heritage! Man up buddy and deliver!”

But after Kyrgios’ entertaining Australian Open campaign — which saw him knocked out in the third round by world No. 3 Dominic Thiem in a five-set thriller — Becker heaped praise on the 25-year-old.

Austria’s Dominic Thiem and Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.Source:AFP

“Nick Kyrgios and I have had our differences but I have to say I was impressed with on-court attitude at this tournament, his five-setter with Dominic Thiem was among the matches of the fortnight,” Becker wrote for The Daily Mail.

“I have always thought that he should win Wimbledon at least once with the huge talent at his disposal. With that serve and his quick game there is so much that he could achieve. Whether he does that is going to be down to one person – Nick himself.”

Kyrgios has not qualified for the quarter-final of a grand slam tournament since January 2015.

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