Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic are locked in a bizarre war of words after Tomic exclaimed “I’m still (better)” than his Australian counterpart.
Tomic has since challenged Kyrgios to a rematch “anytime, anywhere”, pointing to their one career meeting – a 6-3 6-4 victory at the 2019 Kooyong Classic – as proof that he is the superior player.
The world number 17 almost six years ago, Tomic is currently ranked number 260 and won only one match on the ATP Tour last year – his first round of the Australian Open clash with Yuichi Sugita, who retired in the third set, after that they shared the first two. .
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Kyrgios in contrast is ranked 93rd, down from his career-best at 13 back in 2016, primarily due to lack of activity. He won 7-8 last year, including the third round at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Asked who was the best player at their highest on Instagram, Tomic replied, “I still am.
“Obviously Nick is a good player, probably top six or seven servers in the world, of course (I) beat him in Kooyong 6-3, 6-4.
“Because I trained with him, I choose where he serves and I know where he is. (Kyrgios’) style does not really bother me.”
Then he told News Corp: “Thanks to Nicky boy for the kind words and encouragement.
“It was pleasant when I beat him with all due respect. Whenever he wants, I’m happy to make it 2-0. I’m more than happy to make a rematch at any time. His style suits me. I have not had issues with large servers.
“I just want to clarify the record. I have beaten (such as) Marin Cilic, Lleyton Hewitt and Nick.
“Apart from all the jokes, I look forward to seeing him at the Australian Open and hopefully we can both make Australia proud. I wish him nothing but the best.”
Tomic’s comments astonished Kyrgios, who could not quite understand why he was being criticized.
“I’m probably one of the only tennis players in Australia who has stood up for him several times,” Kyrgios told Nine.
“I’ve done things for him, my family, my brother has done things for him.”
Kyrgios will take part in the main draw of the Australian Open, again a dangerous unseeded opponent for any top player in the preliminary rounds, while Tomic will have to fight his way through the qualifiers.
“I’m not sure (whether we will play against each other), but as far as I know, I do not think he is in the Australian summer,” said Kyrgios.
“I have not seen his name anywhere, or what tournaments he plays.”