On the heels of the Adria Tour disaster that left multiple members of the tennis community — including World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and his wife — infected with coronavirus, German tennis legend Boris Becker is calling out Nick Kyrgios for a different, “unspoken” transgression.
“We all live in the pandemic called #Covid_19 ! It’s terrible and it killed to many lives,” Becker wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “We should protect our families/loved ones and follow the guidelines but still don’t like #rats @NickKyrgios @farfetch.”
“Rats? For holding someone accountable?” Kyrgios quickly replied. “Strange way to think of it champion, I’m just looking out for people. WHEN my family and families all over the world have respectfully done the right thing. And you have a goose waving his arms around, imma say something.”
Kyrgios, 25, has been an outspoken figure against the rushed return to tennis and called the US Open organizers “selfish” for moving forward with the event as scheduled. He called Djokovic’s decision to hold his charity exhibition tournament with little to no social distancing guidelines enforced amid the pandemic “boneheaded,” and slammed him for recklessly partying in Belgrade with fellow players days before Grigor Dimitrov tested positive and the event was shuttered.
“Don’t @ me for anything I’ve done that has been ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupidity’ – this takes the cake,” he wrote after it was revealed Djokovic tested positive.
The feisty Aussie also excoriated Alexander Zverev after a video surfaced of him partying six days after the Adria Tour debacle and called his actions “selfish.”
Becker, 52, holds the opinion that people should “absolutely” hold others accountable, but “do it in private.”
“@TheBorisBecker is a bigger doughnut than I thought,” Kyrgios added. “Can hit a volley, obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed though.”
Becker quote-tweeted Kyrgios, “Your (sic) funny guy ….how is it down under? Respect all the guidelines?”
Kyrgios replied, “Haha nah bro I’m good, don’t act like you’re my friend now because you got sat down.”
Becker added that he believes in “an unspoken understanding between athletes! Whatever happens on the court stays there including the lockers! Nobody will talk about it … #respect #sport #fellowship”
Becker then attempted to deflect by changing the topic to Kyrgios’ tennis prowess and took a backhanded dig at his lack of a Grand Slam title.
“I really would like to se [sic] @NickKyrgios fulfill his potential and win a grandslam!” Becker wrote. “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! @atptour @ITF_Tennis.”
Kyrgios, currently ranked No. 40, has advanced to the quarterfinals in five slam events.
Becker, a former No. 1-ranked player who was born in West Germany , has six majors titles, including three singles victories at Wimbledon, two at the Australian Open and one at the US Open. He also won an Olympic gold medal in doubles in 1992 for Germany.
Kyrgios did not take kindly to the diversion tactic, and he ends the back-and-forth by reminding Becker the actions of his fellow players took place off the court and carry serious consequences outside the sport.
“Why are you now talking about tennis? It has nothing to do with tennis?” he replied. “How about the dude who you are defending mans up and gives us some sort of explanation? Not another average management apology.”