No1 seed Novak Djokovic promised "a lot of fireworks emotionally" against the unseeded Nick Kyrgios ahead of Sunday afternoon's men's final.
Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios, the two men's finalists at Wimbledon on Sunday, are planning to meet for dinner at a restaurant and the winner will pick up the tab, the pair revealed on Instagram.
The temperamental Australian and the often dominant Serb, who duly went on to win his seventh title on the English grass and a 21st Grand Slam, have not always been on the best of terms. "It took you five years to say something nice about me," Djokovic joked on the social network.
"But I defended you when it mattered," replied Kyrgios, one of the few players to have publicly supported "Nole" when he refused to take the COVID vaccine and was therefore excluded from the Australian Open in early 2022 after two weeks of controversy.
"You did it, I appreciate that," Djokovic replied.
"We friends now?" the Australian retorted. "If you are inviting me for a drink or dinner, I accept. PS winner of tomorrow pays," the Serb concluded.
"Deal, let’s go to a nightclub and go nuts," Kyrgios suggested, in a possible reference to a photo of a shirtless Djokovic in a Belgrade nightclub in June 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
At the time, Kyrgios criticised Djokovic for holding a series of tournaments in Serbia despite the pandemic, calling the move "boneheaded". He then surprisingly supported the Serb during the saga that ended with his expulsion from Australia.
Since then, the two men have developed a bit of a “bromance,” as Kyrgios put it.
The Australian, ranked 40th in the world, is unseeded at Wimbledon and until this tournament had never reached even the semi-final of a Grand Slam — one of the four biggest tournaments in tennis.
Djokovic, the No1 seed and currently the world number three, had won neither of only two previous encounters between the two. Both of Kyrgios' victories came on hard courts in 2017.
"One thing's for sure - there's going to be a lot of fireworks emotionally" from both players, Djokovic said following his semi-final victory over Britain's Cameron Norrie.
Although there were flare-ups in the final, notably from Kyrgios, it ended on good terms with the players' on-court speeches receiving laughter and applause from the crowd.