Tennis ace responds to Nick Kyrgios three years after criticising pic with Novak Djokovic | Tennis | Sport

Federico Coria has hit back at Nick Kyrgios after the Australian criticised him for taking a post-match photo with Novak Djokovic. The incident occurred at the quarter-final stage of the 2021 Belgrade Open, with Kyrgios questioning Coria’s professionalism.

Kyrgios is one of the most outspoken tennis stars on the circuit, but his remarks about Coria three years ago have come back to haunt him. The Argentine responded to Kyrgios’ criticism by saying: “I wish I could tell Kyrgios my story – where I come from, what I had to go through, how many times I left tennis… After all that, what it means to me to play in the quarterfinals of an ATP tournament with the best in history, what it means to me is difficult to explain. I would also like the result to be better.”

Coria had suffered a heavy defeat against the world No.1 in Serbia, with Djokovic waltzing to a straight sets victory. Despite the humiliation, Coria took the unusual approach of asking his opponent for a selfie after the match – something which Kyrgios’ took exception to.

Commenting on a Tennis TV Instagram post at the time, Kyrgios said: “So you are taking a photo after he has literally burnt you off the court. Very very strange mentality to have. Joker one of the greats for sure, but cmon g losing a set 6-0 then asking for a photo? That ain’t it.”

But the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up didn’t stop there, with Kyrgios replying to a different comment by saying: “This guy is meant to be a ‘professional’.”

Interestingly, it wasn’t the only interaction Coria had with Djokovic, as the pair trained together ahead of the Australian Open the following year. The Serb would be controversially deported from the country because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid, but before that could happen, the pair enjoyed a practice session at Melbourne Park.

Reminiscing on the meeting, Coria told CLAY: “He [Djokovic] was extremely distressed, he was having a very bad time. He was very excited to be allowed to play. We already know the end of the story. He received great respect, because at the time many players turned their backs on him or did not agree with how he proceeded.”

He added: “It wasn’t his or my best moment. I had to tell him to stop making me run because he had been locked up and I was about to die.”

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