WATCH: The Break: Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon, sending Nick Kyrgios into first Grand Slam final


Nick Kyrgios advanced into his first Grand Slam singles final via walkover, and he awaits three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in a mouth-watering Wimbledon battle.

While the match between two powerful hitters and talented grass-court players will surely bring plenty of fireworks, it also comes with plenty of history.

It will be a rare match for Djokovic, who will be up against an opponent with a dominant 2-0 lead in their ATP head-to-head record. These two met twice in 2017, with Kyrgios coming away with back-to-back straight set wins in Acapulco and Indian Wells. The wins completed a hat trick for Kyrgios, having also defeated Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in his first meetings with them.

But combined with Kyrgios’ mercurial on-court behavior and his habit for “sledging” opponents with trash talk that often spills out onto social media, it didn’t set up the best foundation for a cordial relationship between him and Djokovic. As recently as last year, the Serbian said of Kyrgios, “Off the court, I don’t have much respect for him. I’ll leave it at that.”

When these two met twice in 2017, Kyrgios came away with back-to-back straight-set wins in Acapulco and Indian Wells.

When these two met twice in 2017, Kyrgios came away with back-to-back straight-set wins in Acapulco and Indian Wells.

How times have changed.

After years of “no love lost” between the Wimbledon men’s finalists, Kyrgios and Djokovic will evidently now have to set aside “a bit of a bromance” when they meet on Sunday:

Q. You were very supportive of [Djokovic] during his dramas at the start of the year. Also you've been not so complimentary in the past. Can you talk about your relationship with Novak, respect and whatnot.

NICK KYRGIOS: We definitely have a bit of a bromance now, which is weird. I think everyone knows there was no love lost for a while there. I think it was healthy for the sport. I think every time we played each other, there was hype around it. It was interesting for the media, the people watching, all that...

I felt like I was almost the [only] player to stand up for him with all that drama at the Australian Open. I feel like that's where respect is kind of earned. Not on the tennis court, but I feel like when a real life crisis is happening and someone stands up for you...

We actually message each other on DMs in Instagram now and stuff. It's real weird! Actually, earlier in the week, he was like, 'Hopefully I'll see you Sunday.'


Big ups to these two for letting bygones be bygones.

Guess Djokovic must have had a lot of time to think about who his friends are after a long stint in quarantine, amid his deportation from Australia earlier this year. The unvaccinated former world No. 1 was caught up in a scandal as his medical exception was rejected by government officials and his visa was later canceled.

With most players fully vaccinated—the ATP reported that 97 out of the Top 100 have received the jab—few were willing to stand up for Djokovic when everything was going on. But the ones who did, like American player Tennys Sandgren and Kyrgios, have found their way onto the Serbian’s good books.

“I don't know if I can call it a bromance yet, but we definitely have a better relationship than what it was probably prior to January this year,” Djokovic told press after his semifinal win against Cameron Norrie.

“But when it was really tough for me in Australia, he was one of the very few players that came out publicly and supported me and stood by me. That's something I truly appreciate. So I respect him for that a lot.”