Nick Kyrgios said he found it “hilarious” to see Novak Djokovic copy Ben Shelton’s celebration at the US Open – as the fallout from the incident continues at the Australian Open.
Djokovic mimicked Shelton’s trademark phone hang-up celebration after beating him in New York last summer.
At the time, Djokovic said he did it as he “loved” the celebration and thought it was “very original”.
Shelton refused to be drawn on Djokovic’s comments when asked in Melbourne, saying he would “rather just let it settle and move forward”.
Asked about the fallout from the celebration on Eurosport, Kyrgios said: “I love it.
“Ben is one of the more exciting personalities we have in the sport, and he’s going to take the game a long way. A big American server, who’s got a lot of personality, and that celebration was cold, I’m not going to lie, against [Frances] Tiafoe at the US Open.
“But then my boy Djokovic took it a step further and did it to the guy who did it first. I loved it, I watched the video so many times, I think it’s hilarious.
“If it gets eyes on the sport, and it’s not too crazy, I’m all for it, but I like it, I love it.
“Look, I’ve had some crazy matches like that too. Me and [Stefanos] Tsitsipas haven’t always got along, and we still respect each other’s games. That adds to the spiciness of the match-ups, that’s why you watch.”
There might be the chance for further celebration drama as Djokovic and Shelton could meet in the last 16 of the Australian Open.
Eurosport expert Laura Robson agreed with Kyrgios that a bit of potential needle adds to the entertainment value of matches.
“I love it and whenever they next play, we’ll all be tuning in, which is the most important part. But how many matches do we tune in for just for the handshake? There’s so many times where I’m like, ‘Ooh, what’s going to happen? Who’s going to give it the wet fish [as Daniil Medvedev did after winning the 2021 US Open] and the no-look handshakes?’.
“It’s part of the sport at times and it never really goes that far. It’s drama for us, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not.”
Kyrgios’ relationship with Djokovic has also had its ups and downs.
But Kyrgios revealed that not only is he now in regular contact with the No. 1, but the pair also share memes.
“We had a rocky relationship at the start and a couple of things changed that. Now we speak nearly every day,” said Kyrgios.
“We talk about anything; we send memes to each other. He hit an unbelievable volley the other day, and I was like, ‘Where do you even get these hands from? You didn’t have them against me at Wimbledon,’ and then he was like, ‘Oh, I got them from you.’”
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