Australian tennis legend John Newcombe has praised Nick Kyrgios for holding stars such as Alexander Zverev accountable for their actions, but says it should be done in private.
Newcombe’s comments came after Kyrgios was involved in a public Twitter back-and-forth with German great Boris Becker, who called the Australian a “rat” for outing Zverev.
Kyrgios returned serve on the six-time Grand Slam winner, unleashing a barrage of tweets that caused a social media storm.
“Rats? For holding someone accountable? Strange way to think of it champion, I’m just looking out for people,” he said in one such tweet.
“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.”
Newcombe, a seven-time Grand Slam winner himself, said Kyrgios did the right thing by calling out his rivals who had repeatedly acted out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nick is Nick. The other guys are obviously stupid,” Newcombe told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I don’t go out of my way to think about what Nick is thinking. You wouldn’t know what he is going to come up with next but I think it’s good that he’s calling people out. If that’s what he wants to do, that’s good.
“I know when we were playing, if you had a problem you took it to the person. You didn’t make it public. But it’s a different world, I guess.”
Zverev is far from the only tennis star that the Australian has vocally criticised, with world No.1 Novak Djokovic also inciting his ire over the last few months.
“Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’,” Kyrgios said of Djokovic’s now-infamous Adria Tour exhibition tournament in Croatia.
“Speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols.
“This IS NOT A JOKE.”