Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios

Novak Djokovic says Nick Kyrgios ‘pleasantly surprised’ him with support in deportation row

Novak Djokovic says he has thanked surprise advocate Nick Kyrgios for his support during his unsuccessful fight against deportation from Australia.

Djokovic was detained at the border when attempting to travel tot he Australian Open under a medical exemption, which he required due to not being vaccinated against Covid-19.

As he spent time in an immigration detention centre and the Australian courts, the situation divided tennis players and fans alike.

However, while most expected Nick Kyrgios to stick the knife in, the Australian was one of the few who came out very publicly in defence of Djokovic, and the world number one has admitted that took him by surprise.

“I respect my colleagues and I understand that some of them didn’t want to speak up, and some of them criticised me or didn’t like the way I entered Australia,” Novak Djokovic told the Serbian media.

“I just wish that they listened to my side of the story. But their position was not easy, there was so much attention on the whole saga, and they understandably wanted to talk about themselves and the tournament.

“Nick Kyrgios surprised me pleasantly, I thanked him and all of the others who stood up for me, Alize Cornet for instance.

“I received a lot of messages privately from some of the players, but they didn’t want to speak publicly. I understand it, the situation was complicated.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.