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Djokovic set for the unexpected as Kyrgios blocks path to 21st Grand Slam title

The reason for that is that there was very little love lost between the pair until a sudden thawing of their relationship this year after Kyrgios’ public support for Djokovic when he was deported from the Australian Open for not having a Covid-19 vaccination.

Kyrgios once labelled Djokovic a “tool”, said he had a “sick obsession” with wanting to be liked and described Djokovic’s trademark post-match celebration as “cringeworthy”.

Djokovic once said he had little respect for Kyrgios off the court but ahead of Sunday’s final something of a bromance has developed between the two.

“Honestly, as a tennis fan, I’m glad that he’s in the finals because he’s got so much talent,” Djokovic said.

For the first week of the tournament Kyrgios seemed happy to assume his usual role of pantomime villain, fined for spitting towards a fan after a first-round five-setter against Paul Jubb, then again for his behaviour in a toxic win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, who afterwards called him a bully.

Since then, Kyrgios has shown a game face few believed he possessed — coming though a five-setter against Brandon Nakashima, then easily disposing of Cristian Garin without an audible expletive and barely a trick shot.

He got a huge break when Rafa Nadal was forced to withdraw ahead of their eagerly-awaited semifinal because of injury, and will now seek to become the first Australian man to win a Grand Slam singles title since close confidant Lleyton Hewitt won Wimbledon in 2002.

The big question now is how will he react to the occasion?

Nerves and adrenaline could ignite the old volatility but if Kyrgios harnesses the unique shot-making ability that some describe as genius, Sunday could be the day that tennis’s enfant terrible becomes the new king of Centre Court.

“I feel like it’s the pinnacle of tennis,” he said. “I never thought I’d be here. I’m just super proud and I’m just ready to go. I’m going to give it my all and we’ll see what happens.” 

Source: TimesLIVE