Nick Kyrgios comment about Alex de Minaur causes stir after Novak Djokovic win

Alex de Minaur is celebrating the biggest win of his career after stunning Novak Djokovic at the United Cup in Perth on Wednesday night.

The Aussie star handed the World No. 1 his first loss in Australia since 2018, sending shockwaves across the tennis world with his 6-4 6-4 triumph.

De Minaur’s first ever win against a world No. 1 sparked plenty of reaction — and the comment that has caused the biggest stir is one from Nick Kyrgios.

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The former Wimbledon finalist spoke up in defence of Djokovic after the 24-time grand slam champ played through pain.

Djokovic was troubled by a forearm and wrist niggle and made plenty of unforced errors that opened the door for the top ranked Australian.

Kyrgios suggested on Twitter the sight of Djokovic playing through pain was likely linked to the ongoing furore surrounding the inconsistencies of balls used on the ATP Tour.

The ATP Tour came under fire last year with a series of players complaining about the problems caused by ATP Tour events using different balls.

The Dunlop ball was particularly criticised with veteran tennis player Gastao Elias saying in October it was “inhumane” for the Tour to make players use the fluffier, heavy ball.

Djokovic, Taylor Fritz and Daniil Medvedev were also among the players to vent frustrations about the inconsistent balls — and the impact it has been having on increased wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries.

Kyrgios’ 2023 season was wiped out by injuries and he has not played since tearing a ligament in his right wrist before Wimbledon in June.

He announced in December he would not be playing the 2024 Australian Open because of the ongoing wrist problem.

Now his thoughts on the subject have caused a ruckus with plenty of fans interpreting his comments as a form of dismissing de Minaur’s massive victory.

“Change of balls every week finally got to novaks wrist,” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.

“The atp really need to do something about this problem. Players suffer all the time.

“Ok for the noobs that think I’m taking credit away from Alex are just plain dumb. Demon is a hell of a player and deserves every success that comes his way.

“Also, for the people who think balls aren’t a big enough factor to result in an athlete being hurt are potato’s. The load through a players elbow, wrist over this vigorous season is enormous.”

The comments did not go down well with some fans.

“Give de minaur the respect this is a hell of a performance,” one Twitter user wrote.

Outspoken social media commentator Anthony Scalise posted for his 50,000 followers on Twitter: “How about you congratulate Alex de Minaur on his win. You got no respect fool.

“Congratulate Alex for the win. That’s the right thing to do. Cut the garbage.”

De Minaur, meanwhile, has joined Lleyton Hewitt and Kyrgios as the only Australians to have beaten the Serbian superstar.

Bernard Tomic defeated Djokovic at the 2013 Hopman Cup, but the result is not recognised because the event was not aligned with the ATP and WTA tours.

De Minaur’s win ends Djokovic’s insane 43-match winning streak in Australia.

Two-time Australian Open champion Jim Courier was full of praise for de Minaur, who beat American star Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-2 earlier in the United Cup.

“The way he was able to dominate in the serve was jaw-dropping,” Courier said on Nine’s coverage.

“The rest of his game was behind it. All the versatility, variety, all the things we come to expect, the defence, big foot speed. Everything else, his ability to get to the net.

“To keep Novak off balance with drop shots and slices and topspin lobs and looping shots, he just didn’t give Novak any rhythm and Novak responded with a lot of unforced errors.

“He was frustrated. There’s no doubt about it. A little bit injured it seems. Not enough to affect the speed of his shots. This was a well-earned big time victory for the Demon.”

De Minaur said: “It’s extremely special. Look, Novak is unbelievable competitor and what he’s done for the sport is pretty special. So, it feels surreal. It feels amazing.

“When you go against Novak you’ve just got to go out there, try and enjoy, back yourself no matter what, just keep fighting until the end. Today was my day. I’m happy I was able to get the win.

Djokovic, near unbeatable on the blue hardcourts of Australia, suffered his first defeat down under since he lost to South Korea’s Chung Hyeon in the fourth round of the 2018 Australian Open.

The 24-time grand slam champion has won the Australian Open a record 10 times, but his injury niggles are a concern ahead of the first major of the year, which begins on January 15.

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