Djokovic responds to disrespectful Kyrgios
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic cannot get his head around why Australia's Nick Kyrgios has turned nasty on him but has finally weighed into the war of words.
Kyrgios blasted world No. 1 Djokovic as "cringe-worthy" last month, while also unloading on Rafael Nadal, Toni Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.
Speaking to Serbian media in Belgrade, Djokovic insisted he has no problem with Kyrgios' comments.
Despite being accused by Kyrgios of having a "sick obsession" of trying to be as popular as Roger Federer, Djokovic opted not to return serve.
"Honestly, I think that deep down he (Kyrgios) is not such a bad guy," Djokovic said.
"I don't know why Kyrgios says all these things. Whether he is seeking attention or has some other motive, he obviously wants to be sincere and transparent.
"It's the way he is, I respect that like I respect all other players on tour.
"He can say what he wants, I don't have a problem with it.
"Does he show me the same amount of respect that most other players do? No, he doesn't, but that's the way he communicates these days."
The defending Wimbledon champion said he reached out to Kyrgios several years ago.
"Before he unleashed this wave of criticisms against me, I actually met him off court during a US Open tournament, five years ago I think, and talked to him a bit," Djokovic said.
"It was at a time when everyone was on his case because of his antics.
"I offered help in the sense that I told him he could always come and talk to me if he needed to, because I faced similar situations and the same kind of criticism for my behaviour when I was younger.
"But something changed inside him from that point on.
"I'd never had that kind of problem with anyone else on tour but I am not losing any sleep over it. I don't understand why or what happened but I don't judge him."