Boris Becker has jumped feet first into the current vat of tennis controversy, sledging Nick Kyrgios for being a “rat.”
The Australian copped it from the six-time Grand Slam winner after calling out Becker’s fellow German Alexander Zverev for partying in place of social distancing in the wake of Novak Djokovic’s virus-plagued Adria Tour event.
The 52-year-old Becker sounded ready to throw down against 40th-ranked Aussie Kyrgios, who has become an unexpected voice of calm reason during the COVID-19 pandemic which has left tennis shut down since early March.
“Don’t like no #rats ! Anybody telling off fellow sportsman/woman is no friend of mine! Look yourself in the mirror and think your better than us…@NickKyrgios @farfetch,” Becker tweeted.
Zverev was caught in a social media video on Sunday living it up with a large group of partners in a noted restaurant/club in the south of France near his Monte Carlo base.
After competing in the Djokovic event in the Balkans where the host himself, his wife and fellow players Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Vikto Troicki (and his pregnant wife) all tested positive for the virus,Zverev had promised to self-isolate for 14 days.
That vow lasted for around a week at best.
The Becker tweet sparked a back-and-forth between the current and former player, with Kyrgios firing back:
“@TheBorisBecker is a bigger doughnut than I thought. Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joy can hit a volley, obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed though”
The German then taunted Kyrgios about his quarantine life in Canberra: “Your funny guy ….how is it down under? Respect all the guidelines?”
Kyrgios got in a final word, adding: “Haha nah bro I’m good, don’t act like you’re my friend now because you got sat down.”
Meanwhile, French media caught sight of ATP player Lucas Pouille at the same event, though the No. 58 may not have gotten as close to the action as did Zverev.
In Serbia, a top politician has tried to shift blame for the Djokovic tennis debacle from the world No. 1 to the national government.
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic tried to take the blame for the lack of social distancing protocols during the June tennis event in Belgrade, citing low infection and death figures nationwide.
“The thing I most want in the world is that they blamed me as head of the Serbian government and left him alone,” Brnabic said.
“The responsibility is ours, we have loosened the restrictions, if we hadn’t done it, the tournament wouldn’t have happened. He followed our recommendations.
She added more praise of the country’s major sporting hero:
“He tried to do something good for all of us, not only for Serbia but for the whole region, leaving politics aside.
“He wanted to help, raise money for lower ranked tennis players and do charity. He wanted to do it in a difficult time like this. Right or not is not known. But criticising it is the easiest thing. “