Australian Open tennis 2023: Nick Kyrgios comes clean on rumours of Alex de Minaur ‘feud’

Nick Kyrgios has denied a feud with fellow Aussie Alex de Minaur, claiming he has a “special relationship” with his countryman.

De Minaur is the only seeded Aussie left in the Australian Open after Kyrgios withdrew over his knee injury on Monday and Ajla Tomljanovic also had to pull out of the season-opening major.

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Talk of unrest between Australia’s top two ranked players has been constant after Kyrgios’ refusal to play Davis Cup tennis and his late withdrawal from the United Cup.

But Kyrgios said there was nothing behind it.

“Me and Demon have a very special relationship,” Kyrgios said in an interview with Nine News.

“I still remember him being the orange boy for the Australian Davis Cup team (back in 2015) and I was the one who said ‘I’ll hit with him’ when the tie was finished.

“So me and Demon have a great relationship.

“I saw him yesterday and he came up to me and said, “I’m sorry for everything and I hope your body goes well’.

“I respect all these players, so it’s not really a big deal when I read that me and Demon are feuding or anything like that. He’s one of my close mates on tour and he always will be.”

De Minaur revealed he had tried to convince Kyrgios to return for Australia but Kyrgios had said: “Maybe if Australia embraced me a little bit more, I would play it and bring home the trophy”.

The reports of the feud reignited when Kyrgios pulled out of the United Cup just before a pre-tournament press conference, with team captain Lleyton Hewitt praising De Minaur for stepping up for his country.

Asked how Kyrgios could improve his communication, Hewitt said: “Probably just responding. That’s the normal way of doing it. There was a little while (before he responded).”

De Minaur also had an awkward press gaggle appearance as a media advisor cut off a question about Kyrgios.

“Hey guys let’s stop the Nick questions. If we don’t have anything else about the tournament, we might wrap up.

“Guys let’s avoid Nick questions if you could just stay focused on the tournament.”

A Kyrgios question did slip though however, asking if the pair had spoken before the Australian Open, De Minaur responding: “No, we haven’t spoken”.

Kyrgios’ knee injury will likely keep the Aussie out until the Indian Wells tournament in march, and he said his announcement yesterday was “a relief” after a trying week.

“Every time we (his team) come to a grand slam now, we feel like we can win it,” he said.

“The last two grand slams I made a final and a quarter-final. I don’t ever want to come into a tournament and say, ‘Let’s see how it goes, let’s just win one round’. I want to come here and feel like I can legitimately compete for three hours and seven matches to win a title. Long term, it was definitely the right decision.

“My life is a roller coaster day in, day out. I made a decision. In a way, it’s a relief. I was in two minds for the last week. It was so hard waking up, (wondering) whether I was going to play, whether I was not going to play.

“But now I feel I have a clear path moving forward. That’s life, honestly. I’ve been through a lot more struggle than this. It’s sad, but at the same time, I’m happy.”

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