Tennis icon Becker brands Kyrgios a 'RAT' after Aussie calls out fellow ace Zverev for partying in wake of Covid-19 tour fiasco
Kyrgios was one of the fiercest critics of Djokovic's ill-fated tournament in Serbia and Croatia earlier this month, lambasting the organization of a competition without any health precautions during a pandemic as "boneheaded."
One of the participants at the event was German star Zverev, who was not among those to test positive for the coronavirus, but nonetheless pledged to self-isolate.
However, footage this week appeared to show Zverev partying in Monaco, leading to Kyrgios to hit out as his fellow pro for being "selfish."
Sascha Zverev six days ago after Adria Tour coronavirus cluster: “I deeply apologize to anyone that I have put at risk...I will proceed to follow self-isolating guidelines...stay safe 🙏.”Sascha Zverev four hours ago: pic.twitter.com/vqBXvYdxkv— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 28, 2020
Nick Kyrgios: "Sascha Zverev again man, again, again, how selfish can you be? How selfish can you be?"at least have the audacity to stay inside for 14 days""pissing me off, this tennis world is pissing me off, seriously. How selfish can you all get?"I see no lies tbh... pic.twitter.com/egcxH0HL2K— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) June 29, 2020
German legend Becker was one of the high-profile figures to publicly wish Djokovic well after the world number one became one of four players from the tournament to subsequently test positive for Covid-19, and the pundit has now accused Kyrgios of betraying a code of honor among players for supposedly 'ratting' on Zverev.
"Don’t like no rats," Becker began in a tweet to his following of more than 680,000, tagging Kyrgios into his outburst. "Anybody telling off a fellow sportsman or woman is no friend of mine. Look yourself in the mirror and think you're better than us."
For goodness sake Boris, I’m not competing or trying to throw anyone under the bus. It’s a global pandemic and if someone is as idiotic as Alex to do what he has done, I’ll call him out for it. Simple.— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 30, 2020
Kyrgios soon fired back, saying: "For goodness sake Boris, I’m not competing or trying to throw anyone under the bus.
"It’s a global pandemic and if someone is as idiotic as Alex to do what he has done, I’ll call him out for it. Simple."
Becker then likened Kyrgios to a rodent again, replying: "We all live in the pandemic called Covid-19. It’s terrible and it has killed too many lives. We should protect our families and loved ones and follow the guidelines but still don’t like rats."
"Rats?" asked Kyrgios. "For holding someone accountable? Strange way to think of it, champion. I’m just looking out for people. My family and families all over the world have respectfully done the right thing."
We all live in the pandemic called #Covid_19 ! It’s terrible and it killed to many lives...we should protect our families/loved ones and follow the guidelines but still don’t like #rats@NickKyrgios@farfetch— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) June 30, 2020
Rats? For holding someone accountable? Strange way to think of it champion, I’m just looking out for people. WHEN my family and families all over the world have respectfully done the right thing. And you have a goose waving his arms around, imma say something.— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 30, 2020
Continuing the animal theme in a possible reference to Zverev, the world number 40 added: "And you have a goose waving his arms around, I'm going to say something."
As fans questioned the uncompromising commentator, one wrote: "Boris, I’m a fan but pipe down. You didn’t bump your gums over the failings of Djokovic and Zverev."
Another told him: "That goes down as an epic fail, Boris. When you're being schooled on responsibility by Nick, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself."
In response to a comment telling him that even friends should be held accountable for mistakes, Becker responded: "Absolutely, but do it in private."
Crikey when you log into twitter for the first time this morning and this pops up!!.....Boris I’m a fan but pipe down as you didn’t bump your gums over the failings of Djokovic and Zverev.— Angie 🇯🇲🇬🇧 (@ang3lj926) June 30, 2020
That goes down as an epic fail Boris. When you're being schooled on responsibility by Nick you need to take a long hard look at yourself.— TradeShark Tennis Trading (@Trade_Shark) June 30, 2020
Absolutely but do it private... https://t.co/XdXAsgDcRY— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) June 30, 2020
Kyrgios proceeded to mock Becker, calling him "a bigger donut than I thought". "Can hit a volley, obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed, though," he told his following of almost 387,000.
Becker conceded that his compatriot had "broken the quarantine rules and should be ashamed of himself" before again calling Kyrgios a rat and bizarrely telling him: "You're a funny guy. How is it down under? Respect all the guidelines?"
Kyrgios retaliated: "Nah bro, I’m good. Don’t act like you’re my friend now because you got sat down," only to be warned: "There is an unspoken understanding between athletes. Whatever happens on the court stays there, including the lockers. Nobody will talk about it."
Becker then turned his attention to Kyrgios's career, claiming: "I really would like to see Nick Kyrgios fulfill his potential and win a Grand Slam.
Haha nah bro I’m good, don’t act like you’re my friend now because you got sat down.— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 30, 2020
Why are you now talking about tennis? It has nothing to do with tennis? How about the dude who you are defending mans up and gives us some sort of explanation? Not another average management apology.— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 30, 2020
"He would be an incredible role model for for the youth of the world addressing the issues of equality, race and heritage. Man up, buddy, and deliver."
A predictably unimpressed Kyrgios retorted: "Why are you now talking about tennis? It has nothing to do with tennis.
"How about the dude who you are defending mans up and gives us some sort of explanation? Not another average management apology."
Djokovic and Zverev were among those to publicly profess their sorrow in the aftermath of their positive tests following a tournament at which packed crowds of around 4,000 people watched players who were also seen playing football, socializing and visiting a nightclub together.
The 23-year-old has not made any public response to the photos of him meeting others when he was meant to be isolating. Becker replied to his announcement that he had the virus by saying: "Stay safe and look after yourself and loved ones, my friend."Also on rt.com 'This takes the cake': Nick Kyrgios goes in on Novak Djokovic after Covid-19 diagnosis & tour partying