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Tennis: Nick Kyrgios and German tennis great Boris Becker butt heads in fiery Twitter war

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has butted heads with former World No. 1 Boris Becker over the ongoing coronavirus saga plaguing the global tennis community.

On Monday, Kyrgios called out German tennis star Alexander Zverev after he was spotted partying at a club in the French Riviera.

Zverev featured in Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour in Belgrade and Croatia earlier this month, where four other competitors contracted COVID-19.

After claiming he would “follow self-isolating guidelines”, the World No. 7 apologised when footage emerged of him dancing in a nightclub.

“No matter how lazy, sloppy and selfish players are about following public health guidelines mid-pandemic, they sure can spring to quick action to cover their asses,” respected tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg said.

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

Although Zverev tested negative to COVID-19 last week, Kyrgios slammed Zverev for the “selfish” behaviour.

“Sascha Zverev again, man. Again, again, how selfish can you be?” Kyrgios said.

“If you have the audacity to put out a tweet that you made your management write on your behalf, saying you’re going to self-isolate for 14 days, and apologising to the general public about putting their health at risk, at least have the audacity to stay inside for 14 days.

“Jesus, man. Ping me off. This tennis world is ping me off, seiously. How selfish can you all get?”

Six-time Grand Slam singles champion Becker jumped to Zverev’s defence, calling Kyrgios a “rat” for the scathing remarks.

“Don’t like no rats! Anybody telling off fellow sportsman/woman is no friend of mine!” Becker posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

“Look yourself in the mirror and think your (sic) better than us.”

Kyrgios quickly responded to Becker’s tweet, defending his previous comments.

“For goodness sake Boris, I’m not competing or trying to throw anyone under the bus,” the 25-year-old replied.

“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.”

But Becker returned serve, again labelling the Australian a “rat”.

“We all live in the pandemic called COVID-19! It’s terrible and it killed to many lives,” the German posted. “We should protect our families/loved ones and follow the guidelines but still don’t like rats.

“(Zverev) broke the quarantine rules and he should be ashamed of himself! He is a role model for many tennis fans a bright star on the horizon but still don’t like rats.

“There is an unspoken understanding between athletes! Whatever happens on the court stays there including the lockers! Nobody will talk about it.”

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

@AlexZverev broke the quarantine rules and he should be ashamed of himself! He is a role model for many tennis fans a bright star on the horizon but still don’t like rats … #word

— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) June 30, 2020

There is an unspoken understanding between athletes! Whatever happens on the court stays there including the lockers! Nobody will talk about it … #respect #sport #fellowship

— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) June 30, 2020

Kyrgios remained steadfast, gleefully poking fun at the tennis great.

“Rats? For holding someone accountable? Strange way to think of it champion, I’m just looking out for people,” Kyrgios tweeted.

“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.

“(Becker) is a bigger doughnut than I thought. Can hit a volley, obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed though.”

After copping a mammoth wave of backlash on Twitter, Becker softened his stance: “Your funny guy … how is it down under? Respect all the guidelines?”

Kyrgios bluntly replied: “Haha nah bro I’m good, don’t act like you’re my friend now because you got sat down.”

The Australian continued receiving overwhelming support from bystanders on social media, but rather than back-pedalling, Becker decided to criticise Kyrgios’ performances on the court in a desperate attempt to change the conversation.

“I really would like to see Nick Kyrgios fulfil his potential and win a grand slam!” Becker posted.

“He would be an incredible role model for for the youth of the world addressing the issues of equality/race/heritage! Man up buddy and deliver!”

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

After Djokovic revealed he and his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus, Kyrgios also slammed the Serbian superstar for his “boneheaded decision”.

“Prayers up to all the players that have contracted COVID-19,” Kyrgios tweeted last week.

“Don’t @ me for anything I’ve done that has been ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupidity’ — this takes the cake.”

Kyrgios recently revealed his latest love interest, posting images to Instagram alongside Chiara Passari, which were captioned: “Happiness is found.”

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