Novak Djokovic does not have time to waste rowing with Nick Kyrgios when he is in pursuit of greatness at the 2021 Australian Open, according to Mats Wilander.
Kyrgios responded to the top seed saying he did not respect him off the court by calling him a "very strange cat" in Melbourne with their ongoing tiff taking on new life.
But Eurosport expert Wilander has come to Djokovic's defence and believes the 33-year-old should not waste any time or energy on going back and forth with Kyrgios, who memorably described his rival as a "tool" in the build-up to the event.
Tennis
Murray set to practice with Djokovic in Rome ahead of latest comeback
19 HOURS AGO
"Well Novak, I think he is trying to end it, because I don't think he's enjoying it," Wilander said in the Eurosport Cube after the Serb beat Frances Tiafoe in his second-round match.
He's trying to win his ninth Australian Open, he's in the chase to be the greatest of all time. He doesn't have time [for this] and doesn't want to waste energy.
"Then on the other hand, I think you see Nick Kyrgios, who is quite enjoying it. I also think it's a little bit of a different generation and social media has become a huge part of it.
"So it seems that Nick is enjoying it; Novak wants an end [to it]."

'Djokovic doing a great job' - Wilander backs Novak over Kyrgios in spat

Wilander also had praise for how Djokovic has attempted to look after his fellow players, in stark contrast to some of the negative reaction he has received.
"I think Novak is doing something like what Arthur Ashe did in early 1970s. He started the ATP and Jimmy Connors was not happy.
"Towards the end of the 1980s, we broke away from the Grand Prix tour, we started the ATP Tour and guys made twice as much prize money over one year from 1989 to 1990.

'That's as bad as it gets for me' - Kyrgios hits back at 'very strange cat' Djokovic

"Novak is trying to start something, he’s trying to be the voice for the smaller guy. I give him a lot of credit because he knows that people are going to have opinions about what he says because he’s the number one player in the world.
"But somebody has got to have a voice for the little guy and I think the press is having a field day in criticising him.
I actually think Novak is doing a great thing and he is speaking up for the smaller guy and the player that needs to make a little bit more money.
"So Novak, you should concentrate on your tennis, but you're doing a great job!"

Highlights: Tiafoe takes set off Djokovic but world No.1's class prevails

- - -
A head-turning offer for head-turning tennis. One-month premium subscription for just 99p on the Eurosport app and eurosport.co.uk
ATP Madrid
Norrie showing quality on clay - but how far can he go?
04/05/2021 AT 08:39
ATP Madrid
Djokovic withdraws from Madrid Open
28/04/2021 AT 12:25