Nick Kyrgios has voiced his admiration for the talents of his rival Novak Djokovic, but says the Serbian needed to be held to account for his actions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Djokovic received widespread criticism after an outbreak of the virus at his Adria Tour exhibition last summer and had previously hinted that mandatory vaccination against the disease could force him off the tennis circuit.
Last week, as controversy erupted around the Australian Open's quarantine plan for the players, Djokovic was widely criticised by the local authorities after publishing a list of requests, prompting Kyrgios to call him a "tool".
'It is time to kick out the Big Three' - Harris says next generation are here to stay
- Nadal has apparent dig at Djokovic for quarantine suggestions
- Nine active cases of coronavirus in quarantine, tournament officials confirm
"[Djokovic] is one of our leaders of our sport. He's technically our LeBron James in the way he has to be setting an example for all tennis players," Kyrgios told CNN.
"When he was doing some of the things he was doing during the global pandemic, it just wasn't the right time.
I know everyone makes mistakes, some of us go off track sometimes, and I think we have to hold each other accountable. No one else was really holding him accountable.
"Everyone loses their way a little bit but I think he just needs to pull it back."
Djokovic dances on balcony during quarantine
Despite the controversy around Djokovic's requests against the policy, his former coach and two-time champion in Melbourne Boris Becker said his old charge was absolutely correct and reasonable, in an interview with Eurosport.
Australia has some of the strictest border controls in the world, with all arrivals having to spend two weeks in a quarantine hotel.
- Australian Open 2021: Who's in, who's out, what is hard quarantine?
- In defence of Djokovic: Why quarantine criticism is unjust
'The most unbelievable match' - Djokovic on his greatest Australian Open moments
Tennis players who have not been exposed to the virus are allowed to train outdoors but over 70 are in lockdown in their hotel rooms.
The 2021 Australian Open is live and exclusive on Eurosport. You can watch every moment on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
'It's not acceptable' - Djokovic gets 'unfair treatment' compared to Federer and Nadal, says Becker
Discovery Sports secures decade-long deal to show Laver Cup exclusively across Europe