(Reuters) – Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios will rekindle their bromance by playing a practice match before the Australian Open, giving the latter a chance to stretch his legs before the year’s first Grand Slam.
Kyrgios, ranked 22nd in the world and runner-up at last year’s Wimbledon, has not played since October. He missed the United Cup and also pulled out of warm-up tournaments due to an ankle injury.
Australian Open organisers said “tennis’ most famous frenemies” will play each other at Rod Laver Arena on Friday.
Djokovic had said last week that he had discussed playing a practice match with Kyrgios, adding that the Australian wanted shorter sets.
The pair were once at loggerheads and had a frosty relationship when Kyrgios labelled Djokovic “boneheaded” and a “tool”.
But Kyrgios defended the Serbian when he was detained and then deported ahead of last year’s Australian Open, leading to an unexpected friendship blossoming between the two ahead of the Wimbledon final where Djokovic won in four sets.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)