Kyrgios and Djokovic to face off once again in upcoming ‘arena extravaganza’

Jan 09, 2023
Friday's exhibition match marks the first time Djokovic has competed on Australian soil since his deportation sage in 2022.Source: Getty Images.

After facing off at the Wimbledon finals in 2022, tennis star Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic are set to go head to head once again in an exhibition match in the lead up to the Australian Open.

Kyrgios and Djokovic will take to Rod Laver Arena on Friday, January 13 for the showdown with proceeds from ticket sales going to charity.

Following ongoing speculation of a match between the two sporting stars,  CEO of Tennis Australia announced details of the “arena extravaganza” on Monday, January 9.

“We’re going to open up the stands with ticket sales (from Tuesday) … at a very low price point so we can get the stadium full on Rod Laver so fans can come out and it’ll go towards the Australian Tennis Foundation,” Tiley announced.

“I think that’ll be a really cool initiative.”

The upcoming match follows the high-stakes final match at Wimbledon on Centre Court on Sunday, July 10 where Djokovic recorded a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) victory over Kyrgios at the All England Club.

Despite Kyrgios coming out strong in the opening set, striking 14 winners and only four unforced errors, an unshakeable Djokovic turned the tide in the second set, racing to a 4-1 advantage in the fourth game. Djokovic was then able to further his lead and take control of the match from a distracted and frustrated Kyrgios, holding a two-set-to-love lead in the third set.

A more composed Kyrgios secured a fourth-set tie but in the end, could do little to prevent Djokovic from securing his seventh career Wimbledon title.

Following the gruelling match, an exhausted Kyrgios was in awe at the level of play Djokovic exhibited during the match.

“He’s a bit of a God,” Kyrgios said.

“I’m not going to lie, I thought I played well.”

Friday’s exhibition match marks the first time Djokovic has competed on Australian soil since his deportation saga in 2022.

Djokovic was due to play in the 2022 Australian Open, after being granted a medical exemption to compete despite being unvaccinated, however, his visa was cancelled after arriving at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airpot on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

Djokovic was told to leave the country on January 6, 2022. He left Australia after a last-ditch effort to have his visa cancellation overturned failed in Federal Court. Djokovic was seen at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport Sunday, January 16, flanked by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers as he boarded an Emirates flight to Dubai.

Djokovic was facing a three year ban from entering Australia, however, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles recently overturned Djokovic’s ban, allowing the tennis star to return.

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