Nick Kyrgios challenged by fellow Australian Bernard Tomic amid feud over ‘better player’

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Bernard Tomic has fired back at Nick Kyrgios in the latest instalment of their Instagram Stories feud. The current world No 259 recently claimed he was “still” better than his fellow Australian in a recent Instagram Q&A. It comes as Tomic is planning to mount a comeback and aiming to break the world’s top ten.

Tomic has recently hit headlines, this time for good reason, as the controversial Australian is feeling motivated to return to tennis and dedicate himself to training.

After being tipped as the next big thing in tennis when he reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon ten years ago, aged 18, he has gone one to become one of tennis most divisive figures in the last decade, often drawing criticism and receiving sanctions for his actions.

Amid his scandals, he has been found guiltyof multiple traffic offences, been fined for tanking matches, admitted he doesn’t like tennis, and drew criticism when he appeared on the Australian version of I’m A Celebrity before leaving after just three days.

The 29-year-old has also enjoyed success in his career, with four titles and three Masters quarter-finals to his name, and a career high of world No 17 in 2016.

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Now ranked down at world No 259, Tomic has vowed to mount a serious comeback in attempt to reach the upper echelons of the game, saying in a recent Instagram video: “I’m back. I’m hungry, and I’m ready. No one can stop me now, but me.”

He also revealed in an Instagram Q&A that, in dedication to his training, had gone vegan and started drinking less as he now wants to do “anything to get back to the top”, sharing his goal of cracking the top ten in the next few years.

In the Q&A, Tomic also received a question asking who was better in their prime – him or compatriot Nick Kyrgios, and gave a thumbs up with a brazen smile as he replied: “I still am.”

Opening up on his thoughts about the six-time tour title winner, Tomic added: “Obviously Nick is a good player, probably top six or seven servers in the world. Obviously beat him in Kooyong 6-3 6-4.

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“Because I train with him I pick where he’s serving and I know where he’s at so that style doesn’t really bother me.”

Kyrgios was quick to respond, taking to his own Instagram Stories to slam the 29-year-old.

Addressing Tomic’s one match win over him at the Kooyong exhibiton in the lead-up to Wimbledon, the former world No 13 said: “Where people play exhibitions – and yes he did beat me there once.

“But to say that he’s better? I have more titles. I don’t think he has any big scalp to his name, no Rafa, no Federer no Djokovic. To say that he’s better than me, it’s a bit of a stretch.”

He also noted Tomic’s comeback claims, adding: “But we all know what BT’s capable of and I wish him the best. I ain’t no jealous person, I want success for everyone — so BT, we know what you are capable of brother, let’s see it.”

Now, the 29-year-old has taken to Instagram to respond to Kyrgios’ comments and made him an offer to determine who was the better player.

“Thanks to Nicky boy for the kind words and encouragement,” he said in a series of videos on Thursday (December 16).

“I look forward to seeing him down in AO, and hopefully we can both make Australians proud. But  just to set the record straight, he says I haven’t beaten any of the top players.”

The former world No 17 listed his wins over 20-time Major champion Novak Djokovic, former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt, and Kyrgios himself to dispute his fellow Aussie’s comments.

Offering Kyrgios a challenge, he cheekily added: “‘Look, I’m more than happy to make it 2-0, whenever he wants.

“And all jokes aside, I wish NK the best. Good luck.”

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