Nick Kyrgios came in support of Algerian tennis star Ines Ibbou after she criticized World No.3 Dominic Theim for his comments on the lower-ranked players as he refused to contribute for the Player Relief Fund.
The tennis tour came to a halt for an indefinite period due to the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, the players at the lower-echelons are struggling to make a living during the global health crisis. However, the President of the ATP Player Council Novak Djokovic came up with a plan to financially help the lower-level professionals through a Player Relief Fund program.
But Thiem refused to donate for the program as he explained that the players at the lower-level are unprofessional. He also insisted that none of the tennis players are starving and he would like to donate for those players who really need it. However, his comments didn’t go down well with the tennis fraternity as he faced a lot of criticism from all around the world.
Subsequently, Ines Ibbou posted a moving letter to Thiem, where she revealed her struggles and sacrifices for the sport but still not being able to make a living out of it. She took a dig at Thiem saying that players like her didn’t ask any support from him. However, she urged him to at least respect their struggles.
“I am always willing to support” – Nick Kyrgios
Ines received widespread support from all around the world including from tennis legend Venus Wiliams and Algerian President. Nick Kyrgios also gave her a shout out after watching the touching video.
“Respect,” Kyrgios commented on Ibbou’s post. “Thank you for your support,” Ines replied.
“Keep doing you! I’m always willing to support,” Kyrgios responded.
The Algerian was thrilled to see the support she received. “I felt for the first time ever that I’m heard,” Ibbou told The National. “For the first, I felt that people cared about us.”
“I was expecting some response from some lower-ranked players like me, but not all these people. Wow, that was very… I don’t know, I don’t have the words actually. Hope this video makes its way to the ITF, the WTA, and the federation. I hope they will change something about the tour, and they really think about it and try to help us, players,” she added.
Read More: Algerian President Extends Support to Ines Ibbou After Dominic Thiem Criticism
Solidarity is crucial during the time of crisis. Tennis certainly needs to unite to steer through the coronavirus pandemic.