Nick Kyrgios: Comments on vaccines and Serena Williams are not anti-vax

Kyrgios’s assertion (pictured, right) was contentious after comments made by Roger Federer in the previous day’s media conference

Nick Kyrgios has denied remarks he made in support of unvaccinated players was anti-vax.

He also defended comments at Wimbledon about Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka being paid more than Serena Williams.

Kyrgios says he is not anti-vaccination and that he “didn’t sound like a bad guy”.

But he said: “If you want to do something that doesn’t work, like if you’ve got a disease, yeah you should probably stay home.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme on Tuesday morning, Kyrgios said his comments were in reference to laws in some countries, such as Canada, which forbid children from being vaccinated.

He said he was not an expert and that the laws were there “for a reason”.

Asked if he was “anti-vax”, Kyrgios said: “No, I wasn’t.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been against vaccinations.

“Like I said in the interview, some people get sick from vaccinations, just as other people get sick from regular things that are around you. That’s just life.

“If you have a disease, I think you should probably stay home. But if you’re healthy and don’t have that, it’s probably not worth anything.”

Kyrgios caused controversy at Wimbledon, refusing to shake hands with Rafael Nadal on Saturday after the Spanish player’s faulted in their last-16 match.

He said of Nadal: “He’s one of the greatest players ever. One of the best that’s ever played at this level. He deserved it on the court.

“I just questioned, had to say something, could say something there.”

Kyrgios was also asked about a tweet he posted in 2013, in which he showed a picture of an advertisement for a “Dempster dart”, which apparently tested positive in 2008 for a banned substance.

Kyrgios said he did not mean to create controversy with the tweet, adding: “It was a joke. I see people taking [it] too seriously.

“I just did it as a joke. It wasn’t meant to be serious.”

However, while he played down the picture, Kyrgios continued to defend comments made during his media conference on Monday, when he was asked whether Serena Williams’ $28m (£22.7m) prize money would be enough to buy a year of second-round support from the media.

He said: “She’s been in Wimbledon for longer than I have. It’s been a career for a long time. It’s pretty impressive.”

Wimbledon play will resume on Wednesday at 14:00 BST

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