Taylor Fritz defended the organizing of a practice match between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios and practice matches between competitors on tour in general after Noah Rubin questioned the same.

Djokovic and Kyrgios are set to play each other in a ticketed practice match billed as ‘The Arena Showdown’ in front of a full house at Rod Laver Arena this Friday (January 13).

Rubin opined that the Djokovic vs Kyrgios pre-Australian Open exhibition match made little sense as the two players could face off in the main draw of the Grand Slam tournament just a few days later.

The Djokovic vs Kyrgios match is the main event in a week of ticketed practice matches at the Australian Open, featuring Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, and Coco Gauff, among others.

“This makes very little sense. An exho right before they could meet on an actual stage?” Noah Rubin wrote on Twitter, reacting to the promotion of the match between Djokovic and Kyrgios.

Tennis player-turned-pickleball pro Rubin’s views on the matter did not sit well with Taylor Fritz. The American No. 1 suggested that, by Rubin’s logic, players should not practice or even play practice sets with each other before tournaments, a common practice on tour.

“I mean by ur logic here then we shouldnā€™t practice with other players and play practice sets before tournaments,” Fritz wrote in response to Rubin’s tweet.

Tickets for the match between Djokovic and Kyrgios, priced at $20 each, sold out in less than an hour earlier on Tuesday. The Australian Open has announced that all proceeds from the match and other practice matches all week will go to the Australian Tennis Foundation.

Taylor Fritz hints at Novak Djokovic being the player he most wants to beat

Taylor Fritz was in full agreement with Jessica Pegula’s assessment of Novak Djokovic being the player he is most motivated to beat on tour.

During a recent fun quiz session at the United Cup, teammates Fritz and Pegula were each asked to name a player the other is eager to beat on tour. While Fritz picked Iga Swiatek as Pegula’s most-desired opponent to beat, Pegula picked Djokovic’s name for Fritz.

“That is the only right answer,” Fritz said, responding to Pegula picking Djokovic.

Fritz’s eagerness to beat the 21-time Major champion probably also stems from the fact that the Serb has won all six of their matches so far on tour. Their most recent clash was in the semi-finals of the 2022 ATP Finals.

In their only Grand Slam battle, the American stretched Djokovic to five sets in the third round of the 2021 Australian Open.