Zverev was Kyrgios’ opponent during the Australian’s imfamous tanking in Shanghai and has witnessed his controversial court demeanour first-hand.

But that has not stopped him from praising the Aussie as Zverez prepares to play Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Brisbane International while Kyrgios returns from an eight-week ATP suspension in the Hopman Cup.

“We were cool, we were riding back in a golf car to the locker room (together chatting) and he’s such a nice guy,” 29-year-old Zverev told AAP.

“He’s one of the nicest guys in the locker room. He will always say hi and remember you and ask you how you are.

“Even if he had a bad day and he lost he would always respect you and smile and come up to you and say hi.

“If you are a genius you are different,” he said. “You can’t be a genius and be completely normal otherwise it would never show.

“Whether they like him or not, he is a great tennis player and he is very entertaining.”