'Absolutely awful': Nick Kyrgios called out over 'distasteful' act

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Nick Kyrgios, pictured here after beating Liam Broady at the Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios has come under fire for his antics against Liam Broady at the Australian Open. Image: Getty

British tennis commentators David Law and Catherine Whitaker have called out Nick Kyrgios over his 'distasteful' antics against Liam Broady at the Australian Open.

Kyrgios was too good for British qualifier Broady on Tuesday night, pulling out all the tricks in a 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory.

The mercurial Aussie star lived up to his billing as the game's greatest showman as he broke Broady's serve in the opening game and whipped the John Cain Arena crowd into a frenzy.

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He also produced an audacious between-the-legs underarm serve early in the match and a number of other trick shots.

While the majority of fans in attendance on the 'People's Court' were loving the theatrics, not everyone was happy with what they saw.

Law and Whitaker, who run the renowned Tennis Podcast, felt that some of Kyrgios' antics bordered on disrespectful towards his opponent.

“I don’t know where the line is between entertaining the crowd with antics and mocking your opponent who you are beating him so easily,” Law said.

“I’ve been to Kyrgios (matches) for about seven years and this is the first time I just felt I wasn’t into it."

Whitaker said she felt for countryman Broady after he'd battled so hard just to qualify for the grand slam.

“There are people here, the crowd inside John Cain Arena, the whole row of Australian journalists we are sitting next to in the media centre, people are still going for it and enjoying it and getting swept up in it,” she said.

“I am a little bit over the Kyrgios show, in fact I’m a lot over the Kyrgios show.

“I particularly did not enjoy him doing the Kyrgios show against Liam Broady.

“(Broady) has been a bit of a poster boy for the struggles and the grit required to be a tennis player on the fringes of grand slam main draws and grinding away on the Challenger tour.

“I found it, not disrespectful, but distasteful against Liam Broady today.”

Liam Broady, pictured here in action against Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open.
Liam Broady plays a backhand against Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Liam Broady describes 'absolutely awful' atmosphere

Broady jokingly described the atmosphere on John Cain Arena as "absolutely awful".

“I mean, everyone is telling me (before the match), like, 'Oh you’ll really enjoy it. It’s going to be amazing'," he said after the match.

"But I thought it was absolutely awful. I obviously wanted to go out there and win, so, I mean, losing matches in general isn’t enjoyable.

“You get sledged from the sides like you can’t believe that they don’t pick up on TV.

"So it was a very, very difficult atmosphere to try and handle, and like I said, he’s incredible at getting them behind him and he plays better for it."

Broady revealed he'd been warned to expect 'disrespect' from Kyrgios, but didn't think any of it crossed the line.

“I know what Nick’s like and I saw a few of the guys in the lockers before and they said, ‘Are you ready for the disrespect out there?’” he said.

“I don’t think it’s personal. If I felt like it was personal and it was malicious, then I would probably feel like he crossed the line, but as I said, I mean, our job is to entertain the people and for them to enjoy the tennis that they come to watch and he does that and full respect to him. That’s what tennis is about, I think.

"Sometimes he makes you feel stupid with the shots he hits, with the underarm serves through the legs and the little lobs and the dinks and then the big hits, and sometimes you feel like a bit of a club player out there. That’s what he does.

“Again, that’s one of his biggest weapons. I think if you told Nick to stop all of that showmanship and all the stuff that he does it would take away a big strength of his game.

"So, I mean, yeah, I am all for it, to be honest, even when it’s against me.”

with AAP

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