'My jaw dropped': Nick Kyrgios accused of Ash Barty 'disrespect'

Nick Kyrgios suggested his doubles triumph alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis had been a bigger Australian Open draw than singles champion Ash Barty. Pictures: Getty Images
Nick Kyrgios suggested his doubles triumph alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis had been a bigger Australian Open draw than singles champion Ash Barty. Pictures: Getty Images

Tennis fans have accused Nick Kyrgios of being 'disrespectful' towards fellow Australian Open champion Ash Barty in his post-match press conference following his victory in the mens doubles.

Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell to win an all-Australian doubles final, with a few typically controversial moments sprinkled throughout.

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However some commentators have taken umbrage at Kyrgios' suggestion that the 'ratings speak for themselves' and implying he and Kokkinakis were a bigger draw than the World No.1.

His comments were discussed on ABC sports program Offsiders, while many tennis fans on social media felt it was not a particularly apt comparison, particularly considering the doubles final had been scheduled for after Barty's final - which drew a massive Australian audience.

Kyrgios said he and Kokkinakis' matches had created the 'best atmosphere' of the tournament, saying the result 'speaks for itself'.

“I would say that we’ve created probably the best atmosphere this tournament has ever seen,” Kyrgios said.

“Ash (Barty’s) father came to us and said the crowd was the best he’s ever seen. Obviously Ash is a hell of a player, but I think the ratings speak for themselves.

“The ratings speak for themselves. People watch my matches, everywhere I play around the world the stadiums are full for that reason.

“So I don’t think those people that are screaming out before points, that’s got nothing to do with us.

“But there’s a reason why the ratings are the way they are and people are glued to the TV when we play. It speaks for itself really.”

Some fans were left less than impressed with his comments, so soon after Barty's popular triumph over Danielle Collins in the womens final.

Nick Kyrgios criticised over Ash Barty comments

Discussing Kyrgios on Offsiders, panellists said they were left gobsmacked by the newly crowned doubles champion's comments in his press conference.

Tennis commentator Catherine Whitaker said she found his comments 'pretty extraordinary' upon reading them afterwards.

“My jaw dropped when I read those quotes and I thought it might have been one of those where the quote is written down and it looks a bit worse than when you see the clip, sometimes that can be the case with press conferences," she said.

“But it’s not the case in this instance. I mean, on a night that was about Ash Barty, without question, to say that, it is pretty extraordinary.”

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have been warned to expect a very different crowd for their Australian Open doubles final. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis came out on top after a sensational run through the mens doubles. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Co-host Kelly Underwood said Kyrgios should have been more aware of the moment, labelling his comments 'extremely disrespectful'.

Kyrgios overcame a bout of Covid-19 a week before the tournament and managed to reach the second round in the singles, where he was knocked out Daniil Medvedev.

The pair also allegedly had the trainer of Croatian opponent Mate Pavic threaten to fight them in the players' gym after one doubles match, while Kyrgios was labelled a "knob" by Kiwi opponent Michael Venus.

But it appeared mostly water off a duck's back as Kyrgios continued his bid to change the face of tennis with his unique brand of showmanship.

"I haven't had the greatest Aussie summer, I got Covid, but I don't care about rankings or anything, at the end of the day this is a memory that I'm going to share with him (Kokkinakis) until I'm laying in the (ground)," Kyrgios said.

"I'm pretty pumped about it."

With AAP

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