'Disgrace': Aussie stars at centre of Wimbledon 'sexism' storm

Tennis fans have hit out at broadcasters over a "sexism" furore involving Aussie stars Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios.

Both players won their respective first round matches at Wimbledon in typically different styles.

But while Australian broadcaster Channel Seven chose to show Kyrgios' all-Australian affair with Jordan Thompson, viewers were left fuming that it came at the expense of our women's World No.1.

The coverage went back and forth between the matches, eventually returning to see Barty seal her passage into the second round courtesy of a straight sets win.

Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios both won their first round matches.
Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios were both first round wiinners. Pic: Getty

However, many fans were incensed that the men were seemingly prioritised over Barty, despite this grand slam marking her first as the game's top female star.

There was a widespread view that Barty’s match should have been shown uninterrupted, with many questioning whether the same thing would have happened to a top Aussie male player.

The anger at the broadcaster came thick and fast on social media.

Barty successfully negotiated her debut match as world No.1 with a straight-sets victory over China's Zheng Saisai to book her spot in the second round.

With her new status as the top player in the women's game - the first Australian to do so since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976 - Barty opened proceedings on the new-look No.1 showcourt on Tuesday.

She was made to work at times for her 6-4 6-2 win against the world No.43, particularly in the opening set, but closed out the win in efficient manner in just 76 minutes.

"The first round is always tough," Barty said.

Ash Barty says she doesn't feel any added pressure as No.1.
Ash Barty. Pic: Getty

"I think it took a little bit of time to get used to the conditions, to get used to that beautiful No.1 Court.

"It was really exciting to open my campaign there under the beautiful new roof and it took a bit of time to adjust but I loved every minute of it."

Barty said she felt no nerves stepping out as the world No.1 and insisted she was embracing the pressure of being the player to be beat in the women's draw.

"It's incredible, if a little bit of a bizarre feeling, but I just go and try to be myself and enjoy every second of it," she said.

"This hallowed turf is sacred and we are so lucky to play on it."

It was the French Open champion's 13th successive victory and her 37th of what has been a stellar year for the 23-year-old Queenslander.

Barty will now play Alison van Uytvanck, the Belgian world No.54 for a place in the third round on Thursday.

Kyrgios entertains in rollercoaster clash

Meanwhile, Kyrgios kept his end of the bargain with a typically lively and drama-charged first-round win over Thompson.

Kyrgios' win sets up a mouthwatering second round clash against Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard beat Japan's Yuichi Sugita 6-3 6-1 6-3.

The 24-year-old needed 23 aces, a medical time-out, countless F-bombs and three hours, 26 minutes of ebbing and flowing to find a way past Thompson in a match he mostly treated as an exhibition until tensions rose deep in the third set.

Both players received code violations and both repeatedly complained of an overly talkative female fan courtside, while Kyrgios erupted after a line judge incorrectly called one of his serves a fault.

"Is he going to be fined? Why not? I'm playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars and he's making mistakes like that," Kyrgios fumed at the chair umpire.

Nick Kyrgios came through a rollercoaster match against Jordan Thompson.
Nick Kyrgios came through a rollercoaster clash in the first round. Pic: Getty

He then told his box: "they are idiots, f***ing idiots".

But the outburst seemed to spark Kyrgios into action.

Kyrgios responded with successive aces to take the game, then the pivotal, epic third-set tiebreak on his eighth set point to seemingly wrestle back control.

But the mercurial talent won just five points in gifting Thompson the fourth set in 18 minutes.

"This was always going five," Kyrgios said, slumped in his chair at a changeover.

The former quarter-finalist regrouped to grab the decisive service break in the fourth game of the deciding set before finally prevailing.

With AAP

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