Nick Kyrgios is SLAMMED for ‘sneaky’ dig at Ash Barty during celebratory press conference – do you think it’s disrespectful?
- Nick Kyrgios has copped backlash after his comments at press conference
- He appeared to suggest he and Kokkinakis were bigger drawcard than Ash Barty
- Barty won her final breaking 44-year drought for an Aussie woman to win title
Nick Kyrgios has once again divided tennis fans with a controversial quip at a post match press conference after winning the Australian Open doubles title, boasting that his ‘ratings’ are higher than any other player.
The 26-year-old and fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis sealed the win on Saturday after a stellar run at the Grand Slam in which the pair whipped up the vocal support of the home crowd.
But Kyrgios’ blunt answer to a reporter’s question about how the enthusiastic atmosphere at his matches caused a wave of backlash when he appeared to suggest he is a bigger drawcard than women’s singles winner Ash Barty.
Barty, the current world No.1, broke the 44-year drought for an Aussie woman to claim the Australian Open championship earlier on Saturday night when she beat American newcomer Danielle Collins.
Ash Barty won the woman’s Australian Open on Saturday beaking a 44-year drought for an Aussie woman to win the Grand Slam (pictured )
Kyrgios (pictured with doubles partner Kokkinakis) was slammed over the comments
‘I would say that we’ve created probably the best atmosphere this tournament has ever seen,’ Kyrgios told the press gallery.
His ‘Special Ks’ doubles partner Kokkinakis – next to him at the conference – smiled as he let his outspoken teammate and childhood friend volley back the question – but even his grin dropped as Kyrgios continued.
‘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.
‘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.’
His comments on what was really Barty’s night were was seen by some as disrespectful.
And on Sunday, the broadcast ratings for both finals were revealed with Barty’s raking in peak audience of 4.2million – the highest ratings for a women’s Australian Open final since 1999.
Kyrgios and Kokkanikis pulled 3.1million at the later timeslot – which was still a record for a men’s doubles match.
‘Someone needs to update Kyrgios on Ash’s ratings,’ one Twitter user said.
‘Remember that brief period everyone liked Kyrgios,’ added a third.
Nick Kyrgios with his partner Costeen Hatzi after winning the Men’s doubles final with Thanasi Kokkinakis, against Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell of Australia (pictured)
English tennis commentator Catherine Whitaker told Offsiders her ‘jaw dropped’ at the comments.
‘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.’ Ms Whitaker 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.’
Host Kelli Underwood said the comments were ‘extremely disrespectful’ and said on he should read the room.
Ash Barty of Australia poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at a park the morning after defeating Danielle Collins of the U.S. in the women’s singles final (pictured)
Kyrgios has clearly been enjoying himself on the tennis court at the Australian Open over the last two weeks even admitting he ‘felt happy’.
It’s a far cry from the often grumpy version who would frequently clash with the crowd and reporters when he was at his career high of No.13 in the world.
One observer noted on Twitter that Kyrgios – a huge basketball fan – might be better suited to playing with a teammate on the court.
‘He needs someone who can channel his energy and talent in right direction. Probably in doubles Kokkinakis is able to do that,’ they said.
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