Bad boy of tennis Nick Kyrgios is once again ruffling feathers – this time, for a “disrespectful” comment he made about fellow Aussie champ Ash Barty during his post-match press conference on Saturday night.
Speaking to reporters following he and Barty’s win, Kyrios seemingly took an unprompted jab at the Australian Open champion.
“I would say that we’ve created probably the best atmosphere this tournament has ever seen,” Kyrgios said, adding, “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.
He continued, “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.”
Imagine saying this on a night that was about Ash Barty?
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We get a humble, gracious champion holding up the trophy – then we get this. Who does he think he is? Mohammed Ali?
No matter how many matches he wins – He will never be half the role model Ash is. pic.twitter.com/reXgvRaXTq
— The Sage (@SarkySage) January 29, 2022
The comment, unsurprisingly, raised eyebrows among viewers, with English tennis commentator Catherine Whitaker telling ABC Offsiders that Kyrgios’ comment was “pretty extraordinary actually”.
“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.
“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.”
Offsiders host Kelly Underwood said it was “extremely disrespectful” and called on Kyrgios to read the room.
Al Jazeera TV news presenter Kamahl Santamaria also took umbrage with Nick’s comments, saying on Twitter: “Anyone who thinks Nick Kyrgios is good for the sport needs to watch this… the man proving again, and probably intentionally, his absolute lack of class”.
Meanwhile. Australian media figure Michael Bodey also posted: “And just like that, we all think he’s a jerk again. No one forks out the dosh for women’s slam final tickets in the hope they’ll see a men’s doubles final.”
It comes following a report that Barty’s match was the most-watched women’s final since the current ratings system began keeping records in 1999.
Nine Newspapers reported that Barty’s match had a record peak audience of 4.2 million whiles Kyrgios’ match at a later timeslot attracted a peak audience of 3.1 million — a record for a men’s doubles final.