Nick Kyrgios - Australian Open 2023 and Pat Cash - Queen's 2015

Nick Kyrgios slams ‘old head’ Pat Cash for ‘stupid comment’

Nick Kyrgios has responded to Pat Cash’s claims that ‘Australian crowds have got a little out of control’, with the 2022 Wimbledon finalist branding it a ‘stupid comment’.

Kyrgios has only played one professional match in the last 14 months, as he misses his home Grand Slam for a second consecutive year.

The 28-year-old will still be part of the Australian Open though, as he has been recruited for both Eurosport and ESPN’s commentary teams.

Ahead of the first major of 2024, his compatriot and 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash has suggested that Australian crowds ‘should have more respect’.

“I think the Australian crowds in the last 10 years have got a little out of control,” Cash told ABC TV. “Cheer on your countrymen, no problems, but they’re not representing your country, they’re individual and I think we need to understand that.

“We should have more respect for the international players that come over here. We’ve got to also accept that if it goes too far, there’s a chance that these players will say, ‘I’m not going to come to Australia anymore. I go there and I get abused, what’s the point of that?'”

And now Kyrgios has responded to these claims when speaking to Daily Mail Australia, “Absolutely stupid comment by another old head that has no idea how marketing or how things work in today’s day and age.”

He continued, “You need entertainment. This generation doesn’t have a long attention span. That’s why you see clips on Instagram rolling. They’re 15-20 seconds long.

“Someone like Pat Cash wouldn’t be able to grasp that concept. And I’m not taking anything away from Pat Cash. Incredible player of his generation, but we need to continue to make the sport grow for fans everywhere.”

The last time that Kyrgios played at the Australian Open was in 2022, when he won the doubles title alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis.

In that same year, Ash Barty became the first Australian woman to win the singles title in 44 years, in what became her final match before announcing her shock retirement.

Barty beating Danielle Collins attracted a peak viewership of 4.2 million people, compared to Kyrgios and Kokkinakis’ final peak of 3.15 million people.

Kyrgios has suggested he adds these viewers due to his ‘entertainment value’, calling Cash old and ‘stuck in his ways’, “We need the crowds to feel part of the sport. We need entertainment. We need people having beers and the players loving it. We need human interaction. We’re human, not robots. We need it to be like that.

“That year was incredible. Ash Barty was playing some of the best tennis in her career. She won the Grand Slam. Me and Thanasi won the Grand Slam. And it was the highest viewership. That’s not by coincidence. It was Ash putting on a hell of a show with her quality of tennis, and Thanasi and I were doing it a different way.”

The former No.13 added, “With everything I do on and off the court, entertainment value, putting eyes on this. It just makes everyone else more money in the sport. That’s all it does. And if Pat Cash can’t see that – stubborn, old, stuck in his ways.”

Inside the baseline…

Nick Kyrgios never holds back his opinions as a player, and now he has been given a platform to express those they are likely to only get louder. It is undoubtedly true that Kyrgios attracts a different type of audience to tennis, a lot of those who are not that interested in the sport itself. That being said, he should probably have some more respect for his predecessors, as some of his comments about the likes of Pat Cash and Boris Becker are just disrespectful.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.