Australian Open in honor of Ash Barty, who will carry the trophy to the court for the women’s final

In the final chapter of the ongoing feud between two of Australian tennis’ most fiery characters, animosity between the two has increased over the weekend after the retired champion’s comments on Kyrgios’ charity match against him Novak Djokovic Friday night.

In a speech on SEN radio last week, Cash criticized Tennis Australia for offering the Rod Laver Arena for a match he saw as a favor to an underchallenged Kyrgios, who did not play in Sydney in the summer following his United Cup withdrawal would have.

Nick Kyrgios and Pat Cash.

Nick Kyrgios and Pat Cash.Credit:Getty

The comments have angered the Kyrgios camp with the close friend and manager of the world No. 21 Daniel Horsefall tell The Herald and Age that Cash stepped out of line.

“Cash is clearly out of reach,” said Kyrgios’ manager just hours before the Australian retired from the tournament through injury. “I honestly can’t remember the last time he said anything positive or supportive about Nick and Tennis Australia.

“Tennis Australia has done a fantastic job. The practice game went on one way or another. It could have been in a backyard, which interested her. RLA is used all day of the week outside of the Australian Open. I don’t know why he thinks it’s different with NK or Novak.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re only here because of the fans. TA not only managed to show fans two superstars, but also donated all proceeds to charity. Anyone who has a problem with that really isn’t a fan of the game in my opinion.”

Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios after their show match last Friday.

Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios after their show match last Friday.Credit:Getty Images

Horsfall responded to comments made by Cash on Melbourne radio last week.

“In what country, at what Grand Slam… would Wimbledon suddenly pull out Center Court or Court 1 because Andy Murray needed a practice game,” Cash said.

“It’s hard to believe. They certainly wouldn’t do it at the French Open… They did it [Tennis Australia] bent over backwards to help Nick get some matches, and to do that I don’t know.

Stefanos Tsitsipas gave Nick Kyrgios short work at the net after his defeat at Wimbledon last year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas gave Nick Kyrgios short work at the net after his defeat at Wimbledon last year.Credit:Getty Images

The Kyrgios camp have not forgotten the comments made by Cash during the Australian’s fiery clash against Greece last year. Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“It was absolute chaos – him [Kyrgios] was lucky to even get through the first set,” Cash said on the BBC at the time.

“He should have defaulted in the first set. Something must be done about this. It’s just an absolute circus. He took tennis to the lowest level I can see in terms of skill, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behavior towards umpires and linesmen.

“Is it fun? Yes, maybe. Now it’s going to the absolute limit. [It’s] the game art, the abuse he gave. Tsitsipas was pulled right in, so it was entertaining and intriguing, but it’s gone too far for me now.

Nowitzki meets the Open

NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki is in Australia on a speaking tour led by his former Dallas Mavericks teammate Chris Anstey.

Nowitzki, whose first love was tennis, was invited to go to the practice courts at Melbourne Park with another German Alexander Zverev last week.

Dirk Nowitzki and Alexander Zverev pose after a goal last week.

Dirk Nowitzki and Alexander Zverev pose after a goal last week.Credit:Getty

He was a guest of Tennis Australia in a suite at Rod Laver Arena on opening night. He was joined to dinner by his wife Jessica Olsson before watching Iga Swiatek and Daniel Medvedev in action on Center Court.

Nowitzki is a huge tennis fan and has organized a number of pro tennis classics in Dallas in recent years. He even managed to convince the Dallas superstar Luke Doncic to play last year.

Like Mother like daughter

Elizabeth Mandlik will make her Australian Open debut on Tuesday. The name might not sound familiar, but it has a special meaning in the tennis world.

Elizabeth is the 21-year-old daughter of the four-time Grand Slam champion and 1980s sensation Hana Mandlikova.

Mandlikova won her four titles (1980 and 1987 Australian Open, 1981 French Open and 1985 US Open) representing Czechoslovakia before moving to Australia in 1989.

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Her daughter Elizabeth will represent the US on Tuesday when she takes over Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. Mandlik was awarded a lucky loser entry into the tournament after a late withdrawal from the main draw.

Political Rally

The former Australian tennis player became a politician John Alexander is back at court. The two-time Australian Open double winner has been very busy in recent years.

Alexander entered Parliament in 2010 and defeated incumbent MP Bennelong Maxine McKew three years after the former ABC journalist defeated the then Prime Minister John Howard.

Alexander retired from politics last year. He wasted no time getting back into the sport he loves. He was spotted heading into Melbourne Park on day one after securing a string of media engagements.

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https://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/open-honour-as-barty-asked-to-carry-trophy-on-court-for-women-s-final-20230116-p5ccpq.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Australian Open in honor of Ash Barty, who will carry the trophy to the court for the women’s final

Ryan Sederquist

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