Tennis News 2022: Nick Kyrgios Reacts to Lleyton Hewitt; From open preparations

Clearly angered by United Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt’s comments, Nick Kyrgios has expressed his disapproval as relations between the Australian No.1 and his team-mates hit a new low.

Nick Kyrgios has said Lleyton Hewitt “threw him under the bus” as relations between the controversial tennis star and his Australian team-mates plummeted to a new low.

Australia team captain Hewitt on Thursday night expressed frustration at the lack of communication from Kyrgios about his ankle injury status, which led to his retirement from the United Cup the day before scheduled games and forced team-mate Alex de Minaur to playing against opponents that were intended for Kyrgios.

But after Kyrgios ex-girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic pulled out of her game against Britain’s Harriet Dart hours ahead of Friday night’s scheduled date, Kyrgios took to social media to speculate whether Tomljanovic would be treated similarly by Australia captain Sam Stosur.

Responding to a post on Twitter revealing that Tomljanovic had retired from their game due to a left knee injury, Kyrgios tweeted: “Mmm I wonder if Stosur will throw them under the bus like our captain did for did me… “difficult to prepare when you don’t know what’s going on”.

This was followed by an attack on Hewitt and the United Cup organizers by Daniel Horsfall, the manager of Kyrgios, after Hewitt revealed he had found out Kyrgios was withdrawing from the tournament at exactly the same time as the Australian team – 10 Minutes before he was due to line up alongside him at a press conference on Wednesday.

Hewitt said he contacted Kyrgios about his injury status and it took a while for the response, which hampered the rest of the team’s preparation.

“I’m a little confused as to why NK’s preparation is being treated differently than other players,” Horsfall wrote on Twitter. “These guys know as well as anyone, they’re doing what they can to get there on the day. If you fail, back off and update those who need to know. If it is not shared, NK is not responsible.

“Second, if anyone on this team has cared enough to reach out and check on another ‘teammate’ every now and then to see how they’re feeling on any level. You would know the situation.”

Kyrgios had been training on Wednesday and gave himself up to the last minute before deciding not to risk injury. The tournament organizers were informed and they passed this on to Team Australia just before they faced the press.

On Friday, Tomljanovic sat alongside her Australian team-mates as her replacement, Maddison Inglis, took on darts at the Ken Rosewall Arena.

For the second day in a row, Kyrgios was spotted training on the practice grounds at Sydney Olympic Park on Friday morning, where Australia’s players were conducting their own preparations for tonight’s and the coming days’ games.

Kyrgios’ US-based media adviser said he was unavailable for an interview on Friday.

After de Minaur’s defeat on Thursday night, Hewitt showed his disappointment at Kyrgios’ lack of communication.

“I was in the same boat as all the other players yesterday, I didn’t know it anymore,” Hewitt said.

“So it was pretty tough for everyone. I think it was more the lack of communication because these guys didn’t know.

“I’m so proud of this guy (de Minaur) and his efforts and how he makes playing for his country a priority, I’m very proud of that.

“It was pretty tough for the whole team not knowing what was going on in the last 24 hours.

“It’s more the communication and if it just worried Nick, that’s one thing. But when it comes to a team and other people and their preparation, they want to play as well as they can, not just at this event but at the Australian Open, that’s probably the hardest thing.”

When asked how communication with Kyrgios could be improved, Hewitt said, “Just replying, that’s the usual way.”

When asked if he contacted Kyrgios and received no response, Hewitt replied, “It took a while.”

Huge clouds hang over Kyrgios Off Open preparation

– Callum Dick

Adelaide International organizers have yet to reach out to Nick Kyrgios’ camp to assess whether the Australian No. 1 is expected to be fit to play in week two of the Australian Open’s lead-in tournament.

Kyrgios is one of the big draws for the second week of the Adelaide International but his player status remains unknown after the world No. 22 withdrew from Australia’s United Cup side in the last hour with an ankle injury.

The Australian ace is due to compete at the Adelaide International 2 for the January 9 start but tournament director Alistair MacDonald told News Corp he is still not sure if Kyrgios is fit to play and has not heard from his team since the injury revelation.

“Not yet. We’ll probably give him a bit of airtime as he’s made the decision not to play in the United Cup and knowing we want to give him every opportunity to play Adelaide, I suppose we will let it rest and we’ll put up with him mid next week and see how he travels – hopefully by then he’ll have a decision one way or the other,” MacDonald said on Friday.

No Kyrgios would be a huge blow, not just to the tournament but to his own Australian Open preparations as Adelaide International is the final opportunity to prepare for the first Grand Slam of 2023, which begins on January 16.

Kyrgios came under fire for his late United Cup exit, which caught his team-mates and Australia captains Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur off guard.

However, MacDonald said the ball is firmly in Kyrgios’ court whether he plays in Adelaide and there would be no “pressure” on the 27-year-old to make a decision before he is ready.

“We want to give him the best chance to prepare for the Australian Open. If Adelaide is that path then that’s fantastic and if it can’t be this year that’s fine too,” he said.

“We just want to make sure we give him the best possible chance to play. We didn’t put any pressure on him, we’re concentrating on the start of qualifying (Saturday) and lap 1 on Sunday.

“I know Nick wants to play here. Anytime a player retires from anything, it’s usually just one of those things that happens in elite sport, in my experience.

“Nick is an attraction, he’s an entertainer and we’d love to see him here, but at the same time we have 16 of the top 20 women coming here in week two and a really strong field of men (even without Kyrgios). ”

Featuring the likes of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Daniil Medvedev and reigning champion and homeland hero Thanasi Kokkinakis, Adelaide International 1 kicks off on New Year’s Day.

Originally posted as Tennis 2022: Nick Kyrgios fires back at Lleyton Hewitt as United Cup aftermath plummets to new low Tennis News 2022: Nick Kyrgios Reacts to Lleyton Hewitt; From open preparations

Ryan Sederquist

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