Nick Kyrgios rips Pat Cash & gets honest on Rafael Nadal's Australian Open withdrawal

Kyrgios wasn't impressed when asked to comment on Cash's take on the Australian Open crowd.

by Dzevad Mesic
Nick Kyrgios rips Pat Cash & gets honest on Rafael Nadal's Australian Open withdrawal
© Getty Images Sport - Patrick Smith

Nick Kyrgios wasn't impressed with Pat Cash's recent take on the behavior of the Australian Open crowd, ripping the Australian tennis legend as "another old head making a stupid comment." 

Cash, who made back-to-back Australian Open finals in 1987 and 1988, took an exception with the Australian crowds ahead of the Australian Open, saying that they have gotten "a little bit out of control" over the past decade. Also, Cash said there is nothing wrong in cheering a fellow Australian but also added that every player is an individual for himself and does not represent the entire nation. 

Kyrgios, who was lighting up the Australian Open crowd for the entire two weeks during his victorious doubles run with Thanasi Kokkinakis, absolutely loves to get the crowd engaged wherever he is playing, especially in Australia. Kyrgios, one of the biggest entertainers and showmen in the game, was asked to give his verdict on 1987 Wimbledon champion Cash's comments. 

"[It was an] Absolutely stupid comment by another old head that has no idea how marketing or how things work in today's day and age," Kyrgios told The Daily Mail Australia.

'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."

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios© Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor

Kyrgios gets honest on Rafael Nadal's Australian Open withdrawal

Ahead of this year's Australian Open, Kyrgios also candidly shared his thoughts on Nadal's Australian Open withdrawal, revealing he was left "heartbroken" after hearing that Nadal would not be able to compete at Melbourne Park.

Nadal, who sustained an injury to his psoas muscle during the 2023 Australian Open, made his return from hip surgery in the first week of the 2024 season at the Brisbane International. Nadal started his Brisbane comeback in a very impressive way, beating Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler in straight sets in back-to-back matches.

Just when the hype surrounding Nadal's comeback was starting to heat up, the 22-time Grand Slam champion required a medical timeout for a left leg issue during his Brisbane quarterfinal match against Jordan Thompson. Nadal was able to play out the entire match but he ended up losing in three sets to Jordan Thompson after previously missing out on three match points in the second set.

After arriving in Melbourne and having scans to determine the extent of his injury, Nadal learned that he had "a micro tear" on his leg muscle. When revealing the diagnosis, Nadal also announced his Australian Open withdrawal since playing in best-of-five-sets in Melbourne in that condition would have been too much for him.

"I know how hard he would have worked in the last year getting healthy," Kyrgios said. 

"He wants to just play grand slams. That's always been my fear is going out of the sport not on your terms where your body starts to tell you you’re maybe past it. And Rafa is someone who is so important to the sport and it just takes time. It broke my heart seeing that."

Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal
Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

Kyrgios on being a colleague with Boris Becker

In late 2023, Kyrgios got into with former six-time Grand Slam champion Becker. After Kyrgios suggested that former greats would very probably be destroyed by modern players, Becker took an exception with the Australian's comments. After Becker issued a fiery response to Kyrgios on X, the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up called Becker "ridiculous" and "potato" in his responses to the German. 

Now, Kyrgios and Becker are set to be colleagues on Eurosport. Earlier this week, Eurosport announced Kyrgios as a part of their crew for the 2024 Australian Open coverage. 

"For the sport and for Eurosport, I actually think it's really good because I think it will create a bit of tension there and people will tune in. At the end of the day I'm a very black and white person. I stand by my comments. I think Novak is the pinnacle of tennis. I think that no matter what generation goes up against Novak, he'll come out on top," Kyrgios said.

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios© Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

In the same interview, Kyrgios highlighted that he is going to "keep my stance" and that it will be "fun."

Nick Kyrgios Rafael Nadal Australian Open