Nick Kyrgios lashes Pat Cash in extraordinary attack after tennis legend slammed ‘out of control’ crowd at the Australian Open 2024… and explains why he will give John McEnroe a run for his money in the commentary box

Nick Kyrgios has taken an extraordinary swipe at Pat Cash after the tennis legend hit out at the Australian Open crowd. 

Former Wimbledon champion Cash, 58, claimed the crowds at Melbourne Park have become ‘out of control’, with raucous behaviour dividing the tennis community in recent years.

‘I think the Australian crowds in the last 10 years have got a little out of control,’ Cash said.

‘Cheer on your countrymen, no problems, but they’re not representing your country, they’re individual and I think we need to understand that.’

But Kyrgios’s view could not be further from Cash’s stance. Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, the 28-year-old labelled the Aussie hero ‘an old head’.

Nick Kyrgios has lashed Pat Cash in a withering attack after his raucous crowd comments

Raucous crowd behaviour at the event has been increasing in recent years - with several stars complaining about drunk and rowdy fans

Raucous crowd behaviour at the event has been increasing in recent years – with several stars complaining about drunk and rowdy fans

‘[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,’ he said at QT Melbourne. 

‘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.’

Reflecting on his experience with the Australian Open crowd, Kyrgios – who is missing the tournament through injury – insisted that fans need to feel involved in the contest.  

‘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 [2022] 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.

‘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.’

Kyrgios is hoping to shake up tennis away from the court, with the Australian set to feature on Eurosport’s coverage of the tournament.

Cash described the situation as 'out of control' in a recent interview, but Kyrgios thinks not

Cash described the situation as ‘out of control’ in a recent interview, but Kyrgios thinks not

Rubbing shoulders with the likes of John McEnroe and Tim Henman, Kyrgios believes he can provide a fresh perspective of the next generation of stars.

‘It’s incredible to have guys like McEnroe, this old generation in and talking about it, but the sport’s evolved,’ he said of the current offering on television. 

‘You got guys like Tiafoe, you got these young guys Sinner, Alcaraz. This is a new generation. 

‘I’ve spent time with these people. I’ve been in the same locker room, I’ve eaten with them, I’ve showered with them, I’ve played against them. It gives the viewers a different concept of tennis. 

‘That new spiel is important for the viewers to continue to help the sport grow big time.’ 

Alex de Minaur is Australia’s best hope of a fairytale triumph on home soil this year, after the 24-year-old defeated Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz in the build up. 

Kyrgios says his countryman shouldn’t be ruled out. 

‘I think he’s definitely got a chance,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen how much he’s grown as a competitor and as a player. It’s been amazing to watch.

‘To see what he’s doing. It’s only the beginning. He’s an incredibly hard worker. Very professional. I think he’s got a chance, but I don’t know how he’s going to fair against players like Sinner, Djokovic, Alcaraz over five sets, and some of the bigger players like Medvedev as well, but I think he’s got a fighting chance.’

The 28-year-old won't hold back from ruffling feathers during his punditry work

The 28-year-old won’t hold back from ruffling feathers during his punditry work

He has also backed Alex de Minaur to make a huge mark at the Australian Open

He has also backed Alex de Minaur to make a huge mark at the Australian Open

As for Kyrgios’s playing future, that remains up in the air with the Canberra-born star sidelined for the foreseeable with wrist and knee injuries. 

The game has missed his unique style and personality on the court, but when asked for the best compliment he’s been paid during his career, the outspoken star was stumped.

‘Honestly, not many. I feel like when I hopped on the scene I was very different from what the normal tennis player was. So I caught everyone by storm, especially in the tennis world. 

‘I grew up in not a privileged lifestyle. I earned everything I was given. I only knew how to play one way. I was passionate. I wore my emotions on my sleeve. Loved to compete. Everything I’ve achieved… still just dealt with a lot of criticism with the way I carry myself or the way I do things.

‘At times it’s been really hard. It put me in a dark place. I guess now I understand I’m not able to please everyone. I’ve got millions of fans out there that appreciate what I’m doing. And I got people on the flip side that don’t agree with it. 

‘But that’s sport at the end of the day. I think it’s healthy to have people who want to see you win and people who don’t want to see you win. It’s not realistic to have everyone on your side.

‘I think the nicest thing is I do a lot of charity work. I have my foundation. I’m trying to do a lot of stuff off the court now for mental health awareness. 

‘I think people do realise that at the end of the day and I think that’s special because I’ve always wanted to be remembered for the stuff I do off the court rather than on it.’