Barty has been nominated despite not playing another match after her Australian Open triumph in January.
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Kyrgios enjoyed his best season on the tour, reaching the final of Wimbledon and boosting his ranking to No.22 in the world. He also won the Australian Open doubles title alongside compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis.
In response to a tweet about the nominees, Kyrgios said “cmon now” and sleeping emojis, cryptically implying boredom or his expectation to take out the award, both which would be unsurprising given his past exploits.
This comes after comments from the controversial tennis star about Barty landed him in hot water during January’s Australian Open when he seemingly claimed to have had more support from the Australian Open crowd than Barty – the same night she won her grand slam title.
“Ash’s father came to us and said the crowd was the best he’s ever seen. Obviously Ash is a hell of a player. But … people watch my matches,” Kyrgios told media in the post match press conference.
The comment labelled “tone deaf” came hours after the two Australians had left the tournament as champions with Barty winning the nation’s first Open title in 44 years, and Kyrgios and Kokkinakis clinching the men’s doubles title.
While Barty sent the crowd into raptures before receiving worldwide praise for her conduct, Kyrgios suggested the biggest applause was left for him and Kokkinakis.
“I would say that we’ve created probably the best atmosphere this tournament’s ever seen, to be brutally honest with you,” Kyrgios said at the post-match press conference.
“Everywhere I play around the world the stadiums are full for that reason.”
Earlier this week, a frustrated Lleyton Hewitt weighed in on Kyrgios’ attitude, after the young star denied an opportunity to play for Australia in the Davis Cup, instead opting to take part in a Saudi Arabia exhibition event, the Diriyah Tennis Cup, where he is set to score a six-figure appearance fee.
After making the Davis Cup final for the first time in 19 years, Australia were hunting a 29th title but were defeated by Canada in a heartbreaking loss before Hewitt was forced to address the media on why the country’s No.1 player was not in the team.
“I don’t know. You have to ask him. I can’t try any harder,” Hewitt said.
“I try and come here with the best possible team we could field.”
Fellow Aussie tennis player Alex de Minaur also weighed in on the issue: “I have tried as well. Just wasn’t meant to be.”
In a recent post on Instagram, de Minaur wrote there was “no greater honour” than to play in the Davis Cup.
A fan then took aim at Kyrgios and asked if he was “busy buying handbags or something?”.
Kyrgios responded, “about to go to Saudi for 6 figures actually.”
Kyrgios’ antics are nothing new for the tennis world, but if Barty does claim the Newcombe Medal it will be a new record-extending fifth for the prolific player.
Among the other nominees are three-time grand slam quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic and Wimbledon doubles champions Matt Ebden and Max Purcell.
Alex de Minaur and Storm Hunter (nee Sanders), the stars of Australia’s respective runs to the 2022 Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup finals, are also in the mix.
There will be no denying Barty, though, after the former world No.1 famously became the country’s first singles Australian Open singles winner in 44 years with a hoodoo-busting triumph in January.
Victory over American Danielle Collins in the Melbourne Park final proved to be Barty’s last professional match before she dramatically quit tennis six weeks later, a month before her 26th birthday.
The three-time grand slam champion has already won the Newcombe Medal four times – 2017, 2018, 2019 and last year – sharing the gong with wheelchair wizard Dylan Alcott.
Most other years Kyrgios would have won the award for a second time.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a breakout season highlighted by his charge to the Wimbledon title match in July.
Kyrgios also reached the US Open quarter-finals and teamed with Kokkinakis to win the Australian Open doubles crown.
Tomljanovic also enjoyed a career-best year, making the last eight at both Wimbledon and the US Open, where she ended Serena Williams’ career with a magnificent third-round victory over the 23-times major winner.
But the 2022 honours belong to Barty, who will be appropriately recognised on Australian tennis’s night of nights at the Palladium Crown on December 12.