Lleyton Hewitt calls out Nick Kyrgios for 'lack of communication' over late United Cup withdrawal

Friday, 30 December 2022 at 05:30
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Nick Kyrgios' communication issues are frustrating team captain Lleyton Hewitt as an under-strength Australian team made an underwhelming start to the United Cup in Sydney.
Citing an ankle injury, Kyrgios pulled out of the new mixed-gender team tournament on the day before it began, thrusting Alex De Minaur into the top-seeded match-ups and opening up an opportunity for Jason Kubler.
The world No. 22's scratching came after three years of sitting out of the Davis Cup and also missing chances to represent Australia at the 2021 ATP Cup and Tokyo Olympics.
The impact of Kyrgios' latest withdrawal was laid bare on Thursday night, when De Minaur, who had been preparing to face right-handed Dan Evans, was defeated by left-handed world No. 14 Cameron Norrie in straight sets.
Following criticism, Kyrgios told The Sydney Morning Herald he needed to prioritise his preparations for next month's Australian Open.
But after De Minaur's straight-sets loss to Norrie, Hewitt said it was the way Kyrgios went about his scratching that was most difficult to swallow.
Despite being captain, Hewitt only learned of Kyrgios' withdrawal at the same time as the rest of the team: ten minutes before Australia faced the press on Wednesday.
When he tried to contact Kyrgios thereafter, Hewitt did not immediately receive a response.
"For the whole team, it was pretty tough not knowing what was going on the last 24 hours," Hewitt said. "It was more probably the lack of communication.
"If it was just worrying Nick, that's one thing, but when it revolves around the team and other people and I guess their preparation ... they want to be playing as well as they can, not just in this event but also leading into the Australian Open. That's probably the hardest thing."

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