Australian Open: Nick Kyrgios returns serve to Taylor Walker

When nude photos of Collingwood Magpies players Dane Swan and Travis Cloke were published in Woman’s Day, Nick Kyrgios took to Twitter posting a link to the story with the words “Oh these Galoots.” It’s the same word Taylor “Tex” Walker used when he started a war of words with Kyrgios in October posting, “when is this absolute Galoot going to learn. What a dead set flog!! Just suspend the peanut!!” Kyrgios spoke about his tweet after his first-round victory, saying: “I just think, you know, where I get a little bit angry, I get hung out to dry a little bit, so I think that behaviour’s not really tolerated”.

Stars in alignment for Hewitt

The stars flocked to Rod Laver Arena to watch Lleyton Hewitt on Tuesday night. Some of the country’s greatest athletes came out in support of the veteran. Former Test cricket captain Michael Clarke and wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist joined the likes of Mark Webber, Michael Klim and Michelle Payne in the stands.

Nick plays big brother

Nick Kyrgios described his relationship with boom 18-year-old Australian Omar Jasika as like being his big brother. He took the role as protector to another level on Monday night, sitting in on the teenager’s press conference following his first victory at a grand slam. “We’ve been really tight for a long, long time now,” Kyrgios said. “Me and him, I sort of play the big brother a little bit. We used to sleep at each other’s house and stuff like that when we were training together. To see him get a win at the grand slam level is pretty special because, you know, we used to wake up early, train together. We used to cause trouble and everything. To see him actually have success at that level is really, really good to see.”

Wozniacki doesn’t hold back

You have to admire Caroline Wozniacki’s brutal honesty after her shock first-round loss to Yulia Putintseva. “I would say it’s a pretty shitty start to the season,” she said on her exit from Melbourne Park.

Raonic finds it all a grind

Tennis is a physically demanding sport, especially in soaring temperatures in the middle of summer, but there were a few raised eyebrows when big-serving Milos Raonic opened his grand slam campaign wearing a mouthguard. “Just to not grind my teeth while I play,” he said. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes. I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly. Maybe I fiddle it with it too much while I play, but other than that it’s pretty much there all the time.” Strangely it wasn’t a recommendation from his dentist. “No, a chiropractor. Maybe it’s helping my back and so forth,” he said with a wry smile.

Appy days for everyone

In further evidence of the power of mobile and online services in broadcasting sport, the 7Tennis app registered record numbers on day one of the Australian Open. The app recorded 550,000 streams on the opening day of play, surpassing Seven’s previous best stream of 488,000 for last year’s Melbourne Cup day. There was also a peak audience of 1.4 million during Nick Kyrgios’ first round victory on Monday night.

Former Aussie staying a Brit

Former Australian representative turned British female player Johanna Konta felt right at home on Rod Laver Arena, toppling Venus Williams in straight sets. The Sydney-born 24-year-old, who last represented Australia in 2012, said switching back wasn’t on the cards and was asked if she “was the one that got away”. “Oh, that’s a bit, I don’t know how to … I feel as if that’s one of those boyfriend talks,” she said. “Is that the guy that got away? I think Australian tennis is doing quite well, to be honest. You have a number of very good players, and it’s, what’s the word, It’s not a privilege, but it’s a compliment that you guys would say that, so thank you. But, yeah, be grateful for what you guys have, as well.”

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