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‘Throw her under the bus’: Kyrgios blasts Hewitt

Nick Kyrgios has hit back at Lleyton Hewitt after Australia’s United Cup co-captain clipped the polarizing star following his 11th-hour withdrawal from the tournament due to an ankle injury.

Kyrgios lashed Hewitt after Ajla Tomljanović pulled out within 24 hours of her scheduled clash with Great Britain’s Harriet Dart, citing a knee complaint, leaving Maddison Inglis to fill her void in Sydney on Friday evening.

Inglis fought hard but lost what was a must-win match against Dart, going down 6-4, 6-4 to give Great Britain an unassailable Group D lead and end Australia’s hopes of progressing.

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“Mmm I wonder if (co-captain Sam) Stosur will throw her under the bus like our captain did for me….. ‘hard to prepare when you don’t know what’s going on’,” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.

Hewitt had sprayed Kyrgios in a press conference after Alex de Minaur lost Australia’s tournament-opening match on Thursday night.

“I was in the same boat as all the other players,” Hewitt said.

“I didn’t know any more.

“It was pretty tough for everyone.

“It was most probably the lack of communication and these guys not knowing.

“I’m so proud of this bloke (de Minaur) and the effort and how he makes playing for his country a priority. It’s something I’m very proud of him (about).

“I think for the whole team it was pretty tough not knowing what was going on the last 24 hours.”

Hewitt was then asked how communication could be improved with Kyrgios.

“Probably just responding,” the retired champion quipped.

“That’s the normal way of doing it.”

Watch Team Australia take on the world in the United Cup, live and exclusive on 9Now and Stan Sport.

Hewitt was clearly annoyed by Kyrgios’ perceived lack of interest in Team Australia.

“If it was just worrying Nick, that’s one thing,” Hewitt said.

“When it revolves around the team and other people and their preparation to be playing the best they possibly can leading into the Australian Open, that’s probably the hardest thing.”

Hewitt clips Kyrgios after United Cup shock

Kyrgios had opened up on his injury battle in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age earlier on Thursday night.

“Anyone who plays professionally knows, for sure,” Kyrgios said when asked if people understood what it took to prepare for a grand slam.

“Anyone outside of that wouldn’t have a great understanding.

“Going deep or not, winning a match at a grand slam level is not an easy task.

“People underestimate the pressure and the nerves with being a part of one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

“Throw in an injury and knowing you didn’t give yourself the best chance only adds to the mountain of pressure you face.

“So feeling good physically is important.”

Woodbridge believes Kyrgios can win Aus Open

Hewitt and Kyrgios were also feuding in November, after the latter refused to play for Australia in the Davis Cup final against Canada.

The world No.22 chased a more lucrative pay slip, opting to play in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Tennis Cup.

Australia lost the final and Hewitt grumbled about Kyrgios in a press conference.

“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.”

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