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Note to TV bosses: Australia wants to watch every single Ash Barty game.

On Tuesday night, Australian tennis fans were delivered extensive coverage of Nick Kyrgios‘ round one Wimbledon match, instead of Ash Barty’s.

Despite Ash Barty being the women’s world number 1, Channel 7 made the decision Kyrgios, the men’s number 43 seed, would take precedence.

And fans were furious at the network.

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The network has since defended their decision on their breakfast show, Sunrise.

Sports presenter Mark Beretta explained: “So Nick Kyrgios’ match started at 11pm.” [Side note – it started at 8pm Australian time and 11am local time.]

“So 1am is when Ash’s match actually starts [It was 10pm, not 1am], but Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson are slugging it out over five sets. They run long. People have been watching for two hours and at the climax of the match, we’re gonna say, ‘Let’s go to Ash now’. That’s the difficult decision.”

“So what we did, we showed a bit of Ash, and the best of Ash that was happening and the best (of the other match) and we flicked between the two matches until Nick was done and then we went with Ash,” he continued.

“That’s how it unfolded. And the nature of our arrangement with Wimbledon is that we can only show one match on one channel at any one time. So it was not an option to show it on two channels.”

“It’s like watching a movie for two hours and then just before the finish you change it.”

Watch Mark Beretta explain the Channel 7 coverage on Sunrise on Wednesday morning. Post continues after video. 

However despite their defence, it is worth noting that a men’s grand slam matches rarely lasts for less than two hours.

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In only having the rights to broadcast matches on one channel, they could have switched to Barty when she began and shown highlights of Kyrgios’ game during the breaks.

Audiences would have then had two hours of Kyrgios and Thompson, and two hours of Australia’s best tennis player.

ash barty nick kyrgios wimbledon
Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios in their respective Wimbledon matches. Images: Getty.

Sam Armytage did apologise on behalf of the network, telling the Sunrise audience: "We’re sorry, hopefully we can work it out and we’ll bring you the rest of Ash Barty’s matches."

When told about the situation back at home during a press conference, Barty, 23, responded: "If people can watch my matches, great. If they can't, they can't. That's up to the broadcasters, not me."

Nick Kyrgios responded too, praising the French Open winner for her on-court skill.

"I don't have much to do with that but obviously Ash, what she's doing on the tennis court now is pretty special," the 24-year-old said.

"I thought they would probably show both, but I don't really have much to say about that."

Number 43 seed Kyrgios beat fellow Australian Thompson in a five-set match 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 7-6 (12-10), 0-6, 6-1 while Barty won in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

Nick Kyrgios is next scheduled to play Rafael Nadal. Ash Barty will now play Alison Van Uytvanck in round two of Wimbledon on Thursday (Australian time).

Take note TV bosses: Australians wants to watch every single Ash Barty game.

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