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Basmah Qazi

“Complete disgrace”: Seven Network slammed for Ash Barty snub

“Complete disgrace”: Seven Network slammed for Ash Barty snub

Ash Barty has started her Wimbledon journey with a bang with a 6-4 6-2 victory over world No. 43 Zheng Saisai but her win was overshadowed by Channel Seven who decided to show the men’s match between Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson instead.

The move was not proven to be popular as fans lashed out at the network for cutting Barty’s showdown from the line up and instead, showing True Stories on their main network and Kyrgios’ match on Seven Two.

When Barty was informed of Seven’s decision after the match, she said it’s important for all players to receive a fair turn, especially in regard to women’s tennis.

“How do you want me to answer that one? If people can watch my matches, great, if they can’t, they can’t. That’s up to the broadcaster, that’s not up to me,” she said.

Fox Sports and streaming service Kayo aired both matches as part of its Wimbledon coverage, as both networks have multiple channels on offer.

Mark Beretta, sports presenter for Seven said producers were forced to make the difficult decision due to the Kyrgios-Thompson match heading to a fifth set blockbuster.

“Very difficult decisions,” he said.

“So Nick Kyrgios’ match started at 11pm. So 1 am is when Ash’s match actually starts, 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. 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.”

However, Kyrgios’ match started at 8 pm AEST and 11 am local time, and Barty was one court a little before 11 pm AEST.

Sunrise host David Koch said the decision made by Seven was like leaving “Mother Teresa” out in the cold.

Even Sam Armytage issued an apology to viewers at home.

“We’re sorry, hopefully we can work it out and we’ll bring you the rest of Ash Barty’s matches,” she said.