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Out of order: Cash blasts 'childish' crowd for Berdych abuse

Pat Cash branded the Melbourne crowd hypocrites and said they shouldn’t have turned on Berdych so viscously.

Image: Aaron Favila/AP/Press Association Images

FORMER WIMBLEDON CHAMPION, Pat Cash, has slammed the crowd in his native Melbourne for their angry reaction to Tomas Berdych.

Berdych beat Nicolas Almagro in an ill-tempered fourth round match and, after being struck in the elbow, the Czech refused to shake Almagro’s hand once the match was over.

“I thought it was amusing” Cash said about the audience at the Rod Laver arena,  ”that they didn’t like how the player behaved, yet the crowd behaved like 10-year-old kids themselves,”

“He copped a lot of verbal abuse. He was being called all sorts of stuff. Now, which behaviour is worse?” Cash asked Fox Sports, “Not shaking a guys hand or calling someone that.

“I think it was disappointing behaviour from both the crowd and the player.”

One man who disagreed with Cash was his fellow commentator on Fox, John McEnroe. The American appeared to have more in common with the Melbourne crowd than Cash and he called for the top ten seed to “toughen up”.

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McEnroe would later add that, rather than criticising Almagro, Berdych should have thanked him for proviiding the extra motivation:

“I think what (Berdych) should have done” said McEnroe, “was go up to Almagro after the match and say ‘thank you for inspiring me to play harder and to play better, I was totally tired and fatigued and whipped but thanks to you I got a second wind and I appreciate that’.

“Instead he made things a lot worse for himself and it’s too bad it had to end that way because both guys fought their hearts out.”

Berdych, today battled it out with perhaps the toughest player of them all, Rafael Nadal, in the quarter finals. After taking the first set on a tie-break, Berdych lost the next three sets and Nadal progressed through to the Australian Open semi finals where he will meet Roger Federer.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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