Nick Kyrgios ‘relieved’ not to play Australian Open as he explains injury withdrawal | Tennis | Sport


Nick Kyrgios admitted he was “relieved” when he pulled out of the Australian Open after being in limbo for days over whether he would be able to compete. The world No 21 withdrew after an MRI scan showed he had a cyst in his knee and has now opened up on the decision, admitting that he doesn’t just want to play one round if he isn’t capable of winning the entire tournament.

Kyrgios suffered a blow when he was forced to pull out of the Australian Open on Monday after suffering with a knee issue for several days and learning that he had a parameniscal cyst growing in his left meniscus. It also came as a blow to the tournament and fans, who were left without the top-ranked Aussie at their home Grand Slam.

The 27-year-old and his physio Will Maher gave a press conference confirming the news on day one of the tournament, admitting that Kyrgios didn’t want to risk it for the sake of one round if he didn’t feel he could win the entire tournament. And the Wimbledon finalist has now explained his decision in depth, admitting that it was the best thing for his career in the long term.

“Every time we (his team) come to a Grand Slam now, we feel like we can win it,” he told 9 News. “The last two grand slams I made a final and a quarter-final. I don’t ever want to come into a tournament and say, ‘Let’s see how it goes, let’s just win one round’.”

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While his Australian Open dream is over for now, Kyrgios is hoping his decision not to play through the knee injury will leave him able to bounce back in time so he can be in the position to win another Major this year, as he has already confirmed his decision to go under the knife for the problem. “I want to come here and feel like I can legitimately compete for three hours and seven matches to win a title. Long term, it was definitely the right decision,” he continued.

The Australian No 1 was first forced out of the United Cup and Adelaide International 2 with an ankle injury, but as that healed he found he had a much bigger problem in the knee and admitted he was relieved to have settled on a decision. Kyrgios added: “My life is a roller coaster day in, day out. I made a decision. In a way, it’s a relief. I was in two minds for the last week.

“It was so hard waking up, (wondering) whether I was going to play, whether I was not going to play. But now I feel I have a clear path moving forward. That’s life, honestly. I’ve been through a lot more struggle than this. It’s sad, but at the same time, I’m happy.”

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Meanwhile, the Aussie faced criticism away from the court after he was spotted riding an e-scooter without a helmet in the centre of Melbourne. Kyrgios has now batted away the comments and explained why he felt he had a good Australian Open experience without playing.

He said: “Everyone has their two cents. Everyone will kind of speculate or assume how I’m feeling … Maybe just next time appreciate a bit more understanding that there could be something going on. I feel like it’s been like that for the last five or six years of my career. There have always been a lot of past players or Australians giving their two cents about how I go about things.”

And he referenced his exhibition practice match with Novak Djokovic last Friday, adding: “All I take away from it is that three days ago I was able to fill a stadium with Novak and raise a quarter-of-a-million dollars for charity. Playing through pain, I gave myself the best chance. I gave myself a shot to play but I wasn’t able to do it. The rest is all outside noise. I still think I’ve gone about it the right way. It’s still a successful AO for me in the sense I did a lot of things outside the tennis court which was very important for me. I still feel like I’m part of it.”



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