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Starting on wrong foot, Kyrgios retires in singles—now, mixed with Venus in question
The Aussie provided the No. 1 Court crowd with a bit of laughter before things took an unfortunate turn.
Published Jul 04, 2021
WATCH: Kyrgios defeats Gianluca Mager in straight sets in Wimbledon's second round.
Nick Kyrgios got off on the wrong foot in his third-round match against Felix Auger-Aliassime on Saturday—pun slightly intended. After walking onto Court 1 with non-grass-court shoes, he quickly realized he didn't have the correct pair of kicks on. The warm-up was placed on pause for a few minutes as the assistant referee fetched Kyrgios' shoes from the locker room.
Both Kyrgios and Auger-Aliassime were left hanging by their changeover chairs while they waited for the shoes to be delivered—which meant more time to interact with the crowd for the world No. 60. As he shadowed his swing, Kyrgios began having a chat with a fan in the stands.
“I left my tennis shoes in the locker room. Good start.
“The one day I thought I was being a professional,” Kyrgios joked, pointing out that he had all of his gear and clothes prepared. “Walking out here so confidently and then, bang. Left the shoes in the locker room," Kyrgios said laughingly.
If there's one thing fans can be sure of when Kyrgios takes the court, it's that he's going to put on a show. His raw talent, shot-making abilities, whimsical attitude and precarious actions make him perhaps one of the most interesting players to watch.
With this being said, it can either be delightful or dreadful to observe. A day that comical finished on a somber note, as Kyrgios retired due to severe abdominal pain. With a set a piece, he decided he couldn’t continue the affair against the talented Canadian and would do more harm than good by staying on the court.
Kyrgios is undeniably a natural talent, but his durability when it comes to best-of-five set tennis at the majors remains in question. Pulling out a tweener in a big moment, lack of focus or shot selection can hurt Kyrgios, but not physically being able to withstand longer matches over a two-week period will always cap success.
Following his grueling five-set victory over No. 21 seed Ugo Humbert in the opening round, Kyrgios was already experiencing pain.
“I was experiencing so much pain physically after last night. It’s been a long time since I’ve played, I’m using this as a change of scenery really. I’m going to go to the hotel, play some Call of Duty with my girlfriend and come back out again.”
Kyrgios’ body was in question following the first-round bout, which is also understandable since his last competitive match was in February at the Australian Open. He also defeated Humbert at the Melbourne major, before falling in five sets to 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the third round. Going nearly five months without competitive play is a recipe for disaster.
"It's heartbreaking, honestly," Kyrgios said in his post-match presser. "I haven't had that much fun in a long time. I just got goosebumps thinking [about] the fact I might have to tell Venus Williams I can't play mixed doubles because of injuries. It's brutal for me. I'm respectful in the fact that I've now taken another day of her time. She's been here. She could have been planning other things. It's brutal."
Kyrgios has yet to announce if he will take the court with Venus for their second-round match, scheduled for Monday, against No. 4 seeds Nicole Melichar and Édouard Roger-Vasselin.