"Devastated" Nick Kyrgios out of Australian Open, will have knee surgeryBy Jan 16, 2023
Australian Open director: Novak Djokovic's hamstring had a three-centimeter tearBy Feb 01, 2023
How exactly did Aryna Sabalenka figure out her serve?By Jan 30, 2023
Novak Djokovic wins his 22nd major in Melbourne—and sets up another showdown with Rafael Nadal in ParisBy Jan 29, 2023
With each major win—and qualities beyond the numbers—Novak Djokovic continues to redefine tennis greatnessBy Jan 29, 2023
Novak Djokovic claims 10th Australian Open title, record-equalling 22nd Grand SlamBy Jan 29, 2023
Australian Open: Djokovic wins 10th title, 22nd major after victory over TsitsipasBy Jan 29, 2023
Novak Djokovic wins 10th Australian Open, ties Rafael Nadal with 22 Grand Slam titles—and will rightfully return to No. 1By Jan 29, 2023
Czech duo Katerina Siniakova, Barbora Krejcikova win Australian Open for seventh major titleBy Jan 29, 2023
By reminding herself she was built for big occasions, Aryna Sabalenka soars to Australian Open gloryBy Jan 28, 2023
"Devastated" Nick Kyrgios out of Australian Open, will have knee surgery
The top-ranked Aussie was seeded 19th in Melbourne and was supposed to face Roman Safiullin in the first round on Tuesday, joining a long list of big name withdrawals.
Published Jan 16, 2023
PRESS CONFERENCE: Nick Kyrgios and his physio Will Maher discuss the knee injury that forced the No. 19 seed to pull out of the Australian Open ahead of his first-round match.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A "devastated" Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the Australian Open on Monday—the day before he was scheduled to play his first-round singles match—because of an injured left knee that needs arthroscopic surgery.
Kyrgios, a 27-year-old from Australia, was the runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year in singles and teamed with good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis to claim the men's doubles championship at the 2022 Australian Open.
Kyrgios was considered the host country's strongest chance to win a title at Melbourne Park this year; no man from Australia has won the singles trophy there since 1976.
"Just bad timing. But that's life," said a downcast Kyrgios, who occasionally lowered his head or covered his face with a hand during a news conference at Melbourne Park alongside his physical therapist, Will Maher. "Injury is a part of the sport."
Kyrgios announced his withdrawal on Day 1 of action at the year's first Grand Slam tournament.
"I'm just exhausted from everything. Obviously pretty brutal," Kyrgios said of the decision to sit out. "One of the most important tournaments of my career. Hasn't been easy at all."
He was seeded 19th in Melbourne and was supposed to face Roman Safiullin in the first round on Tuesday.
"Barely had a good night's sleep the last four, five nights. It's just been throbbing. ...Every time I land on serve or push off my serve, you can see on the side of my knee there's like a little lump. That lump will eventually just get bigger and bigger," Kyrgios said. "There's pressure on my knee (that) obviously hinders my movement. Yeah, the only real way to get rid of it is to open up and then just get rid of it."
He joins a long list of prominent players who are not participating in this Australian Open, from the now-retired Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty to the pregnant Naomi Osaka, to the injured Carlos Alcaraz, Venus Williams and Marin Cilic.
Kyrgios is as mercurial a character as there is in tennis, known for alternating sometimes-brilliant and sometimes-uninterested play, as well as mixing in the occasional outlandish outburst during matches. He has spoken frankly about dealing with mental health issues.
Kyrgios also has been facing a charge of assault in a pending court case in his hometown of Canberra.
He is nothing if not attention-grabbing on and off a tennis court, certainly, which is why he is one of the athletes featured in the new Netflix docuseries “Break Point” that made its debut last week.
The Australian Open was supposed to mark Kyrgios' official season debut after he withdrew from tuneup play earlier in January. He used an exhibition match against Djokovic on Friday in front of a packed house at Rod Laver Arena to test the knee, but that did not go well.
Maher said that an MRI exam after Kyrgios felt discomfort in his knee revealed a cyst and a small tear in the lateral meniscus ligament. The trainer said the problem is "not career-threatening," and that Kyrgios should be able to return to competition by the hard-court tournament at Indian Wells, California, in March.
"Look, I'm not doubting I will be back to my full strength and playing the tennis I was playing prior to this event. Yeah, I'm devastated obviously. It's like my home tournament. I've had some great memories here—obviously last year, winning the title in doubles and playing the best tennis of my life, probably. Then going into this event as one of the favorites, it's brutal," Kyrgios said.
"All I can do now," he added, "is just look forward, do what I need to do and come back."