Nick Kyrgios pulls out of Australian Open with knee injury

MELBOURNE, Australia — Nick Kyrgios was forced Monday to withdraw from the Australian Open, just 24 hours ahead of his scheduled first-round match against Roman Safiullin, because of a knee injury.

Kyrgios, Australia’s highest-ranked men’s tennis player, called an impromptu news conference during Day 1 at Melbourne Park to announce that a routine MRI scan discovered a small tear in his lateral meniscus.

“I’m devastated. It’s brutal,” Kyrgios said. “This is my home tournament, and obviously winning the tournament in doubles [last year] and playing the best tennis of my life. All I can do is my best to come back.”

Kyrgios had faced nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in a charity match Friday evening at Melbourne Park. His physiotherapist, Will Maher, said Kyrgios “didn’t pull up great” from the exhibition and was in no state to take part in a Grand Slam.

“We used the charity event against Novak to see if he could compete at the highest level,” Maher said. “It’s been [a] pretty interrupted and difficult lead-in. In the last week, Nick has experienced discomfort in his knee. There’s a small tear in his lateral meniscus. It was worth persevering to see if he can get back on court. To Nick’s credit, he did everything to get back on court.”

Kyrgios was coming off a career-best year in which he won the Australian Open doubles title alongside compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis before reaching the Wimbledon final, which he ultimately lost to Djokovic.

He is expected to return to Canberra for surgery in the next couple of weeks.

“Obviously a mixture of emotions [but] that’s life. It’s part of the sport,” he said. “I’m not doubting that I’ll be back to my full strength.”

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Read More: Nick Kyrgios pulls out of Australian Open with knee injury 2023-01-16 05:23:18

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