Kyrgios withdraws on eve of Wimbledon with wrist injury

He was seeded 30th in the men's bracket and was scheduled to face David Goffin on Monday. Kyrgios will be replaced in the field by a player who lost during qualifying.
Nick Kyrgios. (File Photo | AP)
Nick Kyrgios. (File Photo | AP)

WIMBLEDON: Nick Kyrgios pulled out of Wimbledon the night before the tournament's start, citing a wrist injury, a year after he reached his first Grand Slam final at the All England Club.

His withdrawal was announced by Wimbledon on Sunday night and Kyrgios wrote about it on social media.

He was seeded 30th in the men's bracket and was scheduled to face David Goffin on Monday. Kyrgios will be replaced in the field by a player who lost during qualifying.

“I’m really sad to say that I have to withdraw from Wimbledon this year. During my comeback, I experienced some pain in my wrist during Mallorca. As a precaution I had it scanned and it came back showing a torn ligament in my wrist," Kyrgios posted on social media. "I tried everything to be able to play and I am disappointed to say that I just didn’t have enough time to manage it before Wimbledon.”

He has played just one match all season, after beginning 2023 by pulling out of the Australian Open because of an injured left knee that required arthroscopic surgery.

The 28-year-old Australian also missed the French Open, and now health issues will have caused him to sit out each of the year's first three majors — the events that feature the big stages and bright lights he seems to enjoy the most.

Hours before his withdrawal on Sunday, Kyrgios was asked at a pre-tournament news conference how his body was holding up and whether he was ready for best-of-five-set competition at a Grand Slam tournament.

“I still think there’s some question marks, for sure,” he replied.

“I look at my preparations last year coming in — I probably had the most ideal preparation possible,” Kyrgios said. “It couldn’t be any (more) different this year.”

The only match he has participated in since October of last year was an opening loss against Wu Yibing at the Stuttgart Open on June 13.

Kyrgios was asked Sunday whether he missed tennis during all of the time away over the past ninth months.

“No, I don’t miss the sport at all, to be fair. I was almost dreading coming back a little bit," he said with the hint of a smile. "But it’s my job.”

A year ago at Wimbledon, Kyrgios engaged in his usual sorts of antics — he spit in the direction of a fan after one match; got into a contentious back-and-forth during a victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas and a war of words afterward — while also dealing with a court case back home in Australia. But he also played fantastically, far better than might have been suggested by his then-ranking of No. 40 or his failure to have been to a major quarterfinal in 7 1/2 years until those two weeks.

He took the opening set of the 2022 championship match against Djokovic before the man who recently won his 23rd Grand Slam title prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Kyrgios sounded an optimistic tone Sunday afternoon.

“I’ve been hitting with some really good players this week and my body is feeling OK. I’m going to take it one day at a time. I’m not going to look forward and put unfair expectations on myself,” he said. “I’m just going to try to do everything I can, prepare, go out there and play some good tennis.”

Turns out he won't get that chance this fortnight.

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The New Indian Express