The first Grand Slam tournament of the year opens with a big and sensational surprise: Nick Kyrgios officially withdraws from the Australian Open, the tennis player didn't make it and will thus be forced to miss his home Slam.
It was Nick himself who announced this, he did it through an extraordinary press conference and Kyrgios communicated that unfortunately he is not in the best physical condition and will indeed have to undergo arthroscopic surgery.
Nick hopes to return to the field next March, in the Indian Wells ATP tournament. Thus he skips the first round against Safiullin and in the press conference one of Nick's trainers clarified that the exhibition match against Novak Djokovic was also a way to better understand his physical conditions.
Nick didn't feel the ball well and couldn't hit the ball very hard. The Australian Open starts badly and loses one of its main protagonists. Kyrgios is now leaving the circuit for some time. The tennis player made the following statements at the conference: "I'm really destroyed, I arrived here at the conference with my long-time physiotherapist because he will clarify my problem for all of you.
This was supposed to be one of the most important tournaments of my career and it wasn't easy at all". Nick's trainer interrupted and started talking: "During the last week Nick felt some discomfort in his knee and we did an MRI routinely.
We found a cyst in the meniscus, a result of a minor injury. It's not an injury that leads you to risk your career but we are aware that it couldn't have been risked. Nick has tried everything, he has gruesome photos of him trying and I'm sure he'll post it later.
Further injections could cause long-term damage."
What happens now at the Australian Open?
Kyrgios continued: "After the US Open I really cared about this tournament and had many thoughts in my mind. It's bad timing, but that's life.
Injuries are part of sport, we can take inspiration from a person like Thanasi Kokkinakis who has had many injuries in his career and has always recovered." After Paula Badosa and Ajla Tomljanovic in the women's draw and world number one Carlos Alcaraz in the men's draw, the Australian Open loses another great star, a farewell that changes the hierarchies of the draw in no small way.
The lower part of the draw is freed up even more with Novak Djokovic who promises to be the absolute ruler of the lower part of the draw. Kyrgios was a major obstacle for Andrey Rublev and Holger Rune before the eventual Round of 16 while he could challenge Nole, in a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final, only eventually in the Quarters.
The Australian Open loses one of his biggest stars, a character who often gets talked about but who this time has to say goodbye in advance. Kyrgios could catch either Humbert or Gasquet in the second round and possibly Holger Rune in the third round.