Nick Kyrgios is OUT of Wimbledon as Australian reveals he has withdrawn on the eve of the tournament
Nick Kyrgios caused an unwelcome surprise at Wimbledon on Sunday evening by withdrawing from his first round match less than 24 hours before the match.
The 28-year-old Australian announced just after 10 p.m. that he would not take his place on Court One, where he would face Belgium’s David Goffin.
The absence of last year’s finalist is another blow to a tournament already missing some of the bigger names, from Rafael Nadal to Emma Raducanu.
Kyrgios had appeared at his scheduled press conference on Sunday morning and talked about the week ahead and his tentative hopes of making at least an impression this year.
Unpredictable as ever, he took to social media on Sunday night to announce he would not be playing after all.
Nicky Kyrgios withdrew from Wimbledon on the eve of this year’s tournament
Kyrgios revealed that he suffered a torn ligament in his wrist that forced him to miss the tournament
“During my comeback I got some pain in my wrist in Mallorca (where he wanted to play last week),” said the Australian. “As a precaution, I had it scanned and it came back with a torn band in my wrist.
“I tried everything to play and I’m disappointed to say I just didn’t have enough time to do it before Wimbledon. I will be back and as always I appreciate the support of all my fans.”
There was no mention of such a problem in his media appearance earlier in the day, which came after a practice session with compatriot Jordan Thompson.
This is the second time in 2023 that Kyrgios has withdrawn from a Grand Slam on the eve of it, having backtracked from the Australian Open at the 11th hour in January.
He then underwent knee surgery and has only toured once since. That was three weeks ago in Stuttgart, when he lost his first round, and then he pulled out of a scheduled tournament in Halle and last week in Mallorca.
The extent of his wrist injury – and how long he might be out – is unclear, but on Saturday he struck with American Maxim Cressy and appeared to hit the ball well enough.
At best, he would have been extremely rusty, though he’s never been one to play a huge amount anyway.
His mood on Sunday morning had been relatively subdued and he had been sending somewhat conflicting signals ahead of his long-awaited return to a tournament he had helped thrill a year ago.
Kyrgios (left) participated in pre-tournament media duties on Sunday morning before withdrawing
He shared how “heartbreaking” it had been to be on the sidelines, especially missing the Australian Open, and that he was excited to be back at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios, however, did not seem entirely convinced. Before his departure, he also insisted that while recovering from knee surgery in January, he hadn’t seen much tennis apart from some players like Frances Tiafoe and Carlos Alcaraz: “I don’t miss the sport at all, to be honest. I was almost afraid to come back a little bit. But it’s my job.’
He also spoke about his role in the latest Netflix tennis series, Break Point, in which he spoke openly about his mental health struggles over the years. That included the revelation that in 2019 he spent time in a psychiatric ward at a London hospital following the defeat at SW19, with suicidal thoughts.
Kyrgios seemed to hit the ball well during practice sessions leading up to Monday
“It took me seven, eight years to just be open about that. I kept it very close to the chest for a long time,” he said on Sunday.
‘But I think it’s important. I think a lot of athletes go through that, I feel like it’s a little bit better now. Men, in particular, felt that it was rather difficult to open up, to admit that they were struggling.
“I feel very different from how I clearly felt during that period in 2019. I think I feel great now.”
There was certainly an air of realism about his chances this year given how little tennis he has played.
“Looking at my preparations last year, I probably had the most ideal preparation possible. This year is no different.
Kyrgios has been battling injuries for much of the season, first to his knee and now to his wrist
The Australian is another name to be added to a growing list of superstars banned from Wimbledon
‘I worked very hard. I’ve tried to do everything possible. I’ve been really disciplined (with rehab) during that time. I barely missed any of the process.
“Last year I felt like everything came together for me. Wimbledon final, had the third best season (of anyone) on tour. It was clear that my body was just screaming for some sort of rest. It’s been cruel.
It’s unclear where exactly he’s left behind, and any injury related to the wrist is very worrying for a tennis player. He will play the hard courts of North America next.
Wimbledon was forced to issue a new order of play, promoting French Open finalist Casper Ruud to the Court One slot that Kyrgios would have occupied.