Nick Kyrgios is out of next month’s postponed French Open, making him the sole top-100 men’s player not planning to compete.
The writing was on the wall for his Roland Garros withdrawal, with the Canberra tennis star already pulling out of a series of major clay-court events.
Kyrgios hasn’t played at the French Open since 2017, with an elbow injury, illness and last year’s COVID-19 outbreak sidelining him each year since.
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His management could not be contacted in recent days to offer clarity on his situation, although he announced on social media that he would play in this year’s US Open.
Kyrgios was entered for this week’s Monte Carlo Masters and next week’s Barcelona Open, but withdrew from both to extend his absence from the tour since the Australian Open in mid-February.
Nick Kyrgios hasn’t played in the tour since bowing out of the Australian Open in mid-February. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
The 25-year-old reached the third round in singles at Melbourne Park – pushing Dominic Thiem to five sets – and round two in doubles, alongside countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis.
He hadn’t played a tour-level match for 11 months before he competed at the Murray River Open the week before the Australian Open.
Kyrgios didn’t want to travel last year at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and has consistently criticised peers he felt didn’t act responsibly in that period.
The world No.57 revealed he didn’t touch a racquet “for the first four or five months of quarantine” in 2020, but his social media activity suggests he’s been training regularly since the year’s opening grand slam.
Kyrgios has kept a relatively low profile since his last match and was reluctant to make any announcements at the time about his upcoming tournament schedule.
However, his comments then suggested there was a strong likelihood he wouldn’t be a regular participant on the ATP Tour, because of the ongoing COVID-19 complications.
Nick Kyrgios has given a fascinating but frightening look inside his own head after coming back from the brink at the Australian Open….
Nick Kyrgios has given a fascinating but frightening look inside his own head after coming back from the brink at the Australian Open.
That includes limited crowds and a ‘bubble’ lifestyle for tennis players to ensure tournaments go ahead.
“I think sports is entertainment at the end of the day, and I want to be able to play in front of full crowds around the world,” Kyrgios said in February.
“That’s what I’m used to. I was talking to Thanasi when I was out on the doubles court and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m able to do a full schedule with doing this stuff’.
“Obviously, the quarantine in itself, but just like going out on court and playing with no crowd – I don’t know if that’s the way I want to do it, me personally, and that’s fine.
“That’s not a shot on anybody who does want to go play and go get points and make money. That’s fine, but, for me, I’m not sure that’s the option I’m going to go down.”
French Open organisers postponed the event by a week to May 30 to increase the chances of crowds attending and potentially less strict restrictions on the players.
Originally published asClay cut: Kyrgios snubs French Open … again
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