Nick Kyrgios breaks girlfriend promise with French Open withdrawal

Nick Kyrgios has officially withdrawn from the upcoming French Open after vowing to play in the tournament so his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi could “see Paris”. The world No 26 still hasn’t played a match this season after pulling out of the Australian Open and undergoing knee surgery. But his comeback appears to be confirmed after Kyrgios signed up for the ATP 250 in Stuttgart.

Kyrgios has continued to delay his comeback since undergoing an arthroscopic procedure in January, shortly after pulling out of the Australian Open. The 28-year-old was initially targeting Indian Wells and Miami for his return but skipped both events.

Many believed he would return at the French Open despite not being a fan of the clay – as he promised he would play the tournament for his girlfriend last year. “Next year I am going to go to Paris. I’m announcing that now, I’m going to the French Open,” he said during an appearance in Houston last year – which in itself was his first clay event since 2017.

He added: “I haven’t played that in four years so I’ll be back next year. My girlfriend just wants to see Paris. I mean, I’ll play the French Open as well.” Kyrgios also confirmed his plans again during December’s Diriyah Tennis Cup but has now withdrawn from the clay-court Major.

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Kyrgios officially removed himself from the entry list on Tuesday, meaning fans must wait to see him play his first match of the year. The seven-time title winner has not played a singles match since the Tokyo ATP 500 last October, where he pulled out midway through the tournament with an injury.

He did compete in the doubles at the ATP Finals in November alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis but has not been seen on a match court since, playing one exhibition with Novak Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open. But his comeback finally appears to be confirmed, as Kyrgios was named on the entry list for the ATP 250 in Stuttgart when it was published on Monday.

A finalist at Wimbledon last year, Kyrgios is known to enjoy the grass and it comes as no surprise that he is opting to make his return on the surface. The Aussie reached the semi-final in Stuttgart 11 months ago before losing to Andy Murray.

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Kyrgios is also set to play an exhibition match with Holger Rune next week as the pair announced a clash in Copenhagen to take place on May 24. “As a tennis freak, the more attention tennis gets in Denmark, the happier I am,” world No 7 Rune told Tennis Majors. 

“What will help even more is the exhibition match in Copenhagen with me and Nick Kyrgios on May 24. It is a great feeling to attract more people to tennis and this match will certainly help.”

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