Nick Kyrgios pulls out of Australian Open with knee injury

Nick Kyrgios said said he was ‘devastated’ to have to withdraw  (Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios said said he was ‘devastated’ to have to withdraw (Getty Images)

Nick Kyrgios stunned the Australian Open by pulling out of the tournament because of a knee injury on Monday, ending local hopes that he might be able to end the nation’s long wait for a home men’s champion.

The 27-year-old, runner-up at Wimbledon last year, said he was “devastated” to have to withdraw after entering his home Grand Slam as one of the favourites.

Kyrgios’ physio Will Maher revealed a small tear in the Australian’s left meniscus had caused a cyst to develop, which will need to be removed surgically.

Kyrgios was seeded 19th in Melbourne and was supposed to face Roman Safiullin in the first round on Tuesday.

Kyrgios said: “I’m devastated, obviously. It’s my home tournament. I’ve had some great memories here. Obviously, last year winning the title in doubles and playing the best tennis of my life probably.

“Then going into this event as one of the favourites, it’s brutal. All I can do now is just look forward, do what I need to do and come back.

“I’m just exhausted from everything. Obviously pretty brutal. One of the most important tournaments of my career. Hasn’t been easy at all.”

Kyrgios said he had given himself every chance of competing but that a hit with doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis on Monday morning convinced him he had to pull out.

The withdrawal also means Kyrgios and Kokkinakis - dubbed the ‘Special Ks’ - will not be able to defend the men’s doubles title they won at Melbourne Park last year.

Maher said he thought Kyrgios would be over the injury in time to play at the Masters tournament at Indian Wells in California in early March.

“I’m not doubting that I’ll be back to my full strength and will be back,” Kyrgios added.

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