Nick Kyrgios withdraws just minutes before Japan Open quarter-final

Nick Kyrgios withdraws just minutes before Japan Open quarter-final

Nick Kyrgios has been forced to pull out of the Japan Open just moments before taking on Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals.

The Australian, the 2016 champion in Tokyo, had been struggling with an ongoing knee issue. He beat Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak to set up the last-eight encounter with Fritz.

Kyrgios has also withdrawn from the doubles at the Ariake Coliseum having reached the semi-final stage with compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis.

“It’s obviously very disappointing,” Kyrgios said. “It’s one of my favourite tournaments. I’ve had great memories here... It’s heartbreaking, but I’ll be here next year. That’s for sure.

“I’ve been playing amazing tennis all year and actually was dealing with a bit of a knee issue around the US Open time. I got back home and probably didn’t take enough time off, to be honest. I went straight back into training.”

Fritz will face Denis Shapovalov in the semi-finals after the Canadian’s win over Borna Coric.

Kyrgios had also been forced out of the Atlanta Open in August due to a knee injury.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a productive 2022, winning his first major crown alongside Kokkinakis in the men’s doubles at the Australian Open before reaching his first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon.

The world number 20 admitted during the Japan Open that he found singles matches “stressful as hell”, crediting his partnership with Kokkinakis for helping him to enjoy tennis.

“Tennis is stressful as hell in singles, you try to hold yourself in such high accountability every single time,” Kyrgios explained.

“You could be out here for three hours and it’s exhausting and so serious. Playing doubles with Thanasi brings that fun element back.

“But at the same time, it is my job. I need to make money and that is how I do it, so I play both events.”