Nick Kyrgios is set to make his long-awaited 2023 debut as he is in the main draw for the Stuttgart Open and he could face second seed Taylor Fritz as early as the quarter-final.
Eighth seed Kyrgios, who has not featured on the ATP Tour since October last year, will kick off his 2023 season against rising Chinese star Wu Yibing in the first round of the ATP 250 grass-court tournament.
The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up has not played any singles matches since the Japan Open when he picked up a knee injury. He was expected to play at the Australian Open, but withdrew from the season-opening Grand Slam and underwent knee surgery.
After initially eyeing a return at the Sunshine Double in March, his comeback was pushed back to the French Open, but that failed to materialise as he injured his foot during an armed robbery incident at his house in Canberra.
But he will at long last play again as he is set to feature in Germany next week.
Wu, who currently sits at No 54 in the ATP Rankings, will be no pushover as became the first Chinese man to win an ATP Tour singles title in February when he defeated the likes of Denis Shapovalov, Fritz and John Isner at the Dallas Open.
The winner of the Kyrgios-Wu encounter will face either Shapovalov of a qualifier in the second round while second seed Fritz headlines the bottom half of the draw and is the projected quarter-final opponent.
American Fritz has a bye into the second round, but will have a tough opening assignment as he will play either Courentin Moutet or Aslan Karatsev.
The winner of that bracket is projected to face third seed Frances Tiafoe in the semi-final, although the American will need to get the better of either Marcos Giron or Jiri Lehecka in the second round before a possible quarter-final encounter against sixth seed Lorenzo Musetti.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the favourite in the top half and he will be looking to get over his French Open quarter-final drubbing at the hands of Carlos Alcaraz as quickly as possible.
The top seed will face either veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet or a qualifier in the second round while he is projected to meet the fifth seeded Tommy Paul, who takes on Benjamin Bonzi in the first round, in the quarter-final.
Fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz is likely to come through the other bracket and the Pole takes on either Feliciano Lopez or a qualifier in the second round while defending champion Matteo Berrettini could await in the last eight.
Berrettini, who defeated Andy Murray in last year’s final, has not played since the Monte Carlo Masters in April as he was forced to skip a number of tournaments – including the French Open – due to an abdominal injury.
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The article Stuttgart Open draw: Nick Kyrgios set for return with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Taylor Fritz also in mix appeared first on Tennis365.com.