Kyrgios out of Atlanta singles with injury

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Fresh off his Wimbledon final loss, Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the singles draw at the Atlanta Open in a blow to his US Open preparations.

The world No.47, who fell to Novak Djokovic in the decider of the grass-court major earlier this month, was slated to play German Peter Gojowczyk before pulling out on Tuesday.

Battling a knee injury, Kyrgios said he may still be available to continue in the doubles with fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.

He struggled with a shoulder issue at Wimbledon, where he achieved a career-best result.

While he could have surged up the world rankings with his Wimbledon runner-up finish, the tournament was stripped of rankings points by the ATP and WTA for its hardline stance to ban Russian and Belarusian players.

His Atlanta withdrawal could see him fall to outside the top 60 and likely enter the upcoming US Open as an unseeded contender.

He can make some ground however after being granted a wildcard into the ATP 1000 event, the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati which starts on August 14, two weeks before the US Open.

Kyrgios, who won the Atlanta tournament in 2016, addressed the crowd to explain his absence, with Frenchman Adrian Mannarino taking his place in the draw before defeating Gojowczyk 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

"I'm extremely shattered that I'm not able to compete tonight," the 27-year-old Canberran said.

"I've won this tournament once and am probably playing some of the best tennis of my career and all I wanted to do was come out here and give you guys a show.

"I'm not able to give out my best performance and I'm extremely sorry and I'm going to keep my hopes up that I may be able to continue doubles with Thanasi.

"I hope you won't be too hard on me ... I love you guys and hopefully next year I will be able to compete and give it my all."

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, who won this year's Australian Open doubles, won their first-round encounter against French pairing Nicholas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in Atlanta.

Kokkinakis, though, was knocked out of the singles draw after a 6-3 6-2 loss to Andres Martin.

It was the first win on the ATP tour in just his third professional tournament for the 21-year-old world No.736, taking it out with an ace.

In other action on Tuesday, Australia's James Duckworth opened his campaign with a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 win over German qualifier Dominik Koepfer to set up a last-16 meeting with compatriot Alex de Minaur.

Fifth seed Tommy Paul beat fellow American Jack Sock 6-1 6-1 while another home favourite in sixth-seeded Jenson Brooksby defeated Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3 6-1.

De Minaur, the No.3 seed, received a bye for his first game while John Millman beat fellow Aussie Alexei Popyrin 7-6 4-6 6-3 in day one of action.

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