Nick Kyrgios is set to miss one of the big clay court tournaments in the build-up to Roland Garros, after it was revealed on Tuesday that he's not on the entry list for Monte Carlo. Kyrgios was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open in January and underwent surgery on his knee.
The move came as a shock for Australian fans, but Kyrgios was looking to recover for the remainder of the season. This included his intention to make a shock return to Roland Garros for the first time since 2017.
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The Aussie hasn't always enjoyed his time playing on clay, but said he would return to Paris so his girlfriend, Costeen Hatzi, could visit the French capital.
"Next year I am going to go to Paris. I’m announcing that now, I’m going to the French Open,” he told tennis reporter and host Blair Henley. “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' trip to Paris came under threat after the Aussie announced his withdrawal from Indian Wells and Miami in a brutal blow for his rankings. And now, it appears Kyrgios won't be playing in Monte Carlo.
While it was never confirmed Kyrgios would play any of the lead-up events to Roland Garros - which includes ATP 1000 events Madrid, Monte Carlo and Rome - it appears he won't be making an appearance in one of the most picturesque events on the calendar. Tennis writer Jose Morgado pointed out on Tuesday that Kyrgios is one of just three top-50 players not on the entry list.
Nick Kyrgios, Marin Cilic and JJ Wolf are the only top 50 players missing the Monte Carlo entry list.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 14, 2023
Kyrgios was World No.19 in February, but has slipped to World No.22 having missed the Australian Open and Indian Wells. The Wimbledon finalist hasn't played an official ATP match since the Japan Open in October. He also pulled out of that event before the quarter-finals.
While Kyrgios did play an exhibition match against Novak Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open to raise money, he hasn't played a competitive match since.
We need an explanation for Kyrgios!
— Callstands (@CallStands_) March 14, 2023
Kyrgios on clay is like elephant on ice
— petarmrazek (@TheMessenger11) March 14, 2023
didn't @NickKyrgios say he'll play clay szn for his gf or is he not healed yet from his injury?
— CMPUNKISBACK (@MBthegoat678) March 15, 2023
all due to injury
— dara (@xergvv) March 14, 2023
Nick Kyrgios in tough 2023 setback
After a breakout year in 2022 that saw him reach the final at Wimbledon and quarter-finals at the US Open, Kyrgios was gutted after being forced to pull out of his home grand slam at the Australian Open. He aggravated the knee injury in an exhibition match against Novak Djokovic a few days before the Melbourne Park grand slam.
"It hasn't been easy at all," Kyrgios said about withdrawing from his home grand slam. "I'm devastated obviously. It's like 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.
"I've worked so hard, put myself in the position to (challenge for the title). I was ranked outside 100 a year ago. Now I've had the year I had last year and back inside the 20, being seeded at a grand slam, feeling as good as I'm feeling and playing the way I'm feeling. Yeah, I wanted to give myself a chance."
There remains doubt over when Kyrgios will return to the ATP Tour. The 27-year-old is dividing, but no doubt is one of the biggest drawcards in the sport. However, tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg questioned whether he will return on clay - rather than wait for the grass - considering the surface can be tough on the body.
"Somewhat tough to imagine him coming back on clay, given his feelings about that surface historically. But that's his only option for a couple months after those (Indian Wells and Miami)," Rothenberg tweeted. Kyrgios only played one event on clay in 2022, making it to the quarter-finals in Houston.
Kyrgios hasn't always enjoyed his time on clay and has skipped the season to rest for his grass campaign. “Get rid of the clay, man. Who likes the clay? It is so bad," he said at Wimbledon in 2019.
“The fact that I am here right now and I have to go to Paris in a couple of days. The French Open sucks compared to this place. Sucks. Absolute sucks.”
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