Nick Kyrgios' manager has blasted his critics after his withdrawal from the Adelaide International on Wednesday night. Kyrgios was slammed last week when he pulled out of the United Cup at the last minute before revealing he had an ankle injury that he wanted to rest before the Australian Open.
On Wednesday night it was revealed that he won't play the Adelaide International either, meaning he will likely head into the Australian Open without playing a lead-up match. The Aussie star hasn't played a competitive match since the ATP event in Tokyo in October, however he played exhibition events in Saudi Arabia and Dubai in December.
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"The Adelaide International can confirm that Nick Kyrgios will not compete in Week 2 of the tournament," organisers said in a statement. "The event is clearly disappointed in this decision as would be the fans who support him, but injury happens and health is always the priority.
"The Adelaide International wishes Nick Kyrgios the best of luck and a quick recovery, understanding the importance of the Australian Open preparation. He is welcome back to the Adelaide International anytime."
Kyrgios' manager Daniel Horsfall told The Age that the decision was in consultation with physiotherapist Will Maher. However he said there is ‘no doubt’ Kyrgios will be fit to play the Australian Open - starting on January 16.
“We are very excited and working every day to make sure we’re ready for the Australian Open,” Horsfall told The Age. “A lot of people were upset after he pulled out of the United Cup, but I hope they now realise the injury is genuine. I wish more people would ask questions before putting in their two cents.”
Kyrgios earlier told the Sydney Morning Herald: "Anyone who plays professionally knows, for sure (what it takes to be ready for a grand slam). Anyone outside of that wouldn't have a great understanding.
"Going deep or not, winning a match at a grand slam level is not an easy task. People underestimate the pressure and the nerves with being a part of one of the biggest tournaments of the year.
"Throw in an injury and knowing you didn't give yourself the best chance only adds to the mountain of pressure you face. So feeling good physically is important."
Novak Djokovic offers Nick Kyrgios practice match
Aussie United Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt had criticised Kyrgios for his lack of communication when withdrawing from the event. Hewitt bemoaned the fact that Kyrgios' decision came just 10 minutes before the Aussies were due to front a press conference in Sydney.
Kyrgios later accused Hewitt of 'throwing him under the bus' and questioned whether co-captain Sam Stosur would do the same towards Ajla Tomljanovic after her withdrawal due to injury.
With his lack of competitive match practice, Novak Djokovic has reportedly offered to play Kyrgios in a practice match before the grand slam at Melbourne Park, while the Kooying Classic has also offered him a spot at their event. Djokovic is currently competing in the Adelaide International in his first event in Australia since being deported from the country 12 months ago.
Kyrgios is also set to also play doubles at the Australian Open alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis, with the pair aiming to defend the title they won in extraordinary scenes in 2022. "We'll be playing at Aussie (Australian Open) - doubles is a lot less taxing on the body, and mentally it's a bit easier as well," Kokkinakis told reporters in Adelaide. "Obviously singles is our priority but I think it would be rude not to go out there and have fun with it."
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