Aussie tennis great Todd Woodbridge has questioned whether Nick Kyrgios got his schedule right in the lead-up to his devastating withdrawal from the Australian Open. Kyrgios announced on Monday afternoon that he had been forced to withdraw from his home grand slam after suffering a knee injury.
Kyrgios and his physio revealed that the Aussie star had a cyst growing on his left meniscus which will require arthroscopy surgery. The devastating blow came after Kyrgios had missed the United Cup and Adelaide International earlier this month with an ankle issue.
'LOST FOR WORDS': Aussies in epic display after Nick Kyrgios drama
'CONCERN GROWING': Novak Djokovic in fresh drama at Aussie Open
Fans and commentators have been left shattered for Kyrgios, but questions are starting to arise about whether he got his preparation right leading into the Australian summer. The World No.21 chose to play exhibition events in Saudi Arabia and Dubai in December, which he touted as a way to get the jump on his rivals ahead of the Australian Open.
However it looks to have backfired on Kyrgios after he injured his ankle in Dubai and was limited to an exhibition match against Novak Djokovic as his only practice before the Australian Open. Kyrgios said his knee pulled up sore after the hit with Djokovic on Friday night.
Speaking to Wide World of Sports, Aussie doubles legend Woodbridge questioned whether Kyrgios should have played the exhibition events in December rather than resting up before the Australian summer. Kyrgios had previously bragged about the 'six-figure sum' he received for playing in Saudi Arabia.
"I would hope he has a look at what he did at Wimbledon last year when his preparation was great," Woodbridge said. "The lead-up from a physical point-of-view, to then getting into the lead-in tournaments, to playing enough matches to be able to walk into Wimbledon knowing that everything was in that positive frame that he spoke about...Was that the preparation that happened before this summer?
"That's the question, and if you were looking back at his schedule you would say that it was difficult to see that prep when he was flying around the world playing exhibition events."
Nick Kyrgios shattered after Australian Open withdrawal
Kyrgios' withdrawal was particularly crushing considering the breakout year he enjoyed in 2022. The 27-year-old made an extraordinary run to the Wimbledon final before also making the quarters at the US Open.
He had been tipped as a dark horse to challenge the likes of Djokovic and Rafa Nadal at the Australian Open. However he will have to wait another few months for his next shot at grand slam glory.
"It hasn't been easy at all," Kyrgios said about withdrawing. "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."
Kyrgios' long-time physio Will Maher said: "Unfortunately, during the last week or so Nick's experienced some discomfort in his knee. He had routine MRI just to make sure everything was OK. There's a parameniscal cyst growing on his lateral meniscus, which is a result of a small tear in his lateral meniscus.
"It's not a significant injury in the sense that it's going to be career threatening or anything like that. It was even at that stage it was still worth persevering to see if we could do anything to get him back on court.
"And to Nick's credit, he did try everything to the point even last week he was having a procedure to drain the cyst and any amount of injections that he could try and get in his knee without causing long-term damage."
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.