A few years ago it seemed like Nick Kyrgios would have run through a brick wall to play Davis Cup for Australia.
Thriving off the team atmosphere and camaraderie, the much-maligned Aussie star always managed to lift when representing his country alongside teammates.
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Kyrgios has previously admitted that events like the Davis Cup, ATP Cup and Laver Cup are his favourites because he prefers the mateship and spirit that comes with being part of a team.
However his absence from Australia's squad for next month's Davis Cup Finals may indicate Kyrgios is on his way out of professional tennis.
Kyrgios was missing when Lleyton Hewitt named Australia's five-man squad this week, with Alex de Minaur spearheading a team featuring John Millman, Jordan Thompson, Alexei Popyrin and doubles ace John Peers.
It was no surprise that Kyrgios wasn't included given he announced earlier this month that he won't play again this year in order to get his body right for the Australian Open in January.
However it does appear to support Kyrgios' assertion that he might not be playing professional tennis for much longer.
Speaking in a post-match interview at the Laver Cup last month, the 26-year-old contemplated how long he will remain on the ATP tour after falling to his fifth-successive singles defeat.
Kyrgios said he was wrapping up his season after the Laver Cup and wanted to return home to be with his unwell mother.
"This is my probably my last Laver Cup," he said.
"I don't know how much longer I will be in tennis.
"This is my last event of the year. I will get my body right ahead of the Australian Open.
"My mum is not doing too well with her health. I'd like to go back and see her."
The Australian star said he would continue to try his best while on court, but can't see himself continuing to play long-term.
"As long as I'm on the court, I will try and give my best," he said.
"But I'm not going to lie and say that I'm going to plan to play four or five more years on tour."
Fans were left saddened by the revelation that the end of Kyrgios' career is approaching.
Not sure where you are in the world right now @NickKyrgios but take your time, think about what makes you happy and make the decision that suits you best but there are many in tennis who want to see you stay in the sport. You are a long time retired.🎾 is more fun with you in it
— Mark Petchey (@_markpetchey) September 30, 2021
I think we all respect Kyrgios decision if he was leaves the sport, but honestly yes there is a lot of potential wasted. If Kyrgios personally thinks he is happy with what he’s achieved in this sport, and thinks he has nothing else to prove. I’m happy, but yes it will be a sad.
— Kyrgios’s fanboy (@TravelzsAndy) September 30, 2021
oh that would be very sad if Nick Kyrgios ends his career, he's a special guy , like his Game
— Colette (@cocopokar) September 25, 2021
Unfortunately the first person who is against @NickKyrgios is himself. Sad to admit but this is it. I hope he is thinking about definitely retiring in order to preserve the #dignity for himself at least. @steftsitsipas as fair as usual.#LaverCup2021 #kyrgios #tsitsipas #tennis
— Enrico Guerrini (@GuerriniEnrico) September 25, 2021
Does this mean retirement is really coming up for him?
— Doris (@DorisLaRubia) September 25, 2021
It’s such a shame b/c he could’ve been an amazing player with plenty of slams under his belt :(
— ally wallyson ❤️ (@failedcupcakes) September 25, 2021
Lleyton Hewitt leaves James Duckworth out of Davis Cup squad
James Duckworth, the Australian No.2 sitting at a career-high 51st in the world rankings, was overlooked for Australia's Davis Cup squad.
"Team selection is never easy," Hewitt said on Tuesday.
"We will be led by our No.1 Alex de Minaur, who has had a really consistent three to four years on the tour and has established himself as a top player.
"John Millman gave us the opportunity to play in these Davis Cup Finals a year and a half ago in Adelaide against Brazil. He bleeds green and gold and loves representing Australia.
"Jordan Thompson has played some big matches in Davis Cup in the past. He had a great doubles win with John Peers, beating Colombia two years ago.
"He and 'Peersy' know how to play well together if they get the opportunity to play in one of our crucial doubles matches.
"Alexei Popyrin plays his best tennis in the biggest matches and the biggest tournaments. He has a lot of firepower and a lot of weapons and it's nice to have another young gun in the team.
"And John Peers has been a consistent performer in our Davis Cup team for a number of years. We know what we get with Peersy, he's had a big win at Indian Wells recently and we're excited to see him bring this form to the Davis Cup Finals."
Australian captain Hewitt said his team would arrive early in Italy to prepare like they usually do for a Davis Cup tie and focus on getting "through our group stage to give ourselves the opportunity again to go through to the knockout quarter-finals."
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