Nick Kyrgios controversy erupts as photo leaves tennis fans fuming

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Nick Kyrgios, pictured here playing doubles after withdrawing from the singles at the Atlanta Open.
Nick Kyrgios turned up for the doubles despite withdrawing from the singles at the Atlanta Open. Image: Twitter/Getty

Nick Kyrgios has sparked controversy at the Atlanta Open after taking part in his scheduled doubles clash with Thanasi Kokkinakis just 24 hours after withdrawing from the singles.

Kyrgios was supposed to play Peter Gojowczyk in singles action on Tuesday, but announced his withdrawal just minutes before the match.

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The Aussie star, who finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon earlier this month, fronted up to fans and apologised on court for pulling the pin.

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

Kyrgios struggled with a shoulder issue at Wimbledon and is also battling a knee complaint that appeared to flare up in his first-round doubles win over French pair Nicholas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

But despite withdrawing from the singles, Kyrgios said he was still hopeful of playing doubles on Wednesday.

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here after withdrawing from the singles at the Atlanta Open.
Nick Kyrgios signed some autographs for fans after withdrawing from the singles at the Atlanta Open. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)

"I'm going to keep my hopes up that I may be able to continue doubles with Thanasi," he added.

"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."

On Wednesday he did exactly that and hit the court for his doubles match against Gonzalo Escobar and Hunter Reese.

Fans were left stunned to see Kyrgios playing, with many suggesting it was a bad look just 24 hours after he withdrew from the singles.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis went on to win the match 6-4 7-6 (3) to advance to the semi-finals.

The Aussies stars won the Australian Open doubles title in January - the first grand slam crown for both players.

Nick Kyrgios set for fresh rankings slide

Kyrgios' run to the Wimbledon final would normally have seen him surge into the top-20 of the world rankings.

However the ATP and WTA tours stripped Wimbledon of rankings points due to their decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus over Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Kyrgios instead dropped from World No.40 to 45 and is set to slide even further after his singles withdrawal in Atlanta.

The Aussie star now looks likely to fall outside the top 60 and will enter the upcoming US Open as an unseeded contender.

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here in doubles action with Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Atlanta Open.
Nick Kyrgios in doubles action with Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Atlanta Open. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)

However he can make some ground after being granted a wildcard into the ATP 1000 event in Cincinnati which starts on August 14, two weeks before the New York grand slam.

Kyrgios made the final of the Southern & Western Open in Cincinnati in 2017 when he lost to Grigor Dimitrov.

However the move came as a surprise to many considering he hasn't played the event since 2019 when he was fined $162,000 after an ugly meltdown against Karen Kachanov.

Kyrgios argued and swore at the chair umpire and was deemed to have committed a number of unsportsmanlike offences, including spitting in the direction of the official after match point.

with AAP

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