Nick Kyrgios speaks out amid controversy over Davis Cup absence

Nick Kyrgios (pictured left) reacts during a tennis match and (pictured right) Lleyton Hewitt looks on during a game.
Nick Kyrgios (pictured left) said he opted to play in Saudi Arabia top help promote the sport of tennis after he drew criticism for not playing for Australia in the David Cup. (Getty Images)

Nick Kyrgios has revealed why he is playing at a tennis tournament in Saudi Arabia, despite the drama surrounding his Davis Cup absence last month. Australia stunned the tennis world after reaching the Davis Cup final, but unfortunately they were unable to stop a 19-year-wait and went down 2-0 to Canada.

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To make matters tougher, Australia were without Kyrgios who opted not to play in the entire tournament and hasn't featured in the Davis Cup in three years. With Kyrgios missing, Australia did remarkably well even to make the final. However Alex de Minaur and Thanasi Kokkinakis were no match for Felix Auger Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov as Canada won the final without dropping a set.

Australian coach Lleyton Hewitt revealed he attempted to persuade Kyrgios to play in the tournament. "I don't know. You have to ask him. I can't try any harder," he said when asked about Kyrgios. De Minaur's response was similar. "I have tried, as well. Just wasn't meant to be..."

Since the event, Kyrgios has now responded to the reason why he opted to play in Saudi Arabia a week later after not helping the Australia during the team event. And Kyrgios said he wanted to be remembered as someone who gave back to the sport and promoted the game.

"I love travelling to places where you don't know much about tennis, and trying to draw attention to the sport, I think it's important," he said before the event. "When I retire I want to know that I have left something and get many new fans into the sport. I think it's a bonus for me to be able to play these matches and I will use the pressure from the match to start ahead of the others at the start of the season.”

Australia team members Lleyton Hewitt, Alex De Minaur, Jordan Thompson, Thanasai Kokkinakis, Max Purcell and Matthew Ebden at the Davis Cup.
Australia finished second in the Davis Cup this year, which Nick Kyrgios did not attend. (Photo by Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images)

Nick Kyrgios praises payday before tournament

Kyrgios' tune appears to have changed slightly after his comment on hyping up the Saudi Arabia event. A week ago, Kyrgios took to social media and wrote: "About to go to Saudi for 6 figures actually" when replying to a comment.

The Aussie will finish his excellent season in Saudi Arabia playing in exhibition events in Saudi Arabia and Dubai next month. “Saudi Arabia and Dubai is all that’s left. You know I gotta get the bag,” he wrote.

Kyrgios' huge payday will finish off his career-best season, which saw him reach the Wimbledon final and win the Washington event. He also won the Australian Open doubles trophy with fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Nick Kyrgios (pictured) reacts during a tennis match.
Nick Kyrgios (pictured) has been included as part of this year's strong list of finalists for the John Newcombe award. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Kyrgios has been included as part of this year's strong list of finalists for the John Newcombe award. Ash Barty is strong favourite for the award as Kyrgios, three-time grand slam quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic and Wimbledon doubles champions Matt Ebden and Max Purcell were nominated alongside the Australian Open champion.

Alex de Minaur and Storm Hunter (nee Sanders), the stars of Australia's respective runs to the 2022 Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup finals, are the other nominees.

with AAP

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