Nick Kyrgios reveals true reason behind French Open withdrawal

The World No.26 has spent much of the year recovering from knee surgery, but that's not the reason why he hasn't been able to compete yet.

Nick Kyrgios.
Nick Kyrgios' tennis comeback has been delayed after suffering a serious laceration in his foot while fighting off an alleged home invader earlier this year. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Nick Kyrgios has revealed his withdrawal from the French Open was not due to his recovery from knee surgery earlier this year, but instead stemmed from the aftermath of an alleged home invasion in Canberra earlier this year. Kyrgios has spoken openly about the incident, in which a man is alleged to have threatened his mother with a gun before stealing the tennis star's car.

Police were aided by the World No.26 in tracking down the stolen Tesla, but the confrontation left Kyrgios with a deep laceration in his foot. He only noticed the extent of the cut once the chaos of the confronting situation settled down.

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Kyrgios has spent much of the year recovering from surgery to remove a cyst in his knee, with the procedure ruling him out of the Australian Open earlier this season. The 28-year-old was bitterly disappointed to miss the home grand slam, having put together a strong run of form at both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2022.

His manager, Daniel Horsfall, confirmed to the Canberra Times that his withdrawal from Roland Garros was due to the foot injury, and not his recovery from the surgery at the start of the year. Forced to miss the claycourt swing, Kyrgios has instead turned his focus to making a comeback on grass, ideally at the Stuttgart Open prior to Wimbledon.

“We don’t know when it happened, but it’s quite a large laceration,” Horsfall said. “The location of the wound, it’s been open for almost a week and a half now.

"It’s not healing correctly and he can’t put in the work on court, so he’s been off court for almost two weeks now.”

Horsfall said it had been a frustrating setback for Kyrgios, who was nearing the end of his rehabilitation following the knee surgery. Crucial to Kyrgios' preparation was having the ability to play through five sets before a grand slam appearance was going to be on the cards.

Kyrgios hasn't competed at the French Open since 2017, memorably making his dislike of clay surfaces public in the past. He has skipped the French grand slam in the past purely because he doesn't enjoy playing on clay nearly as much in comparison to grass or hardcourts.

“The knee surgery went as well as it possibly could and his rehabilitation was fantastic and we were at the point where we were doing on-court loading and management,” Horsfall said. “We needed to be at a point that he could comfortably play five sets.

“We’ll start the process once the wound starts to heal and scab. We’re definitely still trying to make the first tournament of the grass season.

“He just misses the competition … this is the longest he’s been out of tennis because of injury. We would’ve been ready to go, but we had to readjust the schedule.”

Nick Kyrgios cops sad blow after French Open decision

It has been a difficult few weeks for Kyrgios and his family, after his grandmother passed away recently. “Seems like I can’t catch a break right now,” he wrote on Instagram. “RIP Yiayia, the best we could ask for. Go enjoy your time with Papou now.”

Kyrgios accompanied the post with a series of photos of his late 'Yiayia' - the Greek word for grandmother. One of the photos shows Kyrgios and his brother Christos posing alongside his late grandma, while another image shows her proudly holding up a Greek newspaper showing the tennis star's Australian Open doubles triumph with Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Kyrgios' brother Christos wrote about his late Yiayia: “She will look over us always. Remembering her and her strength”. The tennis star's girlfriend, Costeen Hatzi, added: “Yiayia will always be looking over you,” with Kokkinakis also adding his support.

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