Nick Kyrgios' withdrawal from the Australian Open comes as a double blow for Aussie tennis fans as it means a reunion with Thanasi Kokkinakis won't be happening. Kyrgios confirmed the sad news on Saturday that he won't be playing the 2024 Australian Open in January, saying he hasn't managed to get his body right after knee and wrist injuries this year.
"Obviously had a really tough year with injury, had that knee surgery and came back a little too soon (which) set me back a little bit, obviously had some wrist issues,” he said. “So this is a very disappointing time for me, but I won’t be able to compete at the 2024 Australian Open.
“Obviously heartbreaking, I’ve had so many amazing memories there and I just want to really get back to playing at the top of my game and doing it right and I need a little more time. I was so close to winning a grand slam (at Wimbledon in 2022), I want to make sure that my body is going to have the time it needs to come back, so please bear with me."
The Aussie contingent will now be without a key singles player, but it also means a dream doubles reunion between the 'Special Ks' - Kyrgios and Kokkinakis - won't take place. Kyrgios and Kokkinakis provided one of the sporting stories of 2022 when they won the doubles title at the Australian Open for their first grand slam together.
The Aussie pair even qualified for the ATP Finals that year in the doubles, but haven't played together since. Speaking last month, Kokkinakis said a reunion of the 'Special Ks' was on the cards if Kyrgios was fully-fit to play the Australian Open.
“If he’s healthy and we’re both healthy, we’re definitely in,” Kokkinakis said. “He obviously had a tough year this year with some injuries. I know he’s hard rehabbing what he’s got going on. I’m hoping we can see him in the summer. If he’s healthy … we’ll definitely play.”
How much longer will Nick Kyrgios play tennis?
Unfortunately we won't get to see the dream doubles pairing for a second-straight year after Kyrgios also missed the 2023 tournament at Melbourne Park. The 28-year-old withdrew on the eve of the grand slam and underwent knee surgery, which kept him sidelined until the middle of the year.
He attempted to make a comeback at Wimbledon (where he made the final in 2022) but suffered a wrist injury and has been out ever since. The Canberran only played one match at ATP level in 2023 in a brutal twist after his breakout year in 2022.
Questions are now being asked about how much longer Kyrgios will play before he retires from the sport, especially considering his recent comments. Speaking early this year, the Aussie star said there was "no way" he'll still be playing in five years' time.
"No f***ing chance. No way. Bro, there's no chance I'm playing until 33," he said. "Kyrgios playing until 33 is insane! I'm not playing until 33. Nah, I promise you, when I'm gone, you'll never see me again."
Despite not being able to play the Australian Open, Kyrgios revealed he'll be doing some commentary after filling the same role during the ATP Finals last month. "I will still be around, commentating matches, being around, I’ve got some special things planned, so please be excited still," he said. “You know I’ll be there and hopefully see all the fans, I’ll see you there.”
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