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The official bad boy of tennis, Nick Kyrgios, will have to sit out the rest of the Australian Open after an MRI revealed damage to his left knee, which will require surgery.
Kyrgios announced his withdrawal from the Open on Monday, deflating anticipation for the event now that one of its biggest stars will be gone.
“I’m devastated. It’s brutal,” Kyrgios commented on his withdrawal. “This is my home tournament, and obviously, winning the tournament in doubles [last year] and playing the best tennis of my life. All I can do is my best to come back.”
Kyrgios was on the court at Melbourne Park Friday when he took on 21-time Grand Slam champ Novak Djokovic in an exhibition match for charity. The two last faced off against each other in a thrilling Wimbledon finale last year.
As relayed by ESPN, Kyrgios’ physiotherapist, Will Maher, stated that Kyrgios’ mobility wasn’t where his team expected it after participating in the warm-up match on Friday.
“We used the charity event against Novak to see if he could compete at the highest level,” Maher shared. “It’s been [a] pretty interrupted and difficult lead-in. In the last week, Nick has experienced discomfort in his knee. There’s a small tear in his lateral meniscus. It was worth persevering to see if he can get back on the court. To Nick’s credit, he did everything to get back on the court.”
When Will Kyrgios Return?
The Australian Open will certainly miss Kyrgios’ on-court antics, which have ranged from demolishing rackets on the acrylic court to flipping off harsh crowds.
A rough estimate on Kyrgios’ return after his scheduled arthroscopic surgery on Monday forecasts his return in March.
Kyrgios reacted to the outpour of support on Twitter. “I know. Trust me, my heart is broken. But I’m on the table Monday to get fixed, I’ll be back!” Kyrgios responded to a tweet from tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou.