“I tried to be ready for it” – Kyrgios explains last-minute United Cup withdrawal

The Australian says he was in constant touch with tournament organizers about his injury concerns

Nick Kyrgios at the 2022 ATP Finals in Turin Nick Kyrgios at the 2022 ATP Finals in Turin Image Credit: Imago / Panoramic

Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios has explained his last-minute withdrawal from the Australian team for the United Cup, saying he wanted to take no chances with regards to his Australian Open campaign.

Kyrgios received flak for his 11th hour withdrawal with Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt telling the media he wished the communication from Kyrgios’ side would be better.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Kyrgios said he waited till the last moment to be ready and that he was in regular touch with Tennis Australia Chief Executive Craig Tiley and United Cup Tournament Director Stephen Farrow about his injury.

“I was in contact with Craig and Stephen regularly about the situation,” Kyrgios said. “We all worked together to try and get the best outcome. Not everyone is going to understand or see it from my side and that is okay. What my team and I can control is how we go about our business and make sure who needs to know, knows – and we leave it at that. It is obviously very difficult. It’s not ideal to have an injury at any time in the season, but that is the risk I run every time I step on court. I was working every day very closely with my team about my progression and speaking with William, my physio, after every session. I tried to be ready for it, but at some point you need to listen to the advice you’re receiving and do what is best.”

According to The Herald, Kyrgios had informed tournament organizers around Christmas time that he was struggling with an ankle injury.

“People underestimate the pressure and the nerves with being a part of one of the biggest tournaments of the year” – Kyrgios

Kyrgios, who finished the season ranked No 22 without any rnaking points for reaching the final at Wimbledon, said people do not always understand the pressures that come with competing at the Grand Slam level.

“Anyone who plays professionally knows for sure,” Kyrgios added. “Anyone outside of that wouldn’t have a great understanding. Going deep or not, winning a match at a grand slam level is not an easy task. People underestimate the pressure and the nerves with being a part of one of the biggest tournaments of the year. Throw in an injury and knowing you didn’t give yourself the best chance only adds to the mountain of pressure you face. So feeling good physically is important.”

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