Nick Kyrgios withdraws from Australian Open warm-up event delaying injury comeback

Australian Open: Nick Kyrgios reacts to Bourchier win

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Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the Melbourne Summer Set ahead of the Australian Open. The current world No 93 was set to make his comeback from a knee injury that saw him end his 2021 season early, but has pulled out of the ATP 250 tournament citing his asthma.

Kyrgios has barely played on the tour in the last two years.

When the pandemic hit, the Aussie did not travel abroad for any tournaments after losing in the first round of the Mexican Open, where he was the defending champion, in February 2020.

His first tournament came in Melbourne last year, where he entered the ATP 250 ahead of the Australian Open, making it to the third round of both tournaments.

The former world No 13 didn’t play again until Wimbledon more than four months later – his first international tournament since the pandemic started – but was forced to retire injured.

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After completing a full North American hard-court swing with tournaments in Atlanta, Washington, the Toronto Masters and the US Open, the 26-year-old played just one match at the Laver Cup before ending his season with a knee injury.

Kyrgios, who has played the Team Europe vs Team World exhibition event every year since its inauguration in 2017, lost his only singles match to Stefanos Tsitsipas and sat on the sidelines for the final day of the event to support his team.

“Hey guys, over the last couple of months I haven’t been near 100% healthy,” Kyrgios wrote on his Instagram story, announcing his decision to shut down his 2021 season after the Laver Cup.

“I’ve been dealing with left knee patella tendonopothy and continuing to play without fully treating it can lead to further pain and greater setbacks.”

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The six-time ATP Tour title winner said he was “planning to get PRP treatment” to settle down and rehab his knee, hoping to be back for the Australian Open.

However, he will now have just one warm-up event in the build up to the first Grand Slam of 2022 after withdrawing from the ATP 250 in Melbourne, part of the Melbourne Summer Set with the likes of Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal also in the draw.

Tournament organisers confirmed on Tuesday that Kyrgios had pulled out due to asthma, after he was set to face world No 88 Alex Molcan in the evening session.

Reports also claim that the Aussie suffered an asthma attack that spurred on his decision to withdraw.

The world No 93 is still set to compete in next week’s Sydney Tennis Classic, another ATP 250 event, after receiving a wildcard into the tournament.

The Australian Open then kicks off the week after, from January 17, where Kyrgios will be hoping to impress in front of the home crowd.

Elsewhere in the Melbourne ATP 250 event, Andy Murray lost his opening match to Facundo Bagnis.

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The world No 76 needed two hours and 27 minutes to overcome the former world No 1 6-3 5-7 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.

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