Home favourite Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the Australian Open with a knee injury on the eve of his first-round match in a huge blow to organisers. Wimbledon finalist Kyrgios revealed he had suffered a torn meniscus and decided to withdraw after a hitting practice session with his doubles partner Thanisi Kokkinakis.
“Obviously, I’m extremely disappointed, this is one of the most important tournaments of my career, it hasn’t been easy at all,” Kyrgios told reporters at Melbourne Park. “This coming around is just bad timing but that’s life, you know. Injuries are part of the sport.”
The withdrawal also ends Kyrgios and Kokkinakis’s defence of the men’s doubles title, a year after the “Special K’s” drew massive crowds through their unlikely championship run. With Kyrgios gone and Ash Barty retired, the chances of another home champion for the local fans are greatly diminished.