Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the Australian Open on Monday due to a knee injury. The Australian was scheduled to face Roman Safiullin on Tuesday, but will be replaced in the draw by lucky loser Denis Kudla.
“Obviously this coming around is just bad timing. But that’s life. Injury is a part of the sport. I guess I can draw some inspiration from someone like Thanasi [Kokkinakis] who has had a bunch of injuries and has bounced back,” Kyrgios said. “Look, I’m not doubting I will be back to my full strength and playing the tennis I was playing prior to this event.
“Yeah, I’m devastated obviously. It’s like my home tournament. I’ve had some great memories here. Obviously last year winning the title in doubles and playing the best tennis of my life probably. Then going into this event as one of the favourites, it’s brutal. All I can do now is just look forward, do what I need to do and come back.”
Kyrgios earned one of the best results of his career at the 2022 Australian Open, where he partnered close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis to the doubles title. The 27-year-old maintained his form throughout the year, advancing to the Wimbledon final in singles and triumphing at the Citi Open among other results.
But in the past week, discomfort in the knee led Kyrgios to undergo an MRI, which revealed a parameniscal cyst growing in his left meniscus, which is the result of a small tear in his lateral meniscus. The Australian’s physio, Will Maher, explained the injury.
“It’s not a significant injury in the sense that it’s going to be career threatening or anything like that. Even at that stage it was still worth persevering to see if we could do anything to get him back on court,” Maher said. “To Nick’s credit, he did try everything, to the point even last week he was having a procedure called a fenestration and drainage where they use a syringe to try and drain the cyst, which Nick has some pretty gruesome photos of. I’m sure he’ll probably share them later.
“Any amount of injections that he could try to get into his knee without causing long-term damage. We came to Melbourne with the hope there might be some pressure relieved from that procedure and he’d have some relief and be able to get up to a level he was comfortable to compete.”
Kyrgios pushed to try to be able to compete in the season’s first major. But the knee became more sore as the week went on.
“I think we’ve made the sensible decision to withdraw him because at this stage he wants to feel mentally comfortable that he can go seven matches, he can go the distance, and needs to be able to do potentially seven three-hour matches. Getting on the court simply wasn’t enough for him,” Maher said. “The situation now is, we wanted to prevent him from having further injury or making that injury worse.
“So now he’ll go back to Canberra at the end of the week, he’ll have an arthroscopic procedure to clean up his lateral meniscus and remove the paralabral cyst.”