Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the ATP Tour event in North Carolina in a dramatic last-minute call.
The Australian was about to walk out for his highly-anticipated match with Andy Murray when it was announced to the crowd that Kyrgios had retired from the tournament.
The ATP Winston-Salem Open has not announced the reason for Kyrgios’ last-second withdrawal, however, reports indicate he has been struggling with a left knee injury with the US Open beginning on Monday, August 30.
Unfortunately, @NickKyrgios has withdrawn from his Round 1 match vs Andy Murray due to a left knee injury
Hope to see you on court soon, Nick 🙌 pic.twitter.com/AVdcz047Kr
It was announced almost 30 minutes later that Murray will now play lucky loser Noah Rubin on Monday (AEST).
Kyrgios, meanwhile, had lost three consecutive matches leading into the Winston-Salem Open and is yet to make a quarter-final of any event he has played this year.
Tennis journalist Stuart Fraser reported the crowd reacted angrily to the confirmation announcement inside the stadium that Kyrgios would not be competing at the event.
“The on-court MC informs spectators that Kyrgios has withdrawn. Some harsh boos in response,” Fraser wrote on Twitter.
“Andy Murray will play lucky loser Noah Rubin in 20 minutes. Rubin only lost his qualifying match against Lucas Pouille about 25 minutes ago.”
Kyrgios posted a cryptic message to his Instagram stories after his withdrawal was announced by the tournament.
His post of a cartoon character smoking a cigarette, included the caption: “Never regret anything that made you smile”.
Murray, one of Kyrgios’ closest friends on the Tour, last week gave a brutally honest response when asked about watching the 26-year-old compete.
It’s been a hard month for Nick Kyrgios.Source:AFP
Nick Kyrgios posted on his Instagram stories Monday. Photo: @k1ngkyrg1os.Source:Instagram
“I like watching [Corentin] Moutet. I like watching [Gael] Monfils. I like watching [Nick] Kyrgios when he’s into it,” he said in an interview with atptour.com.
“When he’s not into it, I don’t enjoy that at all. But when he’s into it, I really enjoy watching him.
“Some of the youngsters now, the young, young ones, are really fun to watch. I like watching [Daniil] Medvedev as well. I think he’s a very interesting player who has got lots of variety and has an awkward-looking game. But he’s very intelligent on the court and that’s what I like to see. I like people who are thinking out there.”
Kyrgios controversially skipped the Olympics in a last-minute withdrawal following Wimbledon as a result of the Covid-19 climate that surrounded the Tokyo Games.
He has since committed to playing the 2022 Australian Open and has promised to feature in the mixed doubles with American teenage sensation Coco Gauff.
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