Nick Kyrgios pays tribute to brother Gael Monfils as pair practice for US Open

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Nick Kyrgios left Gael Monfils a touching message after the two practiced together ahead of the upcoming US Open. The pair have been good friends off the court, with the Aussie recently congratulating Monfils on his marriage to fellow tennis player Elina Svitolina. The world Nos 20 and 85 hit the practice courts together in Flushing Meadows, sharing a number of photos on their social media accounts.

Kyrgios arrived in New York following his withdrawal from the Winston-Salem Open, where he was set to face Andy Murray in a blockbuster opening round clash.

The world No 85 pulled out shortly before the match with a left injury knee as a precaution ahead of the final Grand Slam of the year, leaving lucky loser Noah Rubin to take his place just half an hour after his own two-hour loss in qualifying.

He wasted no time getting prepared in Flushing Meadows as he teamed up with Monfils for a practice session.

The pair shared a flurry of snaps and videos from their session on their Instagram accounts, including one shot of them standing together in front of a US Open sign on practice court 11.

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The Frenchman shared the smiley photo on his Instagram page, showing him pointing at Kyrgios who has his hand on his hip.

The 25-year-old sounded grateful for their practice together, leaving a sweet comment on the photo as he paid tribute to one of his good friends on tour.

“Thankyou my brother,” he wrote, adding a love heart emoji.

“Your energy makes my day all the time. Always a pleasure. Goodluck and I’m always here for you.”

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Those closest to Kyrgios and Monfils also found the photo touching, with Svitolina commenting: “Magicians”.

The Aussie’s sister Hamilah, who is currently appearing on The Voice Australia, left the raising hands and smiling emojis below the photo.

The US Open also hyped up the duo, reposting the photo on Instagram and captioning it, “Name a more exciting duo on court.”

They also hinted at the possibility of a doubles pairing, quoting Monfils’ post on Twitter with: Doubles, anyone?”

Meanwhile, in the singles Kyrgios has a tough test ahead of him as he begins his campaign at the US Open, being drawn against 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

He also finds himself in the same quarter as third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who opens with his own popcorn match against 2012 champion Andy Murray.

Monfils is the 17th seed in New York and opens against world No 61 Federico Coria, finding himself in a quarter with last year’s runner-up Alexander Zverev, as well as young stars Denis Shapovalov and Jannik Sinner.

The former semi-finalist has been unable to string together a series of back-to-back wins since the tour resumed a year ago during the pandemic, but recently made it to the quarter-finals of the Toronto Masters and the round of 16 in Cincinnati, so will enter the US Open feeling confidence after a year of early losses.

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