The controversial Nick Kyrgios has been forced to withdraw from the Atlanta Open with a knee injury which could well affect his chances of participating at this year’s final major, the US Open at the end of the next month
I hope you all won’t be too hard on me. I was going to come out here and see you guys face-to-face to tell you that I love you guys and hopefully next year in singles I’ll be able to compete and give it my all. Nick Kyrgios
The Australian, seeded seventh at the event, explained his situation on court personally to the fans, and apologised for letting them down on this occasion though he hoped that he could continue in the doubles with fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis having reached that event’s quarter final stage.
“First of all, I just want to say I’m extremely shattered that I’m not able to compete tonight,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve won this tournament once and I’ve played probably some of the best tennis of my career (here). All I wanted to do was come out here and give you guys a show, obviously just see what I’m capable of.
“But I’m unable to give out my best performance today and I’m just extremely sorry. But I’m going to keep my hopes up and maybe be able to continue doubles with Thanasi this week.
“I hope you all won’t be too hard on me. I was going to come out here and see you guys face-to-face to tell you that I love you guys and hopefully next year in singles I’ll be able to compete and give it my all.”
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, who won the Australian Open mens’ doubles earlier this year, entered the tournament as the second seeds and beat the French pairing of Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 6-3 to progress to the last eight.
Kokkinakis is also out of the singles having lost his first round matcha against the wild carded American Andres Martin 6-3 6-2.
Had Kokkinakis won and Kyrgios not pulled out, the two friends and doubles partners would have met in the second round!
There was more success for the Australian contingent in Georgia which sees three of them featuring in the second round, namely John Millman and James Duckworth plus the third seeded Alex de Minaur who went through on a bye.
Millman had to unfortunately, eliminate his countryman Alexei Popyrin who made him work hard for his 7-6(1) 4-6 6-3 victory as did Duckworth to get past the German qualifier Dominik Koepfer 6-1 6-7(5 6-3 while Jordan Thompson couldn’t join them thanks to American Brandon Nakashima who beat him 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3.
Nakashima faces Millman in the next round while Millman’ reward is the misfortune to take on his country’s best player De Minaur!