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Kyrgios withdraws from Wimbledon with wrist injury

LONDON (AFP) – Nick Kyrgios withdrew from Wimbledon on Sunday with a wrist injury, stripping the tournament of one its headline acts 12 months after the firebrand Australian finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic.

“I’m really sad to say that I have to withdraw from Wimbledon this year,” the 28-year-old wrote on Instagram, explaining that he had hurt his wrist as he prepared in vain to play in Mallorca last week.

Kyrgios had been an injury doubt in the build-up to Wimbledon.

However, that was because he was struggling to recover from knee surgery which has restricted him to just one match in 2023.

“I tried my hardest to be ready after my surgery and to be able to step on the Wimbledon courts again. During my comeback, I experienced some pain in my wrist during Mallorca,” he added.

Nick Kyrgios. PHOTO: AP

“As a precaution, I had it scanned and it came back showing a torn ligament in my wrist. I tried everything to be able to play and I am disappointed to say that I just didn’t have enough time to manage it before Wimbledon.

“I’ll be back, and as always, I appreciate the support from all my fans.”

Kyrgios had been due to face wild card David Goffin in the first round at the All England Club.

His place in the draw will be taken by a lucky loser from qualifying.

Earlier Sunday, Kyrgios, whose lone match in 2023 came in Stuttgart last month, said that his battle to regain full fitness had been “brutal”.

However, he added, “I didn’t miss the sport. I was almost dreading coming back a little bit, but it’s my job.”

He also admitted there remained “question marks” over his ability to play best-of-five sets after such a lengthy absence.

“I feel like to the outside world, people don’t understand. Just because it’s not contact, it’s not that physical.

“I dare someone to go out there and play four hours with Novak and see how you feel afterwards.”

At Wimbledon in 2022, the Australian dominated most of the headlines.

His high-octane, flamboyant shot-making was accompanied by signature clashes with rivals and officialdom. He was fined USD10,000 for spitting and USD4,000 for shouting obscenities.

Kyrgios also fought out an explosive third round clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas with the Greek even describing him as “evil” and a “bully”.

In the final against Djokovic, he demanded a woman be ejected from the crowd for consuming “700 drinks, bro”.