Nick Kyrgios eliminated from Adelaide tournament, beyond doubt for the Australian Open

Lleyton Hewitt, Australia’s United Cup captain, slammed Kyrgios for a lack of communication about his withdrawal, which he described as “thrown under the bus”.

But United Cup tournament director Stephen Farrow staunchly defended Kyrgios and organizers said as early as Christmas Eve he was struggling with the ankle problem.

He had hoped to start his season in Adelaide so the ongoing problem is a blow to his Grand Slam preparation and the South Australian event.

“The event is clearly disappointed by this decision, as are the fans who support it, but injuries happen and health is always a priority,” said Adelaide International Tournament Director Alistair MacDonald.

“The Adelaide International wishes Nick Kyrgios the best of luck and a speedy recovery and understands the importance of preparing for the Australian Open.”

Kyrgios has enjoyed the best season of his career, including reaching the Wimbledon final where 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic had to stop him, and the US Open quarterfinals.

He also won the Australian Open doubles title with close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis last year and they have committed to defending their championship.

Kokkinakis plays in Adelaide this week and meets Italy’s Jannik Sinner on Thursday night.

Djokovic is a hot favorite to win a 10th Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park and a record-breaking 22nd overall, but Kyrgios is one of the few players with a chance to upset the Serbian superstar.

Follow the entire summer of tennis, including the United Cup and Australian Open, live on Channel Nine, 9Gem and 9Now.

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Ryan Sederquist

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