Enigmatic superstar Nick Kyrgios has sensationally withdrawn from the United Cup just 24 hours before the tournament kicks off.
Kyrgios was a major asset to the new mixed tennis event, which will be played in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth from Thursday.
He cited the need to recover from multiple injuries ahead of the Australian Open next month.
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Her team told the Sydney Morning Herald that the star suffered an ankle injury in Dubai and will need to use the next fortnight to recover ahead of the Open.
Kyrgios, 27, had kicked off the United Cup days earlier and said how excited he was to take part in what would be his first Australian appearance since winning the Australian Open final with Thanasi Kokkinakis in January.
“There’s nothing better, playing in the Australian summer is one of my favorite times of the year,” Kyrgios said.
“Obviously being at home, but being able to play in Sydney, in front of the home fans, my family, my friends, there’s nothing I love more.”
Kyrgios drew criticism – including from Lleyton Hewitt and Alex de Minaur – last month for refusing to represent Australia at the Davis Cup.
Watch Team Australia take on the world in the United Cup, live and exclusively on 9Now and Stan Sport.
In true combative style, Kyrgios mocked an Instagram post as he flew to the Middle East to compete in some rich and short tournaments.
He later lambasted Australians for criticizing him over the years.
Kyrgios rips Barty’s medal
“Maybe if Australia embraced me a bit more I would play and bring home the trophy,” he said earlier this month.
“It’s not always easy for me to erase anything negative that is said about me or my family in Australia.
“You don’t need that – so it’s interesting that they really want me to play, but still criticize.”
Kyrgios also took to Instagram to suggest that Ash Barty didn’t deserve the Newcombe Medal.
It will be intriguing to see the reception he receives at Melbourne Park when he steps out for January’s Grand Slam.
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