Doubts continue to mount over Nick Kyrgios’ Australian Open return

Nov 24, 2023
Doubts have continued to grow over Nick Kyrgios' return to the court. Source: Getty Images

He’s one of the most controversial tennis players in recent years but so far in 2023, Nick Kyrgios has spent very little time on the court. Kyrgios has played only one match this year in Stuttgart before injuries benched him for the remainder of the season.

In January, he withdrew from the 2023 Australian Open due to a knee injury. Kyrgios later tore a ligament in his wrist and was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon as well.

Recently, Kyrgios explained that “the stars have to align a little bit” for him to play at the 2024 Australian Open. While commentating at the ATP Finals in Italy, Kyrgios revealed that he still needed to wear a splint on his serving arm for at least another month, which has thrown the potential for his return in January into serious doubt.

Last month, Australian Open boss Craig Tiley was optimistic that Kyrgios would return to play soon.

“I personally believe in the communication that he’s motivated to come back and play in January,” Tiley said at the Australian Open launch in Melbourne.

Since then, however, Tiley has somewhat walked back his comments over Kyrgios’ anticipated return, telling Nine News that his ability to play would have to be determined closer to the date.

“We have spoken to Nick and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give himself the best chance to play in January … Nick’s position will be determined closer to the event. Any time we can get Nick, it’s great for everyone,” Tiley said.

“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great, but we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to take care of his health because he’s not just got January, he’s got the entire year,” he added.

As a result of his absence from the court, Kyrgios’ world ranking has slipped down to 192. Tiley suggested that he may be given a wildcard in order to be able to compete in the Open without having to participate in a qualifier.

“I think whatever gets him the best chance to progress during the year … we have wildcard exchanges with the French and Wimbledon, so there’s an opportunity to really help an Australian player not just have one tournament to go into but several, so we’ll weigh that all up to make a decision – we’ve got wildcards to do that,” Tiley said.

While Tiley’s outlook on Kyrgios’ chances of returning to the court seems bleak, one player’s return he was more optimistic about was Rafael Nadal who has been recovering from hip surgery he underwent in June.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day, because he’s a massive drawcard for us. He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing … I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago,” Tiley told reporters.

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up