Australia's Nick Kyrgios speaks during a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, Monday. AP
Kyrgios, a 27-year-old from Australia, was the runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year in singles and teamed with good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis to claim the men's doubles championship at the 2022 Australian Open.
Kyrgios was considered the host country’s strongest chance to win a title at Melbourne Park this year; no man from Australia has won the singles trophy there since 1976.
Australia's Nick Kyrgios reacts as he announces his withdrawal from the Australian Open in Melbourne on Monday. AP
"Just bad timing. But that’s life,” said a downcast Kyrgios, who occasionally lowered his head or covered his face with a hand during a news conference at Melbourne Park alongside his physical therapist, Will Maher. "Injury is a part of the sport.”
Kyrgios announced his withdrawal on Day 1 of action at the year’s first Grand Slam tournament.
"I’m just exhausted from everything. Obviously pretty brutal,” Kyrgios said of the decision to sit out. "One of the most important tournaments of my career. Hasn’t been easy at all.”
He was seeded 19th in Melbourne and was supposed to face Roman Safiullin in the first round on Tuesday.
"Barely had a good night’s sleep the last four, five nights. It’s just been throbbing. ... Every time I land on serve or push off my serve, you can see on the side of my knee there’s like a little lump. That lump will eventually just get bigger and bigger," Kyrgios said. "There’s pressure on my knee (that) obviously hinders my movement. Yeah, the only real way to get rid of it is to open up and then just get rid of it.”
The polarising Australian was due to play his first match of the season at the Sydney Classic but pulled out just hours before his evening clash with Italian Fabio Fognini.
With her 38th birthday fast approaching, the clock is ticking for Serena Williams and on her pursuit of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. The American star won her most recent major at the Australian Open in 2017 while pregnant.
Aslan Karatsev announced himself on the big stage at the Australian Open earlier in the year, when the Russian reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion and world No1 Novak Djokovic. On Melbourne Park’s blue hardcourts, the
World ranked 139 Tauson saw off Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic 6-4, 6-1 to guarantee a top 100 debut on Monday. Tauson was playing in just her third main draw and with Sunday's win confirmed her status as one of the sport's in-form players.
Aryna Sabalenka is into her first Grand Slam final, where on Saturday she will face Wimbledon champion Rybakina, who earlier beat Victoria Azarenka in straight sets.
Azam was the only player to breach the 2000-run mark during the calendar year across all formats, and he did it in style as he broke past that milestone in style while amassing a whopping 2598 runs at an imposing average of 54.12.
"Alhamdulilah today was my Nikah. It is a big day in my life and the start of a new chapter. Please respect my choices and those of my wife and our families. Prayers and love for all," he wrote.