By Ian Chadband
Nick Kyrgios has completed his own miserable 2023 “grand slam”, having been forced to pull out of the US Open, the fourth major he has been forced to miss in his injury-wrecked season.
The US Tennis Association announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Canberran will miss the final slam of the year at Flushing Meadows, starting on August 28, following his pre-tournament withdrawals at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.
It marks an unhappy conclusion to a tennis year Kyrgios hoped would cement his dazzling breakthrough of 2022 when he reached the Wimbledon final and took a set off Novak Djokovic in the final.
He now looks set to end the year having played just one competitive match because of his continuing problems with his injured left knee: a tame defeat on a grass court in Stuttgart in June.
After reaching the US Open quarter-finals last year – his last grand slam appearance – Kyrgios’ 2023 tale of woe began when he had to miss the Australian Open in January with the knee problem that required arthroscopic surgery.
He then pulled out before the French Open and tried to concentrate on being fit for Wimbledon, but withdrew from two grasscourt warm-up tournaments in successive weeks.
He was still adamant he would be fit to compete at the year’s biggest event at Wimbledon, giving a fairly bullish news conference to that effect on the eve of the tournament.
But later that Sunday, he announced his withdrawal, citing a wrist injury that he had made no mention of in his conference. He has now told organisers that he won’t be ready for Flushing Meadows, where he made his deepest run last year by making it to the last eight, including victory over reigning champion Daniil Medvedev before bowing out to Karen Khachanov in five sets.
His 2022 campaign had been a standout, not only because of his Wimbledon and US Open runs but also with his victory at the ATP 500 event in Washington DC and his Australian Open doubles triumph with Thanasi Kokkinakis.
But his 2023 woes have seen him plummet down the world rankings. He is now down to No.92 and is currently only the ninth-ranked men’s player in Australia.
The US Tennis Association, in announcing Kyrgios’ withdrawal, along with that of Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany, offered no specific reasons for the pair’s absence, but said Argentina’s Facundo Diaz Acosta and Diego Schwartzman would replace them.
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