In a huge blow to the first Grand Slam event since the start of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic in March, Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the 2020 US Open. With the Aussie's withdrawal, the tournament has lost one of its biggest draws - and will have to depend on the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to provide all the spark.
Those who have followed Kyrgios' social media activity would know of his misgivings about tennis being played during the global health crisis. The controversial Aussie has relentlessly criticized his colleagues - especially Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev - since they participated in the Adria Tour, an event that saw several players and staff testing positive.
Also expressing concern about the general health of tennis fans, Nick Kyrgios made his US Open announcement in a video posted by the Twitter handle "UNINTERRUPTED". The Aussie listed all his reasons for sitting out of the Major event at NY, and also made veiled jibes at Novak Djokovic and Co.
Nick Kyrgios started his note with emphasis on what he thinks should be the priority given the unprecedented situation on hand.
"Let's take a breath year and remember what's important," Kyrgios said. "Which is health and safety as a community. We can rebuild our sport, and the economy, but we can never recover the lives lost."
The Aussie also made it clear he had no problem with the organizing body of the US Open going forward with the event. He believes that would help several thousand working class people in USA get back their source of income and livelihood, which was displaced due to the long break.
'You can't be dancing on tables' - Nick Kyrgios takes a subtle dig at Novak Djokovic
Nick Kyrgios didn't mince any words in the monologue, as he launched thinly veiled attacks on his colleagues from the ATP tour. Kyrgios also tried to indirectly warn the others not to make the same mistakes that Novak Djokovic and the other players from the Adria Tour did.
"Tennis players, you have to act in interest of each other and work together. You can't be dancing on tables, money grabbing your way around Europe, or trying to make a quick buck hosting an exhibition. That's just so selfish," Kyrgios said.
The reference to Novak Djokovic wasn't too hard to make out in Kyrgios' words. The Serb had organized his exhibition event with noble intentions, but was widely lambasted for ignoring social distancing norms and dancing in a nightclub.
During his video message, Nick Kyrgios also praised his fellow players who had been following basic safety precautions. The Aussie added that the decision to play the events in America and Europe depended on each player's personal preference, but urged everyone to keep the bigger picture in mind.
"Think of the other people for once, that's what the virus is about. It doesn't care about your world ranking or how much money you have. Act responsibly," Kyrgios said.
At the end of the video message, Nick Kyrgios listed all his reasons for not playing the US Open, saying that he was doing it 'for my people and for the Aussies'.
With Nick Kyrgios out, all eyes will now be on Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as the tennis world continues to wait for professional tennis to finally kick off. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who had himself contracted COVID-19 but has now recovered, had previously expressed doubts about playing in the US due to the 'extreme conditions'.Published 02 Aug 2020, 14:28 IST