With fans packed in on a beautiful night in Winston-Salem, Nick Kyrgios failed to take the court in his much-hyped first round match against Andy Murray
The Australian withdrew from the match just before the 7pm local start time due to a left knee injury he’s been carrying for a couple weeks. With a boos from fans on the timing of the announcement, it marks yet another misstep in the controversial career of Kyrgios.
“I was in Florida, in Bradenton rehabbing and training and came here obviously excited to play here. I love the facility, it’s really great,” the 26-year-old Kyrgios said. “To play Andy Murray, one of my good friends and a tennis icon would have been amazing, but obviously I have to look after my body.
“I just didn’t feel as if the risk was worth [playing] today. I’ve got to be more cautious with it, keep rehabbing, keep training.
“I just need a bit more time,” Kyrgios added. “As a professional athlete playing on Tour for this long I want to look after my body, I want to do it right.”
Murray, who was 5-1 against Kyrgios, did take the court about 30 minutes to instead face lucky loser and Wake Forest, North Carolina product Noah Rubin. And the former No. 1 didn’t miss a beat rolling past the American 6-2, 6-0.
“Originally I was playing Nick and he had an injury to his knee so wasn’t going to play. I didn’t know if I was going to play tonight. They said if I was playing against a qualifier then I wouldn’t play and then I drew a lucky loser… so then I was playing Noah… It was tricky,” Murray told the capacity crowd.
“It was obviously difficult for 45 minutes and then the first couple of games because you’ve gone over a strategy with your coach about the match you’re going to play and then obviously that changes.”
Murray will now meet Frances Tiafoe in the second round.
Pablo Carreno Busta, David Goffin and Dan Evans are the Top 3 seeds.
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