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Nick Kyrgios (knee) withdraws from Australian Open

Jan 15, 2023; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Nick Kyrgios of Australia hits a shot during a practice session on court 16 at Melbourne Park. Mandatory Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the Australian Open on Monday because of a left knee injury that will require surgery.

The Australian was seeded 19th in his home-country tournament and was scheduled to meet Roman Safiullin of Russia in the first round on Tuesday. He said in a news conference in Melbourne that he has a small tear and a cyst in the lateral meniscus.

“I’m devastated obviously. It’s like my home tournament,” he said. “I’ve had some great memories here. Obviously last year winning the title in doubles and playing the best tennis of my life probably. Then going into this event as one of the favorites, it’s brutal. All I can do now is just look forward, do what I need to do and come back.”

He is Australia’s highest-ranked player and has seven career singles titles. He won in Washington, D.C., in 2022 and also made his first Grand Slam final, losing to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in four sets.

Discomfort in his knee over the past week caused Kyrgios, 27, to undergo an MRI, which revealed the injury. He is expected to return to action in time to compete at Indian Wells in California in March.

Lucky loser Denis Kudla of the United States will replace Kyrgios and face Safiullin.

–Field Level Media