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No fans, no Games: Nick Kyrgios pulls out of Olympics

Aug 31, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Nick Kyrgios of Australia returns a shot against Andrey Rublev of Russia in a third round match on day six of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Kyrgios won’t represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, citing the lack of spectators as a key reason.

His announcement followed the decision in Tokyo to ban fans from most venues amid the declaration of a COVID-19 emergency, where the virus remains uncontrolled.

Men’s singles play is set to begin July 24 at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo.

“It’s a decision I didn’t make lightly,” Kyrgios posted on Twitter on Friday. “It’s been my dream to represent Australia at the Olympics and I know I many never get that opportunity again.

“But I also know myself. The thought of playing in front of empty stadiums just doesn’t sit right with me. It never has.”

Kyrgios, 26, withdrew from Wimbledon on Saturday midway through his third-round match with Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, tied 6-2, 1-6, because of an abdominal injury. He said that also was part of his Olympics decision.

“I also wouldn’t want to take an opportunity away from a healthy Aussie athlete ready to represent the country,” Kyrgios wrote. “I will also take all the time I need to get my body right.”

A replacement for Kyrgios has yet to be named to Team Australia.

–Field Level Media