Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios’ return to the court confirmed
Nick Kyrgios will be back on the pitch at two of the tour’s biggest events from next week after receiving a pair of wildcards
Nick Kyrgios will play for the first time since winning the Australian Open doubles title at the Indian Wells Masters next week, the scene of one of his biggest wins.
The Australian tennis star’s singles ranking has plummeted to No. 134, but he remains one of the most marketable players on the tour, which has helped him score wildcards in Indian events Wells and Miami.
Kyrgios last played at the California tournament, often called the ‘fifth major’, in 2019 and his best result was reaching the quarter-finals in 2017 before retiring ahead of a clash with Roger Federer.
He reached the last eight that year with back-to-back upsets from Alex Zverev and then Novak Djokovic, against whom he is 2-0 head-to-head.
Kyrgios will likely rely on a string of wildcards to boost his rankings and avoid having to scramble on the secondary ATP Challenger tour unless he can make a splash next month.
The 26-year-old did not make himself available for the Davis Cup as Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt said he “had a meeting in America” but was still a first-choice player for his country.
“The last two years have been tough for him because Nick likes to be home and he doesn’t like to travel all the time,” Hewitt said.
“It’s quite difficult being an Australian player, especially the last two years of the pandemic and not being able to come back every three, four, five weeks. So it wasn’t ideal for him.
“He’s lucky, though, as you can see in the Australian summer, that he can pick up a racquet and still go out there and compete with the top players with very limited games under his belt.
“Not many players can do that. For him to reach his absolute best, though, he has to get those games. I still think he will choose where he wants to play, though.
Hewitt, like others in the tennis community, accepted Kyrgios’ different motivations for playing the sport.
“In many ways he plays for different reasons than a lot of other guys. He’s not driven by the majors and doesn’t win titles all the time,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s for entertainment and the fun he has to go out and play. It’s up to him at the end of the day where that motivation comes from.
Kyrgios has revealed on social media in recent weeks that he had periods in previous years where he had “self-harmed” and had “suicidal thoughts”, but was proud to reveal that he had ” completely turned around”.
Andy Murray, who again partnered with Ivan Lendl, and Americans Jack Sock and Sam Querrey also received wildcards for Indian Wells.