Australia

Aussie ace unlikely to leave Australia to play this year

Tennis: Rafael Nadal joins a number of other tennis stars and pulls out of US Open over coronavirus fears.

Aussie tennis ace Nick Kyrgios is likely to skip the French Open and could even remain in Australia for the rest of the year.

Kyrgios has already pulled out of the upcoming US Open in New York due to the coronavirus pandemic, on the back of fellow Aussie Ash Barty and now with world number two Rafael Nadal following suit.

Ranked 40 in the world, Kyrgios said he would rather go to Europe to play than the US, with the French Open rescheduled for the end of September.

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But he said he was just as happy not to go anywhere as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc with world sport.

“It’s a very slim chance I’ll play in Europe. Almost slim to none to be honest,” he told Channel Nine.

“I’m going to use this (time) to stay home, train, be with my family, be with my friends and I’m just going to act responsibly, and wait till I think there’s better circumstances to play.”

Kyrgios also cast doubt on next year’s Australian Open, scheduled for January, as Melbourne continues to battle a major outbreak that has triggered a stay-at-home lockdown and curfew.

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“I’m not too sure the Australian Open will be going ahead as it did at the start of the year with the pandemic in Melbourne,” he said.

“It’s sad times in Melbourne so I’m not too sure if the Australian Open will go on.”

Kyrgios has waged a social media battle with several tennis top names who played at Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour exhibition.

Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive for the COVID-19 illness after the event, where social distancing minimal and some players went nightclubbing.

The Aussie said they were supposed to be setting a better example.

“Their behaviour throughout this time, I don’t think has been great at all. Especially coming from some of our leaders of the sport,” Kyrgios said.

“On top of our game they’re supposed to be setting an example for the rest of the tour, and them coming back at me with behaviour that I’ve done on court, I mean it just shows their intellectual level to be honest.

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“Putting lives at risk, it’s not really comparable.”mp/arb/th

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