Australian Open 2023 | Nick Kyrgios withdraws with knee injury, Jelena Dokic on Novak Djokovic match


Australian tennis great Jelena Dokic has backed Nick Kyrgios‘ agonising decision to pull out of the Australian Open, doubting that the star could have played at the level required to win grand slam matches with his knee injury.

Kyrgios on Monday night released a photo showing the grisly aftermath of a procedure during which he had a cyst in his knee drained before taking the court for his Friday night practice match with Novak Djokovic.

That photo, combined with the confirmation that Kyrgios required surgery before resuming his schedule for 2023, was enough to convince Dokic that pulling out without attempting to start the tournament was the 19th seed’s only option.

LIVE UPDATES: Australian Open 2023 day two highlights

READ MORE: Uncomfortable question hangs over Kyrgios call

READ MORE: Display of Russia flag at Australian Open condemned by Ukraine

Asked if Kyrgios had made the “wise” choice by withdrawing, rather than attempting to get through his first round match with the injury and manage it through the tournament, Dokic responded that he had no realistic alternative.

“I don’t think he had any choice actually because I don’t think he could go out there and play on the knee,” Dokic told Wide World of Sports The Morning Serve.

“I don’t think it was about protecting it I think it was about the fact that he really wasn’t able to get out there and play in the end.

“I know he’s been trying to get ready for a few weeks now and he had to withdraw from the United Cup, so definitely wasn’t in good enough shape to do it, so it’s absolutely a wise decision to do it, as hard as it is – he said it’s been hard for him to make this decision.”

Dokic added that it was unreasonable to cast doubt over Kyrgios’ decision to play a televised warm-up match against Djokovic as he attempted to overcome the knee issue, explaining that he had to “test it” in match conditions to make a considered decision about whether or not to enter the draw.

Tennis Legend reacts to Kyrgios’ Aus Open withdrawal: The Morning Serve – Day 2

“I don’t think it was anything that he shouldn’t have done because I think he got the opportunity to test it, which is what he said he did, and he didn’t think he could stand up next week,” Dokic said.

“So he got the opportunity to play kind of an official match, even though it was kind of easy. Even after that he didn’t pull up well, so he knew he wouldn’t be able to play.”

Djokovic himself is now in some doubt, with a persistent hamstring injury forcing him to modify his practice schedule.

The Serbian superstar, who is a short-priced favourite to capture his 10th Australian Open title next week, is due to start his tournament against Spaniard Roberto Carballés Baena in the second night session match on Rod Laver Arena Tuesday.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

Leave a Reply