Nick Kyrgios has announced that he will be skipping this year’s US Open.
The mercurial Australian made the announcement in an emotional Instagram post uploaded by Uninterrupted, just days after his compatriot and women’s world no 1 Ashleigh Barty had said that she will not be participating at the Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.
“I will not be playing this year at the US Open,” he said.
“It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport’s greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium. But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans that have lost their lives, for all of you. It’s my decision.
“I’ve got no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open. And if players want to go, that’s up to them, as long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely.
“No one wants people to keep their jobs more than me. I’m speaking for the guy who works at the restaurant, the cleaners, the locker room attendants. These are the people that need their jobs the most.”
I will not be playing this year at the US Open.
It hurts me at my core…But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives, for all of you. #SincerelyYours, @NickKyrgios pic.twitter.com/7EecHNU82l
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) August 1, 2020
Vocal against players and exhibitions
The 25-year-old has been vocal against tennis events taking place at a time when there appears to be no end to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of just under 700,000 people world-wide.
“Let’s take a breath here and remember what’s important, which is health and safety as a community. We can rebuild our sport and the economy, but we can never recover lives lost,” said the current world no 40, who has been ranked as high as 13.
The 2014 Wimbledon and 2015 Australian Open quarterfinalist went further to take a dig at his colleagues who have allegedly been careless in the way they have handled themselves during the pandemic, especially those players who had participated in the ill-fated Adria Tour.
He had taken to Twitter to berate the Novak Djokovic-organised event, calling it a ‘boneheaded’ decision, especially after four players tested positive for Covid-19.
He’s called out world no 7 Alexander Zverev who was seen in videos on social media attending a party in France a week after he announced that he’d be in self-isolation, he’s had exchanges with Boris Becker, and recently he’s been embroiled in an online feud with Borna Coric – one of the players who had tested positive at the Adria Tour.
“Tennis players, you have to act in the interests of each other and work together,” he said.
“You can’t be dancing on tables, money-grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck hosting the next exhibition. That’s just so selfish. Think of the other people for once. That’s what this virus is about. It doesn’t care about your world ranking or how much money you have. Act responsibly.
“To those players that have been observing the rules and acting selflessly, I say good luck to you. Play at your own risk—and I have no problem with that.”