Nick Kyrgios has confirmed that he won’t play the US Open due to COVID-19.
Kyrgios has been an outspoken critic of ongoing tennis events during the pandemic and will follow the lead of fellow Aussie and women’s world No.1 Ash Barty in declining to play the Grand Slam tournament in New York.
“It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport’s greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium,” Kyrgios, the world No.40, said in a video message.
“But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans who have lost their lives. For all of you.
“It’s my decision, like it or not, and those are my reasons.”
Barty said last week that she did not feel comfortable playing in New York, nor exposing her team to the risk of catching COVID-19.
Kyrgios has slammed players who have put tennis before community health in the past few months, primarily Novak Djokovic and those who played in the world No.1’s virus-hit Adria Tour.
In his video message, Kyrgios asked people to remember “what’s important: health and safety as a community”. There was a thinly-veiled swipe at Djokovic and his fellow Adria Tour stars.
“We can rebuild our sport and the economy but we can never recover lives lost,” he said.
“I’ve got no problem with the USTA putting on a US Open and if players want to go, that’s up to them. So long as everyone acts appropriately and safely.
“Tennis players – you have to act in the interests of each other and work together. You can’t be dancing on tables, money-grabbing your way around Europe or trying to grab a quick buck hosting an 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.”