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'Just so selfish' | Nick Kyrgios pulls out of US Open later this month

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

14:32 2 Aug 2020

Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the US Open later this month at Flushing Meadows, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian announced the news in a video posted on social media, confirming he will not take to the court in New York from August 31st.

He follows Ashleigh Barty in pulling out of the tournament - the women's world number one this week saying she didn't feel it was safe.

Kyrgios read from an open letter he had penned, saying public health had to come before sport at this time.

"Dear Tennis, let us take a breath here and remember what is important, which is health and safety as a community.

"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.

"I will not be playing this year at the US Open. It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing at one of the sports’ greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"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.

"I’ve got no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open and if players want to go, that’s up to them so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely.

"But 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 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."

Kyrgios was heavily critical of the players who took part at Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour tournament in June, with a number of people testing positive for Covid-19 after it had taken place.

One of those players who tested positive was Borna Coric, and he told Croatian media he isn't bothered by what Kyrgios has to say.

"I read what he wrote, but I don't care. He enjoys being a general after battle. Coming from someone else, I might have understood, but Kyrgios... It's not really realistic.

"It's his style, he works like that, there is no problem. Zverev behaved badly, but I don't understand the need to criticize a colleague like that. I wouldn't have. But, again, it's Kyrgios."

Kyrgios fired back on Twitter to those remarks.

"You should care. Do you have rocks in your head? Again, you can stand up for your mates, I’m just trying to hold them accountable. When I said what I said, I didn’t intend to bother. They are tennis players, they aren’t special. Just as I thought Coric intellectual level = 0."

Ashleigh Barty had said her decision to pull out of the US Open was a difficult one.

"I love both events so it was a difficult decision. But there are still significant risks involved due to Covid-19, and I don’t feel comfortable putting my team and I in that position.

"I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA European tournaments in the coming weeks."

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