Nick Kyrgios’ late withdrawal from the inaugural United Cup took his own teammates by surprise on Wednesday as they remained in the dark until minutes before their pre-tournament press conference.
Kyrgios, who is ranked 22nd in the world and reached the Wimbledon final this year, was set to lead Australia in the joint ATP and WTA event, which takes place in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and offers ranking points and 15 million dollars in prizes. .
Organizers say the 27-year-old, who was due to face Britain’s Cameron Norrie in his first singles match on Thursday in Group D, has withdrawn due to injury.
“We literally just found out 10 minutes ago. Obviously this is news for all of us and we are moving forward now,” co-captain Sam Stosur told reporters.
Kyrgios, who retired from Australia’s Davis Cup squad this year, later posted a video on Instagram where he was seen sunbathing in a harbor with the caption ‘Nice day’.
Alex de Minaur, who will now occupy the men’s number one position for the Australian team, wanted to avoid discussing Kyrgios and focus on the upcoming event.
“I think it would be great if we just talked about this great team,” he said. “We are all here, we are all happy to be here, we are about to play an exciting new event, something new for all of us – the United Cup.”
Australia will also face Rafa Nadal’s Spain in Group D.
The tournament, which runs from December 29 to January 29. 8, features 18 countries divided into six groups of three, with teams playing two men’s singles matches and two women’s singles matches and one mixed doubles match.