Kyr­gios quits US Open with swipe at ri­vals

Aus­tralian is­sues warn­ing to ‘money-grab­bing’ play­ers Open let­ter read out on video ex­press­ing ‘hurt’ of with­drawal

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - Ten­nis

Nick Kyr­gios has with­drawn from the US Open be­cause of his con­cerns over the coron­avirus pan­demic.

Kyr­gios, the world No40, said his de­ci­sion “hurts me at my core” and crit­i­cised some of his fel­low play­ers in a video posted on so­cial me­dia.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The US Open is sched­uled to start be­hind closed doors at Flush­ing Mead­ows on Aug 31.

Fel­low Aus­tralian Ash­leigh Barty, the women’s world No1, has al­ready with­drawn and Andy Mur­ray said he ex­pected more play­ers to fol­low.

Read­ing an open let­ter on his video, Kyr­gios said the global econ­omy and ten­nis could re­build, “but we can never re­cover lives lost”.

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

“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.”

Kyr­gios has been out­spo­ken over health and safety con­cerns through­out the coron­avirus out­break.

He was crit­i­cal of No­vak Djokovic af­ter he and sev­eral other top play­ers tested pos­i­tive af­ter play­ing in an ex­hi­bi­tion tour­na­ment, the Adria Tour, which the world No1 helped or­gan­ise.

One of those play­ers, Borna Coric, has since been at log­ger­heads with Kyr­gios over com­ments made by the Aus­tralian re­gard­ing the Adria Tour.

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