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Nick Kyrgios’ late United Cup retreat surprises Australian teammates


s Turin - Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy - November 14, 2022 Nick Kyrgios of Australia competes in the group stage doubles match against Neal Skupski of England and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands.

FILE PHOTO: Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in action. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Nick Kyrgios’ late withdrawal from the inaugural edition of the United Cup caught his teammates by surprise on Wednesday as they were left in the dark until minutes before the pre-tournament press conference.

Kyrgios, who is 22nd in the world and has reached this year’s Wimbledon final, will lead Australia in the ATP and WTA joint event, to be held in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, while delivering ranking points and 15 million dollars in prize money.

Organizers said the 27-year-old, who will face England’s Cameron Norrie in his first singles match on Thursday in Group D, has withdrawn due to injury.

“We really only found out 10 minutes ago. Obviously that’s news for all of us and we’re just moving forward,” co-captain Sam Stosur told reporters.

Kyrgios, who opted out of this year’s Australian Davis Cup team, later posted a video on Instagram of him being seen in the sun at a harbor with the caption “Beautiful day”.

Alex de Minaur, who will now move into the men’s number one spot for Team Australia, wants 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 very happy to be here, we are about to enter an exciting new event, something new for all of us – the United Cup.”

Australia will also play Rafa Nadal’s Spain in Group D.

The tournament, which ran from December 29 to January 8, consisted of 18 countries divided into six groups of three, with teams competing in two men’s singles and two women’s singles and one mixed doubles match.

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