‘We can never recover lives lost’: Nick Kyrgios pulls out of the US Open over coronavirus concerns – after waging war against ‘peanut brain’ tennis rival
- Nick Kyrgios joined Ash Barty in pulling out of the US Open tennis tournament
- The 25-year-old withdrew citing the safety of the community amid COVID-19
- Kyrgios has questioned why tennis is so desperate to return amid the pandemic
- He slammed the Adria Tour event and said players must ‘think of other people’
The world number 40 penned a heartfelt letter to the tennis world on Sunday, announcing he would not take part in the grand slam in New York later this month.
‘It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing at one of the sports’ greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium,’ Kyrgios’ letter reads.
‘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.’
Nick Kyrgios (pictured with girlfriend Chiara Passari) has pulled out of the US Open tennis tournament
The 25-year-old has been vocal in questioning why tennis is so desperate to return amid the global pandemic and the ‘selfish’ actions of rival players.
‘Let us take a breath here and remember what is important, which is health and safety as a community,’ Kyrgios wrote.
‘We can rebuild our sport and the economy but we can never recover lives lost.’
Kyrgios’ displeasure was highlighted by his scathing reviews of Novak Djokovic’s coronavirus-riddled Adria Tour debacle in Belgrade, Serbia and Croatia.
He previously took aim at world number seven Alex Zverev, who was filmed dancing in a club in Monte Carlo after claiming in an Instagram post he was in isolation.
‘Tennis players, you have to act in the interests of each other and work together,’ Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios (pictured at the Australian Open in January) has questioned why tennis is so desperate to return amid the coronavirus pandemic
‘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’ war of words over the Adria Tour resumed this week, after world number 33 Borna Coric, who tested positive for coronavirus at the event, said he didn’t care what Kyrgios had to say about the tournament, as his perspective was ‘not realistic’.
‘You should care. Do you have rocks in your head?’ Kyrgios tweeted on Wednesday. ‘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.’
After Coric questioned Kyrgios for ‘preaching about behaviour’, the Australian responded with a quick serve.
‘Again. Joking about a global pandemic. Shows your maturity level champion,’ Kyrgios tweeted.
‘Gonna be good to see you next, see if that peanut of a brain has grown.’
Kyrgios said he had no problem with the USTA planning to run the US Open and urged players to act safely at the event.
‘To those players that have been observing the rules and acting selflessly, I say good luck to you,’ he said. ‘Play at your own risk – and I have no problem with that.’
He joins Australian world number one Ash Barty in opting out of the Flushing Meadows major.
Kyrgios said it ‘hurts me at my core’ to not play the US Open this year. Pictured: Kyrgios hits a serve in the 2019 US Open