LONDON – It was good while it lasted, but Nick Kyrgios’s return to action was cut short by injury on Saturday when the Australian rebel was forced to leave after two sets against Felix Auger-Aliassime at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios looked great in the first set when he broke the 16th seed’s serve three times, but needed an injury timeout to receive treatment on his stomach muscles at 5-2.
Grimacing in discomfort, he managed to finish off the first set, but was clearly hampered during the second set, especially on his serve, which suddenly lost all his venom.
After Auger-Aliassime tied the match, Kyrgios walked around the net post and shook hands, much to the disappointment of the Court One crowd who expected a classic.
– Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 3, 2021
“I haven’t played at this level for a long time and when you play someone as good as Felix I need to have my biggest weapon, which is my serve, but I felt something in my abdomen,” said the 26-year-old. said old Kyrgios on the court.
Kyrgios has barely played tennis since the sport closed last year due to the pandemic.
This was his first event since the Australian Open and he played only three in 2020, choosing not to travel under COVID-19 restrictions.
His first round win over Frenchman Ugo Umbert was a riveting five-set game before beating Italian Gianluca Mager in the next round in straight sets.
Sadly, his injury appears to ruin his mixed doubles partnership with Venus Williams, although he had good news about his future prospects.
“Playing here and having this kind of support has given me a second wind. I think I’ll go back and play some more, ”said Kyrgios, whose dedication to the sport has often been questioned.
“I did everything I could to prepare to get here. I beat a great player in the first round and played a great second round.
“I tried to play as long as I could and I’m sorry I can’t give you more today, but you will see a lot in the future. And he is more handsome too, so everything is fine. “
Auger-Aliassime’s rather hollow victory means he joins compatriot Denis Shapovalov in the round of 16, the first time in the professional era that two Canadian men have lasted so long.
Shapovalov beat another Wimbledon favorite, local hero Andy Murray, on Friday.
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