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Outspoken Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the US Open on Sunday, saying he was letting down “the hundreds of thousands of Americans who lost their lives.”
His decision follows fellow Australian and world number one Ashleigh Barty who withdrew from the Grand Slam in New York last week, citing “significant risks” linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dear Tennis, I will not be playing at the US Open this year. It hurts my heart, ”Kyrgios said in a video posted to Twitter.
“But I sit for the people, for my Australians, for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives, for all of you. ”
The opinionated Kyrgios, ranked just 40 years old but a major draw, criticized ATP last month as “selfish” for pushing forward plans for the US Open, which is set to begin in New York on August 31.
He has since fought an ongoing social media battle with some of the biggest names in the game who played at Novak Djokovic’s recent ill-fated Adria Tour tennis show, denouncing their “stupidity” and risky behavior.
Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki have all tested positive for COVID-19.
The tennis season has stalled since mid-March due to the virus outbreak around the world.
© 2020 AFP