Nick Kyrgios said he is “super-excited” to return to tennis following knee surgery as he begins his build-up to Wimbledon where last year he made a stunning run to the final. The fiery Australian takes the eighth seeding at the Stuttgart grass court tournament having not played an ATP match since early October in Tokyo before managing a well-paid Saudi Arabian exhibition appearance in December. The 28-year-old was forced to withdraw prior to his opening match at January’s Australian Open before the procedure on his knee and has been home in Canberra ever since.
“The grass season is the best part of the year,” said Kyrgios, runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year.
“This year has been tough for me recovering from knee surgery. It was not major but I had quite a serious surgery. It’s taken me five months to get back to even playing and moving again.”
The Australian described himself “super-excited” to be back on court. In 2022, Kyrgios made the Stuttgart semi-finals, where he lost to Andy Murray.
This year he starts against China’s Wu Yibing, ranked 54th, in the first round.
“I’m coming back at a tournament where I’ve done well in the past,” said world number 26 Kyrgios.
“I’ve played some amazing matches here and the crowd is always really supportive. I’m looking forward to playing the sport that I’ve been working so hard to get back to.”
While he missed the competition, Kyrgios was pleased to have spent half a year with his family, calling the experience “amazing”.
“Tennis is a sport where you travel so much of the year so being at home is important.”
But he added: “Seeing everyone (at tournaments) playing was not easy but I’m excited that my knee is better and I’m able to play now.”
Despite not having played all year, Kyrgios’s 2023 has not been without incident.
His withdrawal from the French Open was because of a cut foot sustained when a man allegedly stole his car at gunpoint, his agent said, rather than the knee surgery.
“The knee surgery went as well as it possibly could and his rehabilitation was fantastic and we were at the point where we were doing on-court loading and management,” Daniel Horsfall told the Canberra Times.
“We needed to be at a point that he could comfortably play five sets. Right when we were getting stuck into the loading period, the (alleged) armed robbery happened at his house.
“During the ordeal he cut his foot quite badly. It’s not healing correctly and he can’t put in the work on court, so he’s been off court for almost two weeks now.”
Court documents cited by Australian national broadcaster ABC alleged that a man pointed a gun at Kyrgios’s mother before stealing his lime-green Tesla near his home in Canberra.
Before that incident, Kyrgios pleaded guilty in February to assaulting a former girlfriend. He avoided a conviction for what the magistrate called a “single act of stupidity”.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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