Australian Open officials could look to give Nick Kyrgios a Tuesday start when the grand slam begins and an extra day to recover from the ankle issue which forced him out of the United Cup.
Kyrgios was a last-minute withdrawal from the inaugural event which caught even his teammates by surprise and he claimed was “thrown under the bus” by Australian team co-captain Lleyton Hewitt in the aftermath.
Hewitt refused to buy in to the war of words after Alex de Minaur, who replace Kyrgios as Australia’s No.1 player in the event, took down Rafael Nadal.
“I‘m not going to go into it tonight,” he said, shutting down any talk about Kyrgios who also knocked back an offer to play Davis Cup multiple times during the year.
Kyrgios, who was practising before pulling out of the United Cup and the Adelaide International, is also set to defend his Australian Open doubles crown, which he won with close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis, adding an extra level of fitness required to play at the year’s first grand slam.
Australian Open boss Craig Tiler said he’d been in regular contact with Kyrgios team and was confident he’d be ready to start the event on January 16.
But organisers have the option of given Kyrgios a Tuesday start, depending on which side of the draw he falls, and that could be a consideration to give him every chance to be as fit as possible.
“I have spoken to his team and he’s doing everything to make sure he gives himself the best opportunity to be the fittest he can for when we start on Monday,” Tiley said.
“At 3pm on Thursday, the 13th, we will be doing the draw and we’ll be deciding on Friday which half of the draw (plays) on Monday or Tuesday.
“We’ll know who plays when and what slots.”
Kyrgios, the world No.22 will be among the seeded players in the draw.