Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the Australian Open just a day out from his first round match in a huge blow to the tournament.

The 27-year-old announced his withdrawal from his home grand slam in a press conference on Monday afternoon, citing a knee injury.

Kyrgios said he has experienced discomfort in his knee and an MRI showed a small tear in his lateral meniscus and a cyst.

He will have arthroscopic surgery on his knee and hopes to be back on court in time play the Indian Wells tournament in California in March.

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Kyrgios pulled out of the United Cup team event in late December because of an ankle injury, but it was hoped he had recovered enough to compete in the Australian Open.

He was fit enough to play a shortened exhibition match against Novak Djokovic on Friday night, which he won.

A devastated Kyrgios said he had been feeling discomfort in his knee for the last fortnight and he “did not pull up great” after the hit-and-giggle with Djokovic.

“I’m devastated obviously, it’s my home tournament,” Kyrgios said.

“Barely had good night sleep last four or five nights, it’s just been throbbing.”

He called it “bad timing” but said “injuries is part of the sport”.

Kyrgios doesn’t believe it’s a career-threatening injury, but said he will draw inspiration from Thanasi Kokkinakis who has bounced back from multiple injuries, and has no doubt he’ll be back “to full strength” and playing his best tennis.

Physio Will Maher said Kyrgios had undergone several drainage procedures over the past week in a bid to be fit for the Australian Open.

Kyrgios later shared a photo on Instagram of a pile of dark-coloured gunk that was taken from the cyst.

Kyrgios had been due to face Roman Safiullin in the first round on John Cain Arena on Tuesday night.

Had he progressed through the first week of the tournament, a mouthwatering match-up with Djokovic awaited in the quarterfinals.

Kyrgios had also been set to reunite with Kokkinakis in a bid to defend their Australian Open doubles title.

But all of those possibilities are out the window now the Australian Open’s biggest drawcard is out of the tournament.

It’s a huge blow to the grand slam, which was banking on Kyrgios making a deep run as Australia’s top hope in the absence of the retired Ash Barty.

Kyrgios joins World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz as high-profile men’s players who won’t be playing at Melbourne Park this year.

His withdrawal means Australia enters its home grand slam without its top-ranked male and female player.

Ajla Tomljanovic pulled out of the Australian Open on Saturday, explaining she hadn’t recovered from a left knee injury in time.

The women’s singles draw is also missing two-time champion Naomi Osaka, Venus Williams and Paula Badosa.

Read related topics:MelbourneNick Kyrgios

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