Nick Kyrgios pleaded Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to play at the Australian Open, saying that their absence would be bad for the sport.
The Australian Open’s participation list is very thin at the moment. There are some top players out there, but there are also some glaring absentees in there. Among them are Nadal and Djokovic.
With Roger Federer already out because of a knee injury, fans want to see Nadal or Djokovic. However, the former’s participation is unsure due to COVID-19, while the latter is in a feud with the tournament planners over getting vaccinated.
With the tournament set to kick off in Melbourne next month, Kyrgios pleaded Nadal and Djokovic to play at the Australian Open and satisfy the fans.
“I honestly don’t know Novak’s current situation with anything COVID-related or what he needs to play,” he said, as quoted by France 24.
“I hope he’s had a good Christmas and I hope he’s able to play in the sport for as long as possible because I’ve voiced before, I think Federer, Nadal and Djokovic need to be (playing).
“If all three aren’t there, it’s a disaster. It’s an absolute disaster for the fans and the people that enjoy tennis.
“Yes, it’s obviously a good opportunity for some of the younger guys to come through and make an impact, but as a whole, we do need them to be part of the sport.”
The Australian has not played since September due to a knee injury. He expressed his wish to return as quickly as possible and perform in front of his home fans.
“My knee is something that has been hindering my career for a while now, it’s just something I had cleaned up last year and it feels good,” he said.
“I want to enjoy myself, I want to be happy, and that is it.”