‘Slim to none’ — Kyrgios unlikely for French Open

SYDNEY• Nick Kyrgios (picture) dropped a huge hint yesterday that he will skip the French Open, saying the chances of him travelling to Europe this year were “slim to none”.

The opinionated Australian last week pulled out of the upcoming US Open in New York due to the pandemic, with world No 2 Rafael Nadal following suit.

Kyrgios, ranked just 40 but a big drawcard, said he wasn’t surprised by the Spaniard’s decision, noting that the clay-court king was likely “eyeing the French Open” in late September.

“And if I was to play, I’d probably definitely rather go to Europe (than America) at this time of year for sure with everything going on,” he added to Channel Nine television from his Canberra base.

But Kyrgios suggested that was also unlikely, casting serious doubt over his presence at Roland Garros.

“It’s a very slim chance I’ll play in Europe. Almost slim to none to be honest,” he said.

“I’m going to use this (time) to stay home, train, be with my family, be with my friends and I’m just going to act responsibly, and wait till I think there are better circumstances to play.”

Kyrgios also cast doubt on next year’s Australian Open, scheduled for January, as host city Melbourne battles a major outbreak that has triggered a stay-at-home lockdown and curfew.

“I’m not too sure the Australian Open will be going ahead as it did at the start of the year with the pandemic in Melbourne,” he said.

Kyrgios has been vocal in his criticism of some other players during the pandemic, waging a social media battle with top names who played at Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour exhibition.

The Serbian world No 1, Austrian Dominic Thiem, Borna Coric and Alexander Zverev have all been in Kyrgios’ firing line and he lobbed another missile, without naming any players, yesterday.

“On top of our game, they’re supposed to be setting an example for the rest of the tour, and them coming back at me with behaviour that I’ve done on court, I mean it just shows their intellectual level to be honest.

“Putting lives at risk, it’s not really comparable.” — AFP