Outspoken Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the US Open Sunday, saying he was giving it a miss for “the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives”.
His decision follows fellow Australian and world number one Ashleigh Barty last week withdrawing from the Grand Slam in New York, citing “significant risks” from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dear Tennis, I will not be playing this year at the US Open. It hurts me at my core,” Kyrgios said in a video posted on Twitter.
“But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives, for all of you.”
The opinionated Kyrgios, ranked just 40 but a major drawcard, last month blasted the ATP as “selfish” for pressing ahead with plans for the US Open, which is scheduled to start in New York on August 31.
He has since waged a running battle on social media with some of the top names in the game who played at Novak Djokovic’s recent ill-fated Adria Tour tennis exhibition, blasting their “stupidity” and risky behaviour.
Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive for COVID-19.
The tennis season has been at a standstill since mid-March due to the virus outbreak worldwide.