Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has announced his withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics in a statement he posted on Twitter on Friday.
His participation in the Olympics had been up in the air for a while after citing tournament clashes having also signed on to take part in an ATP tournament in Atlanta in the US that would be held at the same time.
“I’ve also entered Atlanta. I’m tossing up my options at the same time. I’ve heard some things about the Olympics, that are very tough, restrictions wise. No guests, none of that stuff,” Kyrgios was quoted as saying by MSN sport.
The young tennis star went on to confirm that he will no longer be joining team Australia, saying playing without spectators “doesn’t feel right”.
The 26-year-old also recently started seeking treatment for an abdominal injury that forced him to pull out midway through a third-round match at Wimbledon just five days ago.
Kyrgios cited this health factor as a driver for his decision.
“I also wouldn’t want to take an opportunity away from a healthy Aussie athlete ready to represent the country,” Kyrgios posted in his statement.
“I will also take all the time I need to get my body right.”
Kyrgios seemed quite self aware of his decision and the impact that it may have on his career but it persistent that he would not want to play without a crown present.
“I know I may never get that opportunity again,” he wrote.
“But I also know myself. The thought of playing in front of empty stadiums just doesn’t sit right with me. It never has.”
Australia’s tennis officials will find a replacement for the 26-year-old will meet to discuss a replacement for Kyrgios, after initially selecting 11 players for the national team.