Nick Kyrgios has followed Australia’s World No. 1 Ash Barty in choosing to withdraw from the upcoming US Open.

The World No. 40 announced his decision in an emotional video where he called on his fellow players to ‘remember what is important’ amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing at one of the sports’ greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium. But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans who have lost their lives. For all of you,” Kyrgios said.

“Let us take a breath here and remember what is important, which is health and safety as a community.

“We can rebuild our sport and the economy but we can never recover lives lost.”

The Australian has been an outspoken voice in the tennis world over his ongoing criticism of ‘selfish’ rivals who have competed during the COVID-19 outbreak.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic tested positive – alongside a number of other top players – after competing in the ill-fated Adria Tour in the Balkans, an event organised by Djokovic.

Kyrgios also called out World No. 7 Alexander Zverev who was seen partying in a packed bar just days after Djokovic tested positive.

In his latest dig, Kyrgios took aim at his rivals again: “You can’t be dancing on tables, money-grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck hosting the next exhibition. That’s just so selfish. Think of the other people for once.

“That’s what this virus is about. It doesn’t care about your world ranking or how much money you have. Act responsibly.”

Dear Tennis,

Let us take a breath here and remember what is important, which is health and safety as a community.

We can rebuild our sport and the economy but we can never recover lives lost.

I’ve got no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open and if players want to go, that’s up to them so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely. No one wants people to keep their jobs more than me. I’m speaking for the guy who works at the restaurant, the cleaners, the locker room attendants. These are the people that need their jobs back the most and fair play to them.

But tennis players, you have to act in the interests of each other and work together. You can’t be dancing on tables, money-grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck hosting the next exhibition. That’s just so selfish. Think of the other people for once. That’s what this virus is about. It doesn’t care about your world ranking or how much money you have. Act responsibly.

To those players that have been observing the rules and acting selflessly, I say good luck to you. Play at your own risk – and I have no problem with that.

I will not be playing this year at the US Open.

It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing at one of the sports’ greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium. But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans who have lost their lives. For all of you.

It is my decision, like it or not, and those are my reasons.

Yours sincerely,

Nick



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