Nick Kyrgios doesn’t know when he’ll return to the tennis court declaring he’s “not comfortable” playing in a COVID-19 restricted world, and vowed to continue calling out bad behaviour from any of his peers.
The Aussie ace remains holed up at home in Canberra, from where he launched an attack on world number one Novak Djokovic after he and several other tennis stars contracted coronavirus at a party-filled tournament series in Serbia.
He also attracted more than 200,000 votes in a Twitter poll after Djokovic’s ejection from the US Open for hitting a ball in to the throat of a linesperson.
Kyrgios, who skipped the US Open and won’t be heading to Europe, said he didn’t think it was the “right time” for sport to be going ahead.
To that end he said he would keep pulling people showing disregard for the seriousness of the pandemic “in to line”, fearing a return to a normal world couldn’t happen until everyone was on the same page.
“I’m just trying to hold people accountable for their actions. You can’t compare what someone does off the court to on the court,” Kyrgios said in Canberra on Thursday, where his NK Foundation was part of a government plan to open a new tennis centre.
“When I see some people making mistakes, I’m not going to cintitally bring it up, but if they defend it and continually make the same mistakes, especially in a global pandemic, I’m going to say something about it.
Swap me for jokers incident. ‘Accidentally hitting the ball kid in the throat’ how many years would I be banned for?
“I’m not saying it just to bring some attention to myself, I’m genuinely trying top pull people in line who need to be pulled in to line. We have to work as a team otherwise it’s going to be ongoing.
“Sport is not going to be the same. I don’t want to live with restrictions. I want things to go back to normal.”
Kyrgios couldn’t give a guarantee on when he would return to playing, but hoped that would be in the Australian Open.
He said he didn’t want to play until he could do so in front of a crowd.
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – NewsWire Photos SEPTEMBER 10, 2020: Nick Kyrgios speaking at a ACT Labor press conference with Tennis Australia. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin OllmanSource:NCA NewsWire
“I miss going out there and playing but I want to do it in the right circumstances. I want to play in front of a crowd, I want to be an entertainer,” he said.
“It’s so hard to make a definitive decision because things can just balloon out of control in a week. Even Ash Barty, she’s a champion of the French Open and she didn’t feel entirely comfortable going there.
“Nothing would make me happier than to go and play in the Australian Open again. But at this stage I don’t think even the directors are comfortable with what’s going on. Hopefully, fingers crossed it goes ahead.
“I don’t think at the moment I am really comfortable going anywhere with current conditions … I don’t think it’s the best time for sport to be going ahead.
”Whether it is maybe next year I start playing again, my body will be ready to go and I can play the same level of tennis when I stopped.”
Proud Canberran, @NickKyrgios has pledged to provide programming support through the @foundation_nk to kids in need at the new Gungahlin tennis facility. @ABarrMLA and @YvetteSBerry announced the ACT will commit to building the new facility if re-elected.#Tennis4Gungahlin pic.twitter.com/5P3XiOh3Ju
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