The spectators at the Atlantic Station came to watch Nick Kyrgios take on Peter Gojowczyk in the first round of the Atlanta Open on Tuesday, but instead they had to watch Gojowczyk play against Adrian Mannarino after Kyrgios withdrew because of injury.
Kyrgios was due to play singles for the first time since finishing runner-up at Wimbledon, but instead of arriving on court in his playing gear, the Australian only made an appearance to announce he pulled out of the singles.
The 27-year-old, who won the title in 2016, is struggling with a knee injury, but he is hopeful of playing doubles with Thanasi Kokkinakis later in the week.
“I just want to say that I’m extremely shattered that I’m not able to compete tonight,” he said on court.
“I’ve won this tournament once and, you know, I’m playing some of the best tennis of my career.
“All I wanted to do was come out there and give you guys a show and obviously see what I’m capable of, but I’m unable to give out my best performance today.
“I’m extremely sorry but I’m going to keep my hopes up and maybe be able to continue doubles with Thanasi this week.”
Australian Open men’s doubles champions Kyrgios and Kokkinakis won their opening match 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 against French pair Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Nicolas Mahut. They are due to take on Gonzalo Escobar and Hunter Reese in the second round on Thursday.
Lucky loser Mannarino won his encounter against Gojowczyk as he secured a 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) win over the German to set up a second-round clash against American wildcard Andres Martin, who defeated Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-2.
Fifth seed Tommy Paul also advanced as he brushed aside wildcard Jack Sock 6-1, 6-1 in an all-American encounter while sixth seed Jenson Brooksby claimed a 6-3, 6-1 win over Benoit Paire from France.