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The New Daily
The New Daily
Genevieve Thorpe

‘It’s time’: Nick Kyrgios begins road to recovery following knee surgery

Nick Kyrgios is hoping to be back on the court in time for Indian Wells in March. Photo: Instagram/AAP

Nick Kyrgios has officially entered recovery mode after having surgery on his injured knee on Monday.

The star shared a cheeky update to his social media on Monday afternoon, appearing to be in good spirits despite the injury forcing him to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open.

Plus, Ash Barty is set to make a return to tennis in an unconventional setting, and excitement builds for Aussie Alex de Minaur’s first face-off with Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic.

Recovery begins

Nick Kyrgios is officially in recovery mode following arthroscopic surgery on his knee.

The Aussie tennis star was hoping to make a splash in this year’s Melbourne grand slam, and even defend his doubles title with buddy Thanasi Kokkinakis.

But fans of the Aussie troublemaker had their hearts broken when Kyrgios announced his withdrawal due to injury last Monday, just a day out from his first round match.

Kyrgios and physio Will Maher said he had developed a cyst on his meniscus, which would require arthroscopic surgery to remove.

The surgery went ahead in Canberra on Monday, with the star sharing a video early in the day to let his fans know “it’s time” for the procedure.

Nick Kyrgios prepares to enter surgery

Source: Instagram/k1ngkyrg1os

About five hours later, Kyrgios followed up with a cheeky update to his Instagram story, followed by a post to his feed. He appeared in high spirits.

“Surgery complete,” Kyrgios wrote.

“I’ll be doing everything I can to get back to my best. To the real ones checking in and sending the vibes… I love you.”

The star faces a three-six week recovery, and aims to be back on court in time for the Indian Wells Masters in March.

Nick Kyrgios shared a cheeky post-surgery update. Photo: Instagram/k1ngkyrg1os

Netflix curse complete

Speaking of Nick Kyrgios, the Aussie is one of the many stars of Netflix’s tennis docu-series to be hit with a stroke of bad luck.

Break Point strategically arrived right in time for the 2023 Australian Open, with the streaming giant even holding a lavish premiere at Rod Laver Arena a week out from the tournament.

It was expected that viewers would see these players reach the later stages of the Australian Open, many of them slated as hot favourites.

But instead, these players’ hopes for a 2023 singles title have been dashed.

In fact, they’ve had such woeful runs at this year’s Australian Open that fans have declared they’ve fallen victim to a so-called Netflix “curse”.

Paula Badosa, Kyrgios and fellow Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic all withdrew in the lead-up to the tournament, citing injury.

Matteo Berrettini was a first-round casualty, losing out to a reinvigorated Andy Murray.

Taylor Fritz and Casper Ruud followed him out the door soon-after in second-round upsets.

Tunisian second seed Ons Jabur surprisingly tumbled out in the second round.

And sixth seed Maria Sakkari was defeated by China’s Lin Zhu in the third round.

The so-called Netflix “curse” was somewhat confirmed with Felix Auger-Aliassime’s fourth-round loss to Jiri Lehecka on Sunday.

While these young-guns are out of the running, the quarter finals schedule is starting to shape up.

Elena Rybakina triumphed over first seed Iga Swiatek on Sunday afternoon, earning her a quarter-finals match against Jelena Ostapenko.

American Jessica Pegula will play two-time champion Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday, and former finalist Karolina Pliskova will take on Poland’s Madga Linette.

At the bottom of the draw, Aryna Sabalenka stunned on court on Monday to take the win over 2020 Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic.

Sabalenka, now a hot favourite to win the title, will next meet Croatia’s Donna Vekic.

Over in the men’s draw, 18th seed Karen Khachanov has locked in a quarterfinals clash with American Sebastian Korda.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the highest remaining seed in the draw, will play Czech Jiri Lehecka on Tuesday.

There are four more fourth round contests left to decide the rest of the quarterfinalists.

Alex de Minaur is gearing up for his match against Novak Djokovic, which begins on centre court at 7pm on Monday.

The winner of that match will either play fifth seed Andrey Rublev or ninth seed Holger Rune in the quarter-finals.

Americans Ben Shelton and J.J. Wolf were fighting for a spot in the next round late on Monday afternoon.

It could very well be an all-American quarter final, with the winner of that match to either face fellow countryman Tommy Paul or Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

Barty’s epic return

We all know that while playing doubles, it’s crucial to keep your eyes on the so-called “tram tracks”.

Well, Ash Barty and a handful of tennis legends will take that concept literally this weekend as they take to Melbourne’s normally busy Bourke Street for an exhibition match.

Barty and Jim Courier, Alicia Molik and Casey Dellacqua will head to the Bourke Street Mall on Sunday for a special game of doubles, called ‘Match in the Mall’.

Myer and Mastercard, who are collaborating on the event, said a custom tennis court would be constructed smack-bang in the middle of the famous shopping mall, in front of Myer’s flagship store.

All Melburnians are welcome to come down and join in on the fun. Tennis fans can sign up for a free ticket here.

Those interstate who want to watch can catch a livestream on Myer’s Facebook page.

Former Aussie tennis stars Casey Dellacqua, Alicia Molik and Ash Barty. Photo: Supplied

Double trouble

Although he was eventually knocked out in the second, Aussie Rinky Hijikata became an instant star in the first round after he won a five-set epic against Yannick Hanfmann.

Now, the loveable Aussie has a big task ahead on Day 8 of the Open.

He’ll play alongside fellow countryman Jason Kubler in the third round of the men’s doubles at 2pm on Margaret Court Arena.

He’ll then run off to the mixed doubles on KIA Arena to join partner Kimberly Birrell.

The pair will be vying for a spot in the third round against Aussies Olivia Gadecki and Marc Polmans.

Also in the doubles on Monday are Aussies Alex Bolt and Luke Saville, who will play German Andreas Mies and Australian John Peers.

Saville, one of the more experienced Aussies on the tour, will surely be hoping to reach this year’s mens doubles final, as he did back in 2020 alongside Max Purcell.

The Demon and The Joker

Excitement is in the air at Melbourne Park, with many getting hyped for Monday night’s blockbuster match between Novak Djokovic and Alex de Minaur.

Despite this being de Minaur’s sixth AO campaign, remarkably, this will be his first encounter with the Serbian superstar.

De Minaur’s close friend and tour buddy John Millman joined Channel Nine’s morning coverage on Monday, telling panel he thought de Minaur “has a real shot tonight” .

Millman even took up a challenge from Nine’s Tony Jones to call de Minaur live on TV.

De Minaur picked up to Millman’s surprise, telling Millman that he looked good on camera, even complimenting his hairdo.

But when asked by Alicia Molik if he had “any words for Novak” ahead of their match, de Minaur refused to give up any details – leading to some awkward dead air.


The anticipated contest gets underway at 7pm on Monday at Rod Laver Arena.

While there’s no knowing how long the match will go for exactly, Djokovic will likely be hoping he’ll be in bed at a somewhat reasonable time.

The Serbian joined Andy Murray in criticising tournament organisers after learning the fourth-round match between Victoria Azarenka and Lin Zhu finished past 2am.

Djokovic agreed that something needed to be done to avoid such late finish times.

“Players’ input is always important for tournament organisation,” he said.

“Whether it’s decisive, we know that it’s not because it comes down to what the TV broadcasters want to have. That’s the ultimate decision-maker.”

He said that while they were fun for the crowd, late finishes were “really gruelling” for players.

“You have your sleeping cycle, rhythm disrupted completely, not enough time really to recover for another five-setter,” he said.

“Something needs to be addressed in terms of the schedule after what we’ve seen this year.”

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