Kyrgios pulls plug on French Open
NICK Kyrgios will turn his attention to greener pastures after withdrawing from the French Open for the second straight year, just days after claiming in a social media video that the Paris grand slam "sucked".
The polarising Aussie was defaulted following an on-court outburst in Rome last week, before hitting with Andy Murray at Wimbledon in preparation for the tournament.
But he won't line up at Roland Garros after announcing his withdrawal due to illness on Friday.
Britain's Cameron Norrie, Kyrgios's scheduled first-round opponent, will play French lucky loser Elliot Benchetrit instead.
It means Kyrgios, the world No.36, has played just two complete matches on clay all season - winning one, losing one, and defaulting from anoher - with his next booked appearance at The Queen's Club ahead of Wimbledon in July.
Kyrgios has made no secret of his disdain for the slower clay conditions, taking to Instagram last week while walking through Wimbledon's famed grass court complex and saying: "The French Open sucks compared to this place. Sucks. Absolute sucks."
Last year he pulled the pin in Paris as he chased some respite from a nagging elbow injury, but other than his online grumbles there were no suggestions this year that the 24-year-old wouldn't line up at the event until his announcement on Friday.
His withdrawal ends a brief but eventful clay swing that earned headlines off the court for his frank assessment of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in an interview on the NCR podcast.
He took aim at Djokovic's "cringeworthy" post-match celebrations and Rafael Nadal's "super salty" double standards, while also slamming "god's gift" Fernando Verdasco.
That interview was sandwiched between an impressive defeat of Daniil Medvedev and his default to Casper Rudd at the Italian Open. Kyrgios was also bundled out of the Madrid Open in the first round.
His red dirt blip followed a charmed run on American hard courts, highlighted by a title in Acapulco that featured wins against Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Alexander Zverev.