Nick Kyrgios is “tossing up options” and may opt out of the Tokyo Games due to COVID-19 restrictions despite being named in the team.
Kyrgios missed the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro amid a spat with Australia’s chef de mission and has entered the Atlanta Open which clashes with the Olympic tennis tournament.
This time it’s COVID-19 that is shaping up us the biggest barrier to Kyrgios taking part.
“Ever since I was a player I wanted to compete at the Olympics but I’ve also entered Atlanta as well. I’m tossing up my options at the same time,” Kyrgios said after beating Gianluca Mager to reach the third round at Wimbledon.
“I’ve heard some things about the Olympics that are very tough restrictions-wise. No guests, none of that stuff.”
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo could go ahead without crowds, which would be anathema to 26-year-old Kyrgios, who revels in entertaining courtside fans.
Kyrgios has barely played since the COVID-19 pandemic but has enjoyed an encouraging build-up to the Games at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios said he felt more embraced by Australia’s Olympic officialdom now than in the lead-in to the 2016 Rio Games, when former chef de mission Kitty Chiller sent him a 16-page letter detailing his instances of misconduct and asked him to respond before selection.
Kyrgios opted out of the Games, triggering a war of words with Chiller.
“Not having the outside noise and having Kitty Chiller tell me I don’t deserve to be there when I was No.13 in the world – I mean, it was laughable,” he said.
“I went back and forth and I was younger back then and it got a bit personal. But it’s good not to have that outside noise.
“If I choose to play, it’s good that I feel like I’m part of the group and I’m more embraced now.
“We have a strong team but I’m just trying to get through (Wimbledon). I have a lot on my plate.”
Kyrgios was in a playful mood toward the end of his defeat of Italian Gianluca Mager last Wimbledon, asking a spectator for advice on his final serve.
Kyrgios plays 16th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime for a place in the fourth round.