Injury-hit star Nick Kyrgios is eyeing a return to tennis at the Brisbane International, according to the tournament organisers.
The Australian enigma has only played one competitive match in the last 12 months because of a variety of fitness issues.
While the 28-year-old isn’t a confirmed starter, it appears he will be a likely entrant if he is fit enough for the start of the 2024 tennis season.
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Brisbane International tournament director Cameron Pearson revealed he has had discussions with Kyrgios about playing at the tournament.
And if the Wimbledon finalist is preparing for the Australian Open, it’s likely to be in Brisbane – where he is a former champion.
“There’s been a lot of conversations to see whether or not he’ll (Kyrgios) be ready in time for January,” Pearson said.
“That’s still a wait and see approach. That’s what Nick said.
“We’ve got another month before entries close. Nick’s got time to continue his rehab and it’d be great to see him out on the court for sure. Nick needs to do what’s best for Nick.
“He’s a former champion (in 2018), really enjoys playing on Pat Rafter Arena. I’d be really hopeful that if we see him playing in January we’ll see him here in Brisbane.”
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It is currently unclear whether Kyrgios will feature at Melbourne Park in 2024.
The Australian hasn’t played a professional tennis match since June, losing in straight sets to Wu Yibing at the Stuttgart Open.
He has struggled with wrist and knee injuries this season, with his last grand slam tournament match a quarter-final defeat to Karen Khachanov at the US Open in 2022.
With the Australian Open just over two months away, time is ticking for Kyrgios to prove his fitness and intention to play ahead of the event.
Despite this, tournament boss Craig Tiley is relatively confident he will be ready — and raring — to go.
“I personally believe in the communication that he’s motivated to come back and play in January,” Tiley said at the Australian Open launch in October.
“He loves playing here … in front of his crowd. He knows everyone wants him to play.
“The one thing great about Nick, [is] he’s very transparent and very open about what he’s feeling and what he thinks.”
Kyrgios has only played one competitive singles match since being forced to withdraw from the quarter-final of the Japan Open with a knee injury in October 2022.
The knee complaint failed to improve throughout 2022 and Kyrgios was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open 2023 to undergo surgery.
Kyrgios targeted a return to tennis at Wimbledon, but after losing to China’s Yibing Wu at a warm-up tournament in Stuttgart, he withdrew from the All-England Club with a wrist injury.
His current injury status is unclear.