After an injury hell over the last 12 months, Nick Kyrgios’ ranking has plummeted from the lofty position he reached in February this year.
How will the Australian star get his ranking back to a decent level?
The Sporting News explains the situation with Kyrgios’ current ranking and his future path.
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Kyrgios is currently unranked, having only played one match in the last 12 months because of knee and wrist injuries.
However, Kyrgios does have a protected ranking of 21 because of his injury problems, which has seen him miss competitive tennis between October 2022 and June this year.
Protected rankings are granted by the ATP when a player misses more than six months of tennis because of injury.
As Kyrgios returned from injury for a single match in June, he can use this protected ranking for entry to his next nine tournaments or for the next nine months, whichever occurs first.
This means Kyrgios can use his protected ranking until March 14, 2024.
Kyrgios has a career-high ranking of 13 achieved in 2016, although he would have surpassed this ranking last year if points were counted for his run to the final of Wimbledon.
Updated: November 9.
Once he returns from injury, Kyrgios needs to perform once he uses his protected ranking for entry to tournaments.
Decent results on the ATP Tour over a short period of time will see his ranking return to the top 100.
The other reality is Kyrgios’ status as a drawcard means he will likely get wildcard entrance to most tournaments even he if he can’t get in with his ranking.
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.