Nick Kyrgios hits back at Hewitt after United Cup withdrawal

Nick Kyrgios said Australian co-captain Lleyton Hewitt threw him “under the bus” following his decision to withdraw from the United Cup mixed teams tournament to be in top shape for next month’s Australian Open.

Kyrgios, the world No. 22, who enjoyed a stellar year in 2022 by winning the Australian Open men’s doubles title and finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, retired from the joint ATP and WTA event on Wednesday with an injury.

Hewitt said on Thursday he was unaware of Kyrgios’ withdrawal until the 27-year-old’s announcement and expressed frustration at his lack of communication.

On Friday, Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic pulled out of her match against Britain’s Harriet Dart citing a left knee injury and Kyrgios responded to a Twitter post, questioning whether she would be similarly treated by co-captain Sam Stosur.

“Mmm, I wonder if Stosur will throw her under the bus, like our captain did before me… ‘hard to prepare if you don’t know what’s going on,'” Kyrgios said.

Kyrgios, who opted out of Australia’s Davis Cup team this year, said he had been in contact with Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley and United Cup tournament director Stephen Farrow about his injury.

The light-footed Australian trained on Friday on the practice courts of Sydney Olympic Park. The Australian Open starts on January 16.

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