Why Has Nick Kyrgios Not Been Playing at the French Open Since 2018?

Published 05/22/2021, 8:35 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 31: Nick Kyrgios of Australia hits a forehand during the doubles first round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France on day four of the 2017 French Open at Roland Garros on May 31, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)


Australian player Nick Kyrgios hasn’t played at the French Open since 2018. In fact, just last month, he withdrew from the upcoming 2021 French Open, marking his four-year absence from the Stade Roland Garros in Paris.

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Over the years, the hot-headed Australian has openly expressed his dislike for the clay-court surface. His string of poor results at the Slam has added to his distaste for the red-dirt.

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 27: Nick Kyrgios of Australia hits a forehand during the Men’s Singles third round match against Richard Gasquet of France on day six of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Having made his debut at the French Open in 2013, Kyrgios lost in the second round to Marin Cilic. Over the next four years, Kyrgios successively crashed out of the French Open in the early rounds, and his best result to date has been reaching the third round in 2015.

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However, his absence from the French Open over the last four years is a consequence of a variety of reasons.

Reasons behind Nick Kyrgios missing the French Open since 2017

Beginning chronologically, Kyrgios’ reason behind withdrawing from the 2018 edition was medical. Two months prior to the 2018 French Open, Kyrgios suffered an elbow injury that rendered him out of action and resulted in his subsequent pulling out.

The following year, the Australian competed in the Masters 1000 events on clay prior to the French Open. However, during his second-round match against Norway’s Casper Ruud at 2019 Italian Open, Kyrgios’ on-court outburst resulted in his disqualification from the tournament.

In the fiasco’s aftermath, the youngster posted an online video a few days later, saying the French Open “sucks” compared to Wimbledon. Ultimately, Kyrgios announced his controversial withdrawal from the 2019 French Open citing an illness as the reason.

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PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 19: Nick Kyrgios of Australia practices ahead of the 2016 French Open at Roland-Garros stadium on May 19, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

The 2020 season came with an unprecedented challenge. As the world grappled with the coronavirus pandemic last year, the ATP calendar got suspended for six months. Despite postponing the 2020 French Open to October, Kyrgios pulled out of the Grand Slam due to concerns about COVID-19.

This year, since his fourth-round exit at the Australian Open, Kyrgios hasn’t competed in any tournament. The 26-year-old’s withdrawal from the 2021 French Open marks a continuation of his self-imposed exile from the tour.

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While Kyrgios’ preference for grass and hard courts over clay is unsurprising, hopefully, he will compete at the French Open in the coming years.

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Kshitij Tayal

394 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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