Nick Kyrgios was bundled out of the Zhuhai Championships in straight sets.
Nick Kyrgios was bundled out of the Zhuhai Championships in straight sets.

Kyrgios calls time-out to rest ‘clicking’ shoulder

Nick Kyrgios fears he could face several weeks out after struggling with what he said was a "clicking" shoulder in a limp first-round exit at the Zhuhai Championships on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Australian, who has been accused of tanking matches in the past, served underarm on one occasion and led the veteran Italian Andreas Seppi 4-1 in the first set.

But the unpredictable firebrand went down 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in southern China after his game spectacularly fell apart.

Kyrgios, who has had numerous run-ins with tennis authorities down the years, said that he was "struggling a lot", but he still played doubles soon after.

"I was battling with a bit of a shoulder/collar bone injury," said the 27th-ranked Kyrgios, a colourful but controversial figure.

"At this rate I'm not thinking about playing until my shoulder's - or I don't even know what it is - but until my front of my shoulder feels better and I can serve," he added, saying his right shoulder had been "clicking".

"I mean the reason I lost today was because I couldn't serve. If I could serve, it would have been a pretty routine win for me, to be honest."

Asked if he could sit out the next few weeks or even the rest of the season, Kyrgios replied:

"For sure, I mean at this rate I wouldn't be surprised. I wasn't able to even serve at a reasonable pace. I'm probably not going to bother playing until I can get it right again."

Kyrgios elicited a few giggles from a sparse crowd in Zhuhai with an underarm serve in the first set.

Coasting 3-1 and 40-0 up, Kyrgios served weakly into the net, before surging into a 4-1 lead.

But the Australian faded alarmingly from there and his previously dominant serve collapsed.

Kyrgios, who appears to revel as the "bad boy" of men's tennis, repeatedly felt his shoulder and his game disintegrated as lost the first-set tie break.

The second set was a non-contest as Seppi, 35, ranked 74th in the world, strolled into round two in 65 minutes.

Kyrgios said that he still hopes to play for Australia in the Davis Cup in November.

"So until now and then I've got a lot of time, I can rest, recover, get my shoulder right," he said.

Kyrgios has long divided tennis fans.

He is an undoubted talent but has a long list of misdemeanours including rowing with umpires and spectators, and throwing an on-court chair.

The Australian says he deploys underarm serves for tactical reasons, but Spanish player Rafael Nadal accused him of "lacking respect".

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Alex de Minaur swept past fellow Australian John Millman to secure a second-round showdown with former world No.1 Andy Murray.

De Minaur took just 70 minutes to win 6-1 6-3 and now faces five-time Australian Open runner-up Murray, who claimed his first ATP Tour singles victory since January by beating Tennys Sandgren in the opening round.

Other early winners on Wednesday included Albert Ramos-Vinolas and qualifier Soonwoo Kwon, a surprise victor over fifth seed Lucas Pouille.

 

Stream live coverage of the WTA and ATP Tours with ESPN and beIN SPORTS on KAYO. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

News Corp Australia

Full list of bushfire warnings: Sunday

Full list of bushfire warnings: Sunday

See the full list of Qld emergency warnings here

What you need to know about QLD bushfires

What you need to know about QLD bushfires

'We’ve got 36 fires happening across Queensland'

An adventurous life, lived to full

An adventurous life, lived to full

I think Scomo is doing a much better job than I could, so Im not going to point the...