Why Kyrgios should pull out of Aus Open

Nick Kyrgios is a boy trapped in a man’s body.

The problem for young Nick is that, on recent evidence, it’s a 35-year-old man’s body.

Kyrgios’ preparations for the Australian Open are in tatters after his first-round exit from the Sydney International at the hands of Jerzy Janowicz.

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During the match it was clear the 19-year-old from Canberra was struggling with injury, his back and knee the areas of concern.

“I am obviously shattered that I haven’t had the right preparation at all for all these tournaments,” he said.

“I am just doing whatever I can to get out there and compete but I am not at the level I would like to be at.”

Kyrgios at his best is electric, a strutting power hitter who plays the game fast and hard.

But, because of that style, he needs to be very careful how he manages the next phase of his career, even if it means pulling out of next week’s Australian Open.

If he gets it right now, he could potentially enjoy another 12 or 15 Australian Open campaigns.

Get it wrong, and he could become another cautionary tale.

Such is his potential that heavyweights like Mark Philippoussis have weighed in on the situation, urging him to be careful with his body.

Nick Kyrgios was clearly hampered during his loss to Jerzy Janowicz. Photo: Getty

Nick Kyrgios was clearly hampered during his loss to Jerzy Janowicz. Photo: Getty

(Taking advice from the Scud is a little like a budding footy player seeking out help from Nathan Ablett.)

“Being a big guy like that it’s very important to train in a smart way and keep as healthy as possible,” Philippoussis said.

Tennis Australia performance director Pat Rafter went further, declaring Kyrgios needs to get everything right or risk disaster.

“He is a potential superstar. I use the word potential because he has such a long way to go and if he doesn’t take all the right steps he’ll never reach that,” Rafter told News Corp.

Rafter described his own career turning point, which came during a 1997 Davis Cup clash.

It was Australia’s first-round tie against defending champions France, and Rafter was down two sets to love against Cedric Pioline at White City.

John Newcombe, then Australia’s Davis Cup captain, delivered the famous line that this was “a war of attrition”, with a few choice Newcombe-isms thrown in for good measure.

Rafter turned the match around, and his career. A few months later he was a US Open champion, and he went on to win another and make two Wimbledon finals.

But Kyrgios is only 19 – Rafter was almost 25 when Newcombe hand delivered his profanity-swathed epiphany.

Australia is behind Kyrgios – we want to see him realise his potential, and turn his glimpses of brilliance into domination of the men’s game.

What we don’t want to see is him trying to compete in the Australian Open underdone, only to pull out when his injury flares up, ruling him out for an extended period.

That’s precisely what his friend Bernard Tomic did last year, and it cost him a trip to the operating theatre and two months on the sidelines.

Only Kyrgios and his support team know if he will be doing himself a disservice by taking part in Melbourne.

If his problem is purely conditioning then a hit-out or two may be just what he needs. But Kyrgios looked sore on Tuesday.

Clearly, his competitive spirit means he wants to be out there.

But if a break is what he needs, then a break is what he should take.

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