Nick Kyrgios is the latest tennis player to pull out of the US Open, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday, he explained his reasoning for bowing out in a video, criticizing the Grand Slam event which is scheduled to take place in New York from August 31 to September 13.
The Australian tennis player penned a letter starting, “Dear Tennis,” and reflecting on the severity of the virus and asking his fellow players to consider everything before participating in the Flushing Meadows event.
The 25-year-old said:
“Let’s take a breath here and remember what’s important, which is health and safety as a community. We can rebuild our sport and the economy, but we can never recover lives lost. I’ve got no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open, and if players want to go that’s up to them. So long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely … You can’t be dancing on tables, money-grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck hosting an exhibition. That’s just so selfish … Act responsibly.”
He continued, “Think of the other people for once, that’s what this virus is about. It doesn’t care about your world record or how much money you have.”
Kyrgios admitted that this decision is not without sadness, saying, “It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport’s greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium.”
He wanted to emphasize that he is not just sitting out for the safety of himself, but for the greater good. “I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans that have lost their lives, for all of you. It’s my decision,” he said.
The outspoken tennis star says he supports anyone who has been following best health practices and wishes them all the best.
He commented that he wants people to keep their jobs, giving a shoutout to the workers behind the scenes
“It’s my decision, like it or not, and those are my reasons,” Kyrgios concluded.
On Thursday, women’s world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty announced she will not be participating in the US Open, also citing the coronavirus as the reason.