Nick Kyrgios loss opens door to unwanted ranking milestone
After crashing out of the US Open in the first round, Nick Kyrgios could pass a mark that fans may have cause to worry about.
The maverick Australian has entertained crowds ever since bursting onto the scene as a 19-year-old wildcard at Wimbledon 2014.
After seeing off Richard Gasquet and Jiri Vesely, Kyrgios shocked the world by defeating then world number one Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.
Having reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final, and his joint best Slam result to date, the teen jumped from world number 144 to 66.
But now, having lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the US Open, Kyrgios is flirting with dropping out of the top-100 for the first time since that breakthrough summer.
Ranked world number 86 heading into the tournament, Kyrgios will drop to at least world number 89 due to the loss, and is just 47 ranking points above the world number 100 Francisco Cerundolo (currently on 751 ranking points).
When the Covid pandemic hit, the Australian decided against travelling to compete, instead opting to remain down under due to safety concerns.
As such, he only played two tournaments between February 2020 and June 2021 (Wimbledon), the 2021 Murray River Open and 2021 Australian Open, both in Melbourne.
In that time, Kyrgios dropped from world number 39 to number 60 entering Wimbledon 2021, and has since lost three of four first round matches in Atlanta, Washington, Toronto and New York.
As the 2019 champion, his sharpest drop came after Washington this year, falling from 58 to 77 as he lost his ranking points from that title.
Knock-on effects from further falls down the ladder could mean that Kyrgios would not receive automatic entry to Slams, and could further see him need to grind out qualifying rounds for smaller tournaments too.
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