Nick Kyrgios Wimbledon 2022

Nick Kyrgios reveals he ‘won’t be available’ for Paris Olympics branding previous ban ‘a disgrace’

Nick Kyrgios has shut down rumours that he is retiring in recent days, but the Australian has confirmed that he will not be making himself available for the Paris Olympic Games.

Kyrgios has been out of action for the majority of the past 15 months, struggling with knee, foot and wrist injuries that have enabled him to play only one tour match in that time.

However, it seems that the 2022 Wimbledon finalist is on the road to recovery, with Kyrgios speaking about his comeback while acting as a commentator during the Australian Open.

That being said, it does not seem likely that Kyrgios will be heading to the Paris for the Olympics in July, with the 28-year-old seemingly still annoyed about his ban from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

At the time, Chef de Miller Kitty Chiller had claimed that ‘Kyrgios doesn’t really understand what it means to be an Australian Olympian’, who was the top ranked singles men’s player at the time.

This lead to Kyrgios withdrawing from the Games and releasing this statement against the Australian Olympic Committee [AOC], “Representing Australia at the Olympic Games has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Playing in the Olympics was a goal this year; I planned my tournament schedule around Rio and made sure to fulfil my Olympic eligibility.

“Unfortunately, while I have expressed every intention of trying to win a medal for my country in Rio, it’s very clear to me that the Australian Olympic Committee has other plans.”

And now he has confirmed that he will not be heading to Paris, citing similar reasons to eight years ago, “One thing I will guarantee, though, is that if I am fit and ready to play, I won’t be making myself available for the Olympics.”

Kyrgios continued, “The way I was treated by the Australian Olympic Committee and former Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller will never be forgotten. To ban me from playing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games was a disgrace.

“I was No.13 at the time and had a genuine chance at winning a medal. For them to forbid me from representing my country for behavioural reasons is something that I just can’t forget.”

Kyrgios has never competed at the Olympics and will be 33-years-old when the Los Angeles Games come around, but has revealed that his ‘mentality has changed’.

“Eight years ago, I was desperate to represent Australia at an Olympic Games, but my mentality has changed,” said Kyrgios. “I wanted to play for my country, I can’t say that I still have that desire. And let’s be honest, I haven’t exactly felt like Australia has wanted me to represent it either. I’ve said before, I often feel more at home away from home.”

Chiller is no longer the leader of the AOC, with two-time cycling gold medallist Anna Meares taking over for Paris.

A committee spokesperson has since released a statement on Kyrgios’ comments, “The AOC has high regard for Nick Kyrgios as an Australian athlete of great ability. Every athlete is entitled to make their own decisions about their playing futures and those decisions are respected.”

The tennis events at the Paris Olympics will take place between Saturday 27th July and Sunday 4th August.

Inside the baseline…

Nick Kyrgios has done some questionable and controversial things on court over the years, so his fractured relationship with the AOC is not completely blameless. That being said, it is a shame for any player to not feel happy to represent their nation and will now probably never have the opportunity to compete at an Olympic Games.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.