Nick Kyrgios says he has been left saddened by Andy Murray’s latest injury setback and has hailed the Scot as “good for the sport”.
Murray pulled out of the Brisbane International on Tuesday as the long-term hip injury that has sidelined him since Wimbledon was still causing him pain.
The 30-year-old Scot revealed he was considering surgery but Kyrgios, the world No 21 and a close friend of Murray’s, hopes it does not come to that.
“It’s pretty sad; he’s definitely a fan favourite,” Kyrgios told www.atpworldtour.com.
“He brings a lot of the people to all these tournaments and he’s a good friend of mine.
“It’s never good seeing a guy like that get injured, especially because he’s just good for the sport.
“He’s a good guy as well.”
Murray’s participation in the first grand slam of the year – the Australian Open, which starts on 15 January – is in serious doubt.
The former world No 1 revealed his frustrations with the injury, which has put a hold on his career, in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
He said: “In the short term I’m going to be staying in Australia for the next couple of days to see if my hip settles down a bit and will decide by the weekend whether to stay out here or fly home to assess what I do next.”
Miles Maclagan, Murray’s former coach, suggested the current world No 16 might have to adapt his game when he finally makes his return to the court.
“The characteristic of these great players is that when they’ve had a setback they often come back stronger, reinvigorated in the mind,” Maclagan told the BBC.
“He said he was tired, so could come back with a fresh mentality.
“If he can get fit, it might force him to play a different sort of game, with shorter rallies.
“That could be very exciting, [but] he’s got a tough road back.”
Murray, meanwhile, has announced that he has signed the young British tennis player, Katie Swan, to his management agency, 77 Sports Management.
Swan joins British sprinters, Shannon and Cheriece Hylton, and 17-year-old Glaswegian tennis player, Aidan McHugh, who signed with the agency in November.
Murray plans to act as a mentor to all four. He said: “Katie is a player I’ve been watching for a while. She’s got great potential and has already had some good results.
“I’m hoping we can offer support to her in areas on and off the court and complement the team she has in place already.”
Swan, 18, is currently ranked 300 in the world, having won three ITF titles in 2017, including the $25,000 ITF tournament in Obidos, Portugal, and two $15,000 ITF tournaments in Sharm-El-Sheikh, which put her among the top ten UK female tennis players.
She was called up for her Great Britain Fed Cup debut in 2016 against South Africa, becoming the youngest British player in Fed Cup history at the age of 16 years and 316 days.