London (AP) — Nick Kyrgios downplayed concerns he could miss Wimbledon after retiring with an injury one set into his opening match at the Queen’s grass-court tournament on Monday.
In the latest injury setback for the hot-headed Australian, Kyrgios slipped at the back of the court during the second point of the ninth game against Donald Young, with the score at 4-4.
Kyrgios required treatment on his left hip during a medical timeout but continued playing, despite not moving freely in hot conditions in west London.
After losing a tiebreaker 7-3, the ninth-seeded Kyrgios headed straight for his bag, put away his racket, shook hands with Young and walked off.
Asked if he would fit for Wimbledon, which starts on July 3, Kyrgios said: “Yeah, 100 percent. I mean I’d play Wimbledon if I was injured pretty bad anyway. I’m here anyway. I don’t really have time to go home or anything. Yeah, I will be playing, for sure.”
Kyrgios said in the build-up to the match that he has had hip trouble for the last seven months but was now playing without pain. He also has been troubled with soreness in his right shoulder and began the match on Centre Court with strapping round his right knee.
He shouted in pain, clutched his hip and covered his face with his hands while lying on the ground following his fall, which came after he was wrong-footed by a shot from Young.
“I have been playing with a sore hip for a long time. I felt it was painful and it’s not really worth it,” the 20th-ranked Kyrgios said. “Obviously my main goal is to play well at Wimbledon so I’m going to try and get it better and rehab it and hopefully it settles down. I’m sure it will.”
Asked what he would be doing now instead this week, Kyrgios said with a smile: “Dog and Fox.” That was a reference to a pub located close to Wimbledon.
It has been a difficult season for Kyrgios, who has been battling injury and also took a short break from tennis in April following the death of his grandfather.
Earlier, fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, playing his first match since a surprise first-round exit at his home French Open, beat Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-2, and sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov — the winner of this Wimbledon warmup in 2014 — looked impressive in all departments of his game in defeating Ryan Harrison 6-3, 6-1.
In the last game on Centre Court, Denis Shapovalov beat Kyle Edmund 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4 for a much happier ending than his last match against the British player.
In February, while playing a Davis Cup match for Canada against Britain in Ottawa, Shapovalov was disqualified for smashing in anger a tennis ball that struck umpire Arnaud Gabas, who suffered a fractured eye socket. Shapovalov was fined $7,000 by the ITF.
“I don’t think I’m ever going to forget about it but I think I’ve moved on from it,” said Shapovalov, the junior champion at Wimbledon last year. “This was a different match. It wasn’t in my head at all.”
On Court 1, seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych beat Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-5, 6-3.
Defending champion Andy Murray plays his opening match on Tuesday, against fellow Briton Aljaz Bedene. The event has a strong field that has been weakened by the withdrawals of French Open champion Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro.