- Wayne Arthurs predicts Kyrgios will be back for Wimbledon
- Peter McNamee agrees that he wont be at his best until mid 2024
- Star seems unlikely to be ready in time for the Australian Open
Nick Kyrgios is racing the clock to be ready for the first grand slam of 2024 at Melbourne Park – and several Aussie tennis greats predict that the firebrand won’t be back until Wimbledon next year.
Kyrgios, 28, has been out of action since withdrawing from the Melbourne event at the start of the year due to knee and wrist issues, with a return date unknown.
The Canberra-born star has played down expectations that he will be back on the court for the first major of 2024, saying last month that ‘the stars would need to align’ for him to return in time.
Davis Cup hero-turned-coach Wayne Arthurs says if Kyrgios applies himself there’s a slam ‘for the taking’, but he can’t realistically see him back before Wimbledon.
‘We all know he is a talent,’ Arthurs told The Age. ‘He’s smart enough to know [Novak] Djokovic is at the end of his career, so there’s a slam there for the taking.
Major doubt lingers over the enigmatic entertainer’s tennis comeback
Kyrgios (pictured with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi) played down expectations that he will be back on the court for the first major of 2024
‘By all reports, he was training pretty bloody hard mid-year before he went to Wimbledon and got injured again.
‘But is a 20 per cent Kyrgios going to rock up to the Aussie Open? I don’t think he will play. But by the middle of next year, at Wimbledon, it might be time.’
Former tennis world doubles champion Peter McNamee agrees with Arthurs that Wimbledon is when fans will likely see Kyrgios again at his best.
‘I don’t know if he’s going to make it for the Aussie Open or not, I don’t have the insight, but he won’t be at his best,’ he said.
‘He’s pretty good fresh, though, and he’s a scary draw [for rivals].’
In an interview with English broadcaster Piers Morgan last week, the 28-year-old gave no indication he would be ready to return to the court anytime soon.
Australian Open boss Craig Tiley said he expected Kyrgios to feature ‘in some form’ at next month’s tournament.
Wayne Arthurs believes Kyrgios will be back competing at Wimbledon next year
Peter McNamee also suggested Kyrgios will be back at his best by mid-2024
‘The update is day-by-day with him,’ Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said on Monday of Kyrgios’s availability.
‘He’ll be best to assess that … we’re going to have Nick here in some form or another in January.
‘Hopefully it is to play because he’s a crowd-pleaser. We love watching Nick and love having him around.’