An injury cloud hangs over Nick Kyrgios after the world No.13 put in an insipid display during a 6-2 6-2 Hopman Cup loss to American Jack Sock on Thursday night.
Kyrgios lacked energy in the dead rubber tie, blasting a series of unforced errors in a match that lasted just 49 minutes.
The 21-year-old has been batting a knee injury all week.
But each time he was probed about the injury, he said it was only a minor niggle and that everyone should “relax”.
However, Sock revealed Kyrgios had undergone scans on the injury, and that it was perhaps worse than first thought.
“I think Nick needs to get back to 100 per cent health wise,” Sock said.
“I don’t think it (the knee) was great coming into this week.
“Obviously he wanted to play. He loves being in Perth.
“I knew he wanted to push it and kind of see how it was, first week of the year.
“I hope he can get back to 100 per cent. I think he needs a little rest. Maybe he’s gotten worse through the week.”
The Australian Open starts on January 16, giving Kyrgios little time to recover fully from the injury.
On Tuesday night, Kyrgios promised to have some fun against his good friend Sock.
But he rarely cracked a smile during the one-sided contest.
At one point, he decided to volley a Sock mis-hit that would have otherwise sailed out by about five metres.
Kyrgios’ shot crashed into the net.
Sock didn’t feel Kyrgios’ latest performance should be compared to the star’s Shanghai Masters meltdown.
In that match, Kyrgios clearly tanked a series of points, and was later banned from the ATP tour for three weeks and ordered to undergo counselling.
“We both said going into this match we were going to have some fun. We were going to put on a little show for the crowd and enjoy our time out there,” Sock said.
“We’d already qualified for the finals. He’s not feeling great. I think it was more of a relaxed match than if we were both playing for a spot in the final.
“And with his knee everything, I don’t think he wanted to push it over the limit and make it worse for Melbourne.”
Australia’s Hopman Cup title hopes were already over after suffering shock 2-1 losses to both Spain and the Czech Republic earlier in the tournament.
Kyrgios had performed well in both of those ties, winning his singles matches.