Nick Kyrgios has called time on his turbulent 2015 season, pulling out of next week’s Paris Masters with an arm injury.
“Another year in the books. #SeasonOver #Thanks,” Kyrgios tweeted to his more than 160,000 followers.
While he likely lost some Twitter fans in a 2015 campaign dogged by controversy, Kyrgios improved his ranking by 22 spots after picking up wins over Swiss aces Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka and reaching a grand slam quarter-final for the second consecutive year.
His run to the last eight at Melbourne Park and charge to the final on clay in Estoril were the highlights of a rollercoaster season.
The 20-year-old’s clashes with officialdom at Wimbledon and unsavoury sledging of Wawrinka in Montreal largely overshadowed any on-court inroads he made after climbing from 52nd in the rankings to 30th.
After taking part in the Indian Premier Tennis League next month, Kyrgios will open his 2016 season at the Hopman Cup exhibition event in Perth in early January.
He faces a battle to snare a top-32 seeding for the Australian Open and will likely miss out unless he contests – and wins a couple of matches – at ATP events in either Chennai, Doha or Brisbane.
Whenever he does return to the ATP Tour, Kyrgios still has the spectre of a one-month ban hanging over his head after effectively being placed on probation in August for his verbal taunting of French Open champion Wawrinka.
Fined $US1500 for an audible obscenity in Shanghai, Kyrgios will trigger a 28-day ban if he accrues any more fines totalling $US3500 before February 24.
But he is in no danger of being rubbed out of the Australian Open, which is governed by Tennis Australia and the ITF – not the ATP.
Newly appointed Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt is backing the polarising youngster to win back fans and challenge for grand slam slam glory.
“When I came on (to the tour), I didn’t always have the best image out there either,” Hewitt said this week.
“So it’s about dealing with that and learning from the mistakes that you’ve made over time and becoming not only a better person off the court but also a better tennis player.
“Nick, I think, is really finding himself at the moment but he has massive up side and I think with the right people around him he can really improve leaps and bounds in the next year or two and hopefully hold up a grand slam trophy.”
NICK KYRGIOS’S 2015 SEASON SNAPSHOT
Career-high ranking: 25 (June 2015)
2014 year-end ranking: 52
Best results: finalist Estoril; semi-finalist Kuala Lumpur; quarter-finalist Australian Open
Top-10 wins: Roger Federer (Madrid), Milos Raonic (Wimbledon), Stan Wawrinka (Montreal)
2015 win-loss record: 24-18
2015 grand slam win-loss record: 9-4
2015 grand slam results: Australian Open quarter-finals, 3rd rd French Open, 4th rd Wimbledon, 1st rd US Open
2015 Davis Cup record: 0-1
2015 prize money: $US954,914 ($A1.35 million)