Winston-Salem (USA): Nick Kyrgios was 'excited' to play former World No. 1 Andy Murray but the Aussie tennis star had to withdraw from their scheduled first-round showdown at the Winston-Salem Open on Sunday evening due to a left knee injury.
Kyrgios and Murray were set to clash for the seventh time in the ATP series (Murray leads 5-1) and for the first time since the Aussie triumphed at The Queen's Club in 2018. Murray instead played lucky loser Noah Rubin, in the first round of the Winston-Salem Open and defeated him 6-2, 6-0 under the lights. "I was in Florida, in Bradenton rehabbing and training and came here obviously excited to play here. I love the facility, it's really great," Kyrgios said as per ATPTour.com. "To play Andy Murray, one of my good friends and a tennis icon would have been amazing, but obviously I have to look after my body."
"I feel when I play it's a bit of a rarity these days and to have someone like Andy going through what he's gone through and to be back on Tour as well, I think this match was very hyped up," Kyrgios said. "I was obviously excited to play him."
The Kyrgios' withdrawal created a conundrum for tournament organisers who sought a lucky loser to play Murray. Two players passed on the chance to face the Scotsman, Max Purcell and Pierre-Hughes Herbert. Yosuke Watanuki already had direct admission as a lucky loser. That left Noah Rubin.
Rubin had just completed a two-hour battle against Lucas Pouille, falling 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, when he learned he could play Murray in the main draw. The 24-year-old Long Islander had roughly half an hour before he took the court again.
Murray will now face American Frances Tiafoe in the second round. The day and time for that battle are yet to be set.