A “devastated” Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the Australian Open – the day before he was scheduled to play his first-round singles match – because of an injured knee that needs arthroscopic surgery.

Kyrgios, a 27-year-old from Australia, was the runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year in singles

and teamed with good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis to win the men’s doubles championship at the 2022 Australian Open.

Kyrgios was considered the host country’s strongest chance to win a title at Melbourne Park this year – no man from Australia has won the singles trophy there since 1976.

He announced his withdrawal on Monday, Day 1 of action at the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, appearing at a news conference at Melbourne Park alongside his physical therapist, Will Maher.

Kyrgios told reporters at Melbourne Park that he was “devastated” to have to withdraw from his home tournament.

“I’m just exhausted from everything. Obviously pretty brutal,” Kyrgios said Monday of the decision to withdraw