Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the US Open because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it “hurts me at my core” to miss the tournament.
In a video on social media, Kyrgios, 25, also criticised the behaviour of some players during the pandemic.
“Let’s take a breath here and remember what’s important, which is health and safety as a community,” said Kyrgios.
“We can rebuild our sport and the economy, but we can never recover lives lost.”
The world number 40 added: “It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport’s greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans that have lost their lives, for all of you. It’s my decision.”
Last month, the Australian said the United States Tennis Association (USTA) was “selfish” for staging the New York tournament, which starts on 31 August.
The event is set to be held without fans at Flushing Meadows with players having to follow strict measures.
Murray ‘willing to risk’ playing in US after injury problems
Britain’s former world number one Andy Murray is planning to play, saying he is “willing to take a risk” after being hampered by injury in recent years.
The 33-year-old Scot has played singles in only two of the past 10 Grand Slams, stretching back to Wimbledon in 2017, after two major hip operations.
“The situation I’ve been in the last few years I’ve not had the opportunity to play in many Slams,” said Murray, who won the first of his three Grand Slam titles at the 2012 US Open.
“I don’t know how many opportunities I’ll have left to play in Slams, so while I’m feeling relatively decent, I want to try and play in them and enjoy the biggest events again. I’ve missed that a lot.”
Kyrgios says he does not have a problem with the USTA or for players wanting to compete “so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely”.
Kyrgios has been a critic of men’s world number one Novak Djokovic’s decision to stage exhibition events during the pandemic, with a number of players who took part then testing positive for the virus, including the Serb.
“Tennis players, you have to act in the interest of each other and work together,” added Kyrgios.
“You can’t be dancing on tables, money grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck hosting an exhibition. That’s just so selfish. Think of the other people for once, that is what this virus is about, it doesn’t care about your world ranking or how much money you have.”
Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent
Kyrgios’ decision is no surprise, but the timing very pertinent on the day the Australian city of Melbourne announced a nightly curfew.
Another Australian, the world number one Ashleigh Barty, withdrew from the US Open last week, and there are likely to be more omissions when the entry list is published in the next few days.
Kyrgios does not take issue with the US Open itself going ahead: his argument is with those playing fast and loose with the rules.
And once again, in this social media post, he highlights what he considers irresponsible and selfish behaviour by some of those involved in recent exhibition matches in Europe and the United States.
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