Nick Kyrgios rows back on support for unvaccinated players

Tennis Nick Kyrgios rows back on support for unvaccinated players • Australian considers rule limiting wildcards to people with no shots

• Decision expected at US Open, says coach Simon Rea Kyrgios has come under fire for his failure to follow the recommended vaccination schedule. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has expressed a rethink about supporting unvaccinated players, but insists he would still choose the president of the French Tennis Federation as his first choice to attend this year’s US Open.

Kyrgios, who returned to action at the US Open after missing out on last month’s Cincinnati Masters after signing up for dating apps, also hinted he had grown tired of defending people who think they are immune to illness.

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“I guess at the same time I would have been able to sit down with the president of the French federation or people around him and really discuss it,” Kyrgios said after his first-round win on Saturday.

“But it’s obviously a stance they’ve taken – I totally understand that. But obviously, over time, maybe your point of view and possibly why they’re taking that stance is going to change, too.”

Speaking after his win over Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, Kyrgios said he could still take in a player like Tommy Haas if it meant he had a good chance of making the third round, although he will be disappointed if anything like the one-set performance against Berankis.

“It’s obviously not something I’m thinking about,” he said when asked about wildcards. “Not something I ever dreamt of. You know, I don’t care about other people.

“If I want to watch a great match I’m going to watch other people and want to cheer for them.

“If I want to stay home and watch something nice I’m going to watch other people.”

After his streaky start to this year, Kyrgios will be hoping to begin a run of form this week at the tournament he won in 2014.

Kyrgios says he has listened to coach Simon Rea, who warns he has over a month to turn his form around.

“I think he’s pretty confident that I can start improving my serving. That’s the biggest thing. I’ve worked hard on it for a long time. The shot he’s pushing me on is my second serve. I obviously need to work on my second serve, serve, all the little stuff you need to improve.

“I’m going to work on that, though. I need to start playing better tennis. I’m confident I’ll do that.”

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