In what was a breakout year for the always controversial Nick Kyrgios, the Australian tennis star will be hoping he can replicate the heights of his exceptional 2022 campaign this calendar year. After bowing out in the second round of last year’s Aussie Open on the singles side of the draw, it appeared as though the then 26-year-old was on track for another year in which he doesn’t fulfil his enormous potential.

He did however manage to secure his first major title at Melbourne Park, winning the men’s doubles final alongside good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis against fellow countrymen Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell (7-5, 6-4). That victory last January seemed to kick Kyrgios into gear – and after forgoing the French Open for a fifth straight year due to his dislike for the clay surface – he returned to Grand Slam action on his preferred surface of grass for Wimbledon in July.

He was brilliant in London, defeating the likes of Filip Krajinovic and the fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to his first major final. He would ultimately lose in four sets to then six-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic – however – his run at the sport’s oldest tournament signalled the rebirth of Kyrgios’ career.

He carried that strong form into the US Open, besting number one seed Daniil Medvedev to secure his second consecutive quarter-final appearance at a Grand Slam. Many felt it was his major to lose, with pre-tournament favourites Rafael Nadal and Medvedev out of the running at Flushing Meadows. Couple that with Djokovic’s ineligibility due to his COVID-19 vaccination stance – and Kyrgios may not get another chance to win a singles major as good as the one he had last September.

With that being said, he most certainly took plenty of confidence from 2022 and would have been hoping to make a deep run at the Australian Open this month. He entered as the fifth favourite at 12/1 in the Australian Open odds to lift the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup – however – after persistent injuries to his lower extremities kept him sidelined for much of the lead-up to the 111th instalment of the sport’s opening Grand Slam of 2023 – Kyrgios was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open.

As expected, it is a huge blow for Kyrgios, who was hoping to become the first Australian to win a major on home turf since Mark Edmonson achieved the feat in 1976.

“It’s obviously been pretty brutal before [one] of the most important tournaments of my career,” he said. “It hasn’t been easy at all.”

“I’m devastated obviously. It’s like my home tournament. I’ve had some great memories here.

“Obviously last year winning the title in doubles and playing the best tennis of my life probably. Then going into this event as one of the favourites, it’s brutal.”

While this setback is not ideal given the trajectory the Aussie superstar was on, if he can come back fully healthy and refreshed before the French Open in May – a strong 2023 could still be on the cards for Kyrgios.

For those following Australian Open 2023 tips, Djokovic is favoured to secure his tenth Australian Open title, garnering the shortest price at 5/6 at the time of writing.