- Controversial Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios was knocked out of the Brisbane International in the second round on Wednesday.
- Kyrgios was defending his title after winning the tournament last year.
- As a result of his defeat, Kyrgios will go in unseeded to the Australian Open this month.
- The 23-year-old suffered an unusual injury in the build-up to the tournament, though.
- He posted photos of himself in hospital after being bitten by a spider over the Christmas period.
Australian tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios failed to defend his Brisbane International title after he was knocked out of the tournament on Wednesday by unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
Kyrgios lost in three sets after overcoming American Ryan Harrison in the first round – who he beat in the final of the contest last year.
The Australian’s defeat means more than just an early exit from the competition as his ATP ranking is set to fall from 35 to 52 ahead of the first Grand Slam of the tennis season, the Australian Open.
Kyrgios has an unlikely excuse for his sub-par performance, though – a spider bite that lit up Australian media over the Christmas holidays.
The 23-year-old tennis star was treated in a Canberra hospital for the bite over Christmas, according to Fox Sports Australia.
“Got a spider bite on my foot. Christmas different every year,” Kyrgios posted on his Instagram story.
The player also posted a photo of himself with an intravenous drip in his arm with the caption: “This spider bite outta control.”
Asked if he felt like the spotlight was off him ahead of the Australian Open thanks to other fledgeling Australian talents like 19-year-old Alex de Minaur, Kyrgios replied in the negative.
“I don’t know if the spotlight is off of me. I was practicing the other day, I had 13 cameras on my court,” he said after his opening round match on Tuesday, according to The Guardian.
“I had a spider bite. That seemed to be the biggest story over the Aussie summer. So let’s don’t act as if attention is not on me. Obviously, it does help having guys like that [Millman, de Minaur] winning matches … [but] I don’t know if the spotlight has shifted at all.”
It’s not a great start of the year for Kyrgios, whose 2018 season was marred by a recurring elbow injury. The player revealed in the build-up to the Brisbane International that excessive travel took its toll on his mental health.
“Just being away from home was the toughest bit,” Kyrgios said. “Battling injuries, going to tournaments and not even playing was tough, but they’re not really big problems.
“I’ll have a lighter schedule and when I play, enjoy playing and just compete.”
“Being home solved a lot of my problems,” he added. “It was more mental than anything. I was away from home for five and a half months. I don’t ever want to do that again.
“If I was to win the US Open or something, I won’t play again for the rest of the year.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.