Nick Kyrgios has claimed it would be an “absolute disaster” if the big three of men’s tennis – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – all missed the Australian Open.
Federer will definitely miss the opening Grand Slam of 2022 as he recovers from his latest knee injury while Nadal is a doubt after he tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in December.
Djokovic is on the entry list but questions continue to swirl around his vaccination status, with only fully vaccinated players allowed entry to Melbourne. He has already withdrawn from the ATP Cup in Sydney.
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The Serb will move clear of his great rivals onto 21 majors if he wins a record-extending 10th title in Australia.
Kyrgios has had few kind words to say about Djokovic in recent years but admitted the defending champion was a huge draw at his home tournament.
“I honestly don’t know Novak’s current situation with anything Covid-related or what he needs to play,” Kyrgios told the Melbourne Age newspaper.
“I hope he’s had a good Christmas and I hope he’s able to play in the sport for as long as possible because I’ve voiced before I think Federer, Nadal and Djokovic need to be (playing).
If all three aren’t there, it’s a disaster. It’s an absolute disaster for the fans and the people that enjoy tennis.
“Yes, it’s obviously a good opportunity for some of the younger guys to come through and make an impact, but as a whole, we do need them to be part of the sport.”

Kyrgios mocks Djokovic with celebration before doubles match

Kyrgios’ own hopes of a maiden Slam title would be boosted should Djokovic and Nadal miss out, although his one quarter-final appearance in Melbourne came back in 2015.
The Australian Open starts on January 17.
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