Nick Kyrgios' call out in pain to his coaching team during his return to competitive tennis has raised question marks about the Australian's preparation for Wimbledon.
Kyrgios' return came at the 2023 Stuttgart Open against Yibing Wu, but things did not go as planned for the Australian after he lost the first-round match in straight sets at the ATP 250 competition. The 28-year-old was making his first appearance since an exhibition match early in 2023 alongside Novak Djokovic before missing out on most of the first half of the season.
After surgery earlier in 2023, Kyrgios' recovery was never going to be smooth sailing and one moment during his defeat against Wu showed that he may not be completely ready for competitive tennis. During the contest, the 28-year-old had his head in his hands midway through a changeover in the second set before shouting out to his coaching team about issues with his knee.
"I feel my knee every point. I can't walk without pain."
Although Kyrgios continued to see out the rest of the match, he was far from his best and eventually fell to a 7-5, 6-3 loss in the first-round contest. Whether the decline in the second set was due to form, fitness or injury is unknown, but the Australian's call to his coaching team might be a cause for concern.
It is likely that Kyrgios will be targeting entry into this year's Wimbledon after the 28-year-old raced to the 2022 final before he eventually lost to world number one Novak Djokovic. But the Australian has missed the entirety of clay court season and could run out of time to recover in time for the third Grand Slam of the season.
After his first-round defeat in Stuttgart against Wu, Kyrgios pleaded with his fans to remain patient over his return. On his official Twitter channel, the 28-year-old explained that his return will take time and cannot be rushed.