Nick Kyrgios makes absolute disaster comment over Federer, Nadal and Djokovic

Novak Djokovic celebrates Serbia's WC qualification

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Nick Kyrgios believes it will be a “disaster” for tennis if the sport’s ‘big three’ are all absent from next month’s Australian Open. It has long been known that Roger Federer’s injury would keep him out of the Melbourne competition, while Novak Djokovic’s vaccine status remains unknown and Rafael Nadal’s positive Covid test could scupper his plans.

The main draw of the Australian Open is set to begin on January 17, with the first major title of the 2022 season up for grabs.

Tied on 20 Grand Slam titles each, it would usually be an opportunity for one of Federer, Djokovic or Nadal to gain an upper hand on the others.

But there remains a strong possibility that none of them will be there, leaving the field wide open for someone to snatch a major title.

One person who will be at the tournament is Kyrgios, who has been handed a wildcard after taking several months out of the sport for personal reasons.

He says it will be a “disaster” for the competition if the three biggest names in men’s tennis are all absent.

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“I hope [Djokjovic] has 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),” the Aussie told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“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.”

Federer’s absence has been a foregone conclusion for many months, with the 40-year-old ending his 2021 season after losing in the last eight at Wimbledon and undergoing yet another knee surgery.

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His future in professional tennis is in doubt, and the Swiss might even have already played his last game on the Tour – though he is determined to make a comeback.

Nadal also ended last season early through injury, though he was set to return to action earlier this month to prepare for the upcoming Grand Slam and 2022 season.

However, his plans have been changed after testing positive for Covid-19, and the Spaniard is now in a race against time to complete his isolation period and travel to Australia in time to quarantine and compete.

Djokovic’s participation has for a long time now been in doubt, ever since it was confirmed players would need to be vaccinated to enter the state of Victoria.

The Serbian has repeatedly refused to reveal his vaccination status, citing medical privacy, and it has seemed more and more unlikely that he would not be taking part as time has passed.

But Tennis Australia confirmed on Tuesday that Djokovic was still signed up to take part in the ATP Cup, a pre-tournament event which is set to begin on Saturday in Sydney.

His chances of appearing in Melbourne have also been boosted by Australian Open boss Craig Tiley, who confirmed that “a small number” of the 3,000 players and support staff will be granted medical exemptions to enter the state without being vaccinated.

But there is still no sign of Djokovic in Australia, despite many others already heading to the country to complete their quarantine periods ahead of the tournament.

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