Nick Kyrgios of Australia speaks to the media.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia speaks to the media. GLENN HUNT

Nick Kyrgios pulls out of event after grandfather's death

TENNIS: Grief-stricken Nick Kyrgios has abandoned plans to start his European claycourt season in Estoril and will fly back to Canberra for his grandfather's funeral.

Devastated at the passing of Christos Kyrgios, the world No.16 has withdrew from the Portuguese tournament.

"I just want to take the opportunity to let you all know, especially the people of Estoril and Cascais know, that I have unfortunately withdrawn from Millenium Estoril Open to go back to Australia and attend my grandfather's funeral," Kyrgios said.

"It's no secret that Estoril has been a very special stop for me on the ATP World Tour, so the decision was a hard one but my family is very important to me and I feel I need to be around my loved ones at this time as well as pay respects to my Papou, who I loved very much.

"I hope you can all understand and respect my decision."

Kyrgios, who celebrated a "bittersweet" 22nd birthday with his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic in the US, described his grandfather on Facebook as "always supporting, always knew the score, what was going on and even knew that Roger Federer was the GOAT (greatest of all time)," he wrote.

"Fly high CK ..."

In a separate post on social media, Kyrgios said: "Thanks for all the kind messages and birthday well wishes. It was a tough 24-48 hours."

Kyrgios still has three weeks to prepare for the French Open before the British grasscourt season.

The right-hander hopes to play mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Tomljanovic, who he credits for providing perspective after a traumatic Australian Open loss to Andreas Seppi.

Since that defeat, Kyrgios has emerged as one of the most dangerous players on the world stage, twice defeating world No.2 Novak Djokovic and suffering a tight three-set loss to Federer.

News Corp Australia

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