LONDON (AFP) - Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios revealed he knew he was not fit enough to play Wimbledon after being forced to retire from his first-round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Monday.
He has been struggling to recover from the left hip injury that forced him to pull out of Queen's Club last month and he was advised by a doctor not to compete at Wimbledon.
But the 22-year-old had reached at least the fourth round in all three of his previous Wimbledon appearances and wanted to give it a shot at his favourite Grand Slam.
After losing in the second round at both the Australian and French Opens this year, Kyrgios' miserable 2017 continued as the world No. 20 lost the first two sets 3-6, 4-6 against Herbert before deciding to call it quits due to the nagging injury.
"I kind of knew I was in trouble. I have been feeling my hip ever since I fell over at Queen's," he said.
"Never got it right. I was doing everything I could to help it, but just not enough time. Yeah, I mean, I just wasn't 100 per cent.
A GAMBLE THAT FAILED
I could feel the hip a lot. It was hindering my performance a lot.
NICK KYRGIOS, on doing his best despite injury at his favourite Grand Slam
"I spoke to the doctor before the tournament started. He was leaning towards me not even playing.
"It's my favourite tournament. I do well here every year. So it's tough for me to go out there and pull out. It's not the easiest thing for me to do."
Kyrgios, then ranked 144th, burst onto the scene at Wimbledon in 2014 when he defeated then world No. 1 Rafael Nadal en route to the quarter-finals.
But from the moment he stepped onto Court Three wearing long white leggings under his shorts, he did not look comfortable.
"I thought I could win. Obviously probably not against him, but some opponents if I played them today, I probably still could have won," he said.
"I could feel the hip a lot. It was hindering my performance a lot."
Kyrgios would prefer not to undergo surgery, but is likely to have a scan this week to determine whether the hip has been aggravated by his decision to play Wimbledon.
"Probably get an MRI tomorrow. Hopefully get an injection or something, do rehab, and get healthy," Kyrgios said.
"I don't think anyone wants to go down the surgery route. I would do everything possible to avoid it.
"I mean, I'm obviously a little bit scared. But I don't think I need it at the moment."
Herbert will face French compatriot Benoit Paire for a place in the third round.