Kyrgios was suffering from niggling injuries and recently suffered the loss of his grandfather. (AP: David Vincent)
Grief-stricken Nick Kyrgios has conceded his French Open hopes were all but cooked when his grandfather died in April.
Australia’s last man standing crashed out of the season’s second grand slam in Paris with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 second-round loss to tough South African Kevin Anderson on Friday (AEST).
Kyrgios entered the tournament under a fitness cloud – and hip and shoulder niggles undoubtedly contributed to his demise as the 22-year-old coughed up an uncharacteristic nine double-faults in the four-set defeat.
After dominating early and in one game delivering an extraordinary four straight aces, Kyrgios’s serve faltered when it became apparent that hip and shoulder complaints made it impossible to extract any leg drive and follow through for his most lethal weapon.
But it was emotional torment that undermined Kyrgios’s campaign.
“After my grandpa passing, I just lost a lot of motivation to do anything, really,” Kyrgios said.
“When I was back home, it was tough. I mean, I can’t talk about it. I can’t.
“But I haven’t really put together any good training in the last couple weeks. Obviously, just trying to manage some niggles.
“And, obviously, I haven’t really structured any good training in the last five weeks.
“So I don’t think I was match-ready to play best-of-five sets, but he played well today. So he was too good.”
After a blazing hardcourt run in the United States – including two wins over defending French Open champion Novak Djokovic – Christos Kyrgios’s death and his grandson’s injuries conspired to limit Australia’s top men’s hope to a build-up of just four claycourt matches.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing just to lose, but, to be fair, my preparation for the claycourt season hasn’t been great. I feel like I’ve way underdone,” the 18th seed said.
Best and worst of Kyrgios on display against Anderson
Kyrgios’s elimination leaves perennial women’s contender Samantha Stosur as Australia’s only third-round hope at Roland Garros.
His demise was as dramatic as it was disappointing.
Early on against Anderson, the 22-year-old displayed in one extraordinary game why he could become Australia’s first men’s French Open champion in almost half a century.
But a point penalty for a violent assault on a changeover chair will instead dominate TV highlights, rather than Kyrgios’s four flush aces in one love service hold.
Lleyton Hewitt predicted pre-tournament that Kyrgios’s lethal serve could cause carnage on the red clay and aid the 22-year-old’s prospects of venturing deep in the championship.
The Australian Davis Cup captain looked prophetic as he watched courtside when Kyrgios achieved one of the rarest feats in tennis.
The stunning effort occurred in the eighth game of the opening set.
It was only three games later that Kyrgios rocked the one-time world number 10 with the first decisive break of the match.
He swiftly closed out the set before nabbing another early break in the second to forge ahead 2-0 and then 4-2.
But suddenly, as he did in his second-round Australian Open defeat to Andreas Seppi, Kyrgios collapsed.
His body failed him and his mind checked out as he bombed out in two hours and 35 minutes.