20th seed Nick Kyrgios is out of Wimbledon after retiring down two sets to Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert during their first round match. The Aussie sustained the injury while playing at the grass tune-up event at Queens Club.
Herbert takes first set on lone break
The Frenchman is a dangerous serve-and-volleyer and was always likely to pose problems for Kyrgios. With the Aussie saying pre-match he was only at 65% health, he predictably went for more on his shots and in the fifth game, they connected to start the game, the 20th seed going ahead 15-30, but three straight forehand misses allowed Herbert to escape trouble.
That missed chance would prove to be costly as the Aussie led 40-15 on his serve in the eighth game, only to be broken, a pair of double faults, including on break point handing the Frenchman a 5-3 lead. He would serve out the set to love, a beautiful volley finishing the game on set point.
Frenchman takes a two-set lead
Struggling with his movement, Kyrgios was in danger of falling behind a quick break to start the second set, but three huge serves bail the Aussie out of trouble. Another 15-30 lead for Herbert was again erased with a massive inside-out forehand from Kyrgios. Barely moving, the 20th seed was not even attempting to get back Herbert's serves and things were about to get worse for the 2014 quarterfinalist.
Serving down 4-3, Kyrgios fell behind 15-40, Herbert's brilliant drop shot and lob putting the Aussie in a hole. With one break chance gone, the next one was duly taken with a deft drop shot to put the Frenchman a game from a commanding lead. His attempt to serve out the set with little resistance as Kyrgios all but conceded, Herbert holding to love.
Kyrgios retires after receiving treatment
Calling for the trainer, Kyrgios knew there wasn't much that could be done and after treatment, decided he could no longer continue and he retired with his earliest Wimbledon exit since 2013.
Following the match, the 20th seed explained his situation: “I kind of knew I was in trouble,” Kyrgios said.
“I have been feeling my hip ever since I fell over at Queen's. I ever got it right. I was doing everything I could to help it, but just not enough time.
“I was in such a good place for one set at Queen's. I was really enjoying myself. I was healthy. I couldn't feel anything. I was playing great. I was feeling good. Then it just all got taken away pretty quickly.
“The doctor was leaning towards me not even playing. Wimbledon is my favourite tournament. So it’s tough for me to go out there and get beaten and pull out. Take nothing away from him. I thought I could win. Obviously probably not against him, but some opponents if I played them today, I probably still could have won.”