By Reuters

Tokyo 2020: Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the Olympics, saying he was not motivated to play in empty arenas due to the coronavirus.

Nick Kyrgios will not represent Australia at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo because he does not want to compete if there are no fans in the stands, he said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Olympic organisers said the Games would take place without spectators in host city Tokyo as a resurgent coronavirus forced Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will continue throughout the event which starts on July 23.

“It has been my dream to represent Australia at the Olympics and I know I may never get that opportunity again,” the 26-year-old Kyrgios wrote on social media.

“But I also know myself. The thought of playing in front of empty stands just doesn’t sit right with me. It never has.”

He added that he would not want to take an opportunity away from a healthy Australian athlete ready to represent the country and that he will use the time to “get his body right”.

Kyrgios retired during his third-round match at Wimbledon against Felix Auger Aliassime on Saturday due to an abdominal injury.

Kyrgios joins some of the sport’s biggest names, including Rafa Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka, Serena Williams and Simona Halep, in skipping the Games.

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