Nick Kyrgios, to his credit, did not retire after injuring his shoulder early in the third set of his first-round match against his fellow Australian John Millman. He lost the first set 6-3 and won the second 6-1, then clutched at his shoulder early in the third set. Picking up an injury in the first round—especially in the softest draw at a major he has likely ever seen—is terrible luck. The Australian worked through it in real time, on the court.
When Kyrgios was down 3-2 in the third, he screamed “Fuck” into his hand as he walked to the sideline. He was assessed a code violation and tried to argue that he didn’t curse.
Then, he had a heart-to-heart with the trainer during his second medical visit.
“It’s like I’m feeling good, I finally have a good week last week,” he said to the silent trainer. “And then I come to the U.S. Open, playing really well, feeling good, playing a tough match against an Aussie ... It’s just rough, it’s rough man.”
When he lost the third set 6-4, he took his frustrations out on his racket.
Kyrgios would’ve been forgiven for retiring then and there, but, perhaps considering that he had already retired with injury from three consecutive matches this summer—first round at Queens, first round at Wimbledon, and second round at the Citi Open—he stuck it out. In the fourth set he sprayed forehands all over the court, doinked careless volleys at the net, and lost 6-1.
As a final act of impotence to cap off the day, he couldn’t even get his mangled corpse of a racket back into his bag.