Media playback is not supported on this device Kyrgios walks out on interviewer
Nick Kyrgios has rowed back on an earlier statement supporting unvaccinated children playing tennis, claiming he “misspoke”.
Australian Kyrgios, 22, has withdrawn from events in Dubai and Marseille this week because of a hip injury.
The world number 12 has been criticised for backing Tennis Australia’s decision to stop the children participating in tournaments.
“I didn’t do this out of bad faith and I wish it had been discussed with me before it went public,” Kyrgios said.
“The last thing I want is for a child or parents to suffer from a medical condition that isn’t the parents fault, and I don’t wish to see any children let go of national or international competitions.
“I will support players and families in advocating and seeking vaccinations.”
Kyrgios, who has a history of disciplinary issues, was taken off court by his own coach during a practice session in New York last week and then withdrew from Wimbledon after suffering a shoulder injury in practice.
The player tweeted that he was fine with Tennis Australia’s decision “until the world starts having random people coming in with autism and getting anything other than flu in general”.
Nick Kyrgios was told by the BBC he had misinterpreted his words on this tweet
He later clarified his comments, saying: “I had the best time at Wimbledon and was real close to making it to number one of the world.”
British player Heather Watson said that Kyrgios had called her to apologise for his comments earlier this week.
British number one Watson, 26, said she “wasn’t surprised” by Kyrgios’ approach to Tennis Australia’s decision, and called it “the most basic human thing”.
“Let them play, let them enjoy,” said Watson, who has a son, Leo, 10 months.
“There are certain things you know are true about, for example, cancer or hemlovia. If it is life or death, I don’t think you change it to take someone’s choice away from them, just like you wouldn’t put a ban on a person without a criminal record.
“At the end of the day, what can you do?”