Cautious Nick Kyrgios explains why he withdrew from Andy Murray clash at Winston-Salem Open

Nick Kyrgios in action

The mouth-watering Nick Kyrgios-Andy Murray match at the Winston-Salem Open never materialised as the Australian withdrew from the encounter shortly before it was due to take place.

Kyrgios – whose last match was an opening-round defeat at the Canadian Open a fortnight ago – and Murray were due to square off in the first round of the ATP 250 event on Sunday, but the former opted not to take a risk.

“I was in Florida, in Bradenton rehabbing and training and came here obviously excited to play here. I love the facility, it’s really great,” he said. “To play Andy Murray, one of my good friends and a tennis icon would have been amazing, but obviously I have to look after my body.

“I just didn’t feel as if the risk was worth [playing] today. I’ve got to be more cautious with it, keep rehabbing, keep training.”

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He added: “Obviously I had to look after my body and with a Grand Slam next week, I wanted to be more cautious. I have been dealing with knee pain the last couple of weeks.

“With the US Open just around the corner I just didn’t feel this was worth the risk of going out there and possibly making it worse.”

Murray instead took on lucky loser Noah Rubin from the United States in the first round.