TENNIS: Nick Kyrgios remains optimistic he will be fit for next month's US Open despite abandoning his defence of this week's Atlanta Open.
Kyrgios will almost certainly drop out of the world's top 20 after failing to recover from the chronic hip injury that wrecked his British grass-court season.
The 22-year-old Australian hopes to return next week in Washington in preparation for the US Open, starting August 28.
"Having to make the decision not to defend my title at the Atlanta Open was really tough and disappointing,” Kyrgios said in a statement.
The dual grand slam quarter-finalist said he had been "hopeful up until the last moment” but conceded he was "just not ready”.
Kyrgios will continue to rehabilitate the injury, desperate to avoid surgery.
"I'm aiming for Washington in a couple of weeks in the US, so if everything goes well and I keep doing it, there's no reason why I can't be playing healthy in the next couple of weeks,” he said.
"It's one of my favourite tournaments, so I'm definitely going to be playing that. I'm working hard at the moment.”
"I've been back home, putting my head down, doing all the right things to get healthy.”
Kyrgios won Atlanta last season, defeating American John Isner in the final.
His inability to defend the title will cost him 250 ranking points and trigger a minor slide to about No.25.
Bernard Tomic's participation in Atlanta is also in doubt after the Queenslander cut his foot in Miami last week.