Nick Kyrgios missing from Australian Open 2024 main draw entry list, Rafael Nadal receives protected ranking

Nick Kyrgios was a notable absentee as the Australian Open unveiled its main draw entry list for the men’s and women’s singles.

Kyrgios has long been hoping to make his return at his home grand slam after a lengthy absence due to multiple injuries, but appears no certainty to make an appearance at Melbourne Park in January.

The Aussie star admitted last month that the “stars have to align a little bit” for him to return to the form which saw him make a Wimbledon final in 2022.

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“I’m doing everything I can to get back out there,” he told the Tennis Channel.

“Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

While Kyrgios’ name was a glaring omission, two-time Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal was included on the men’s list with a protected ranking of No.9.

A protected or special ranking is often used for players coming back from a long-term injury and is based on a player’s average ranking in the first three months of their injury.

Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic was named in the women’s main draw with a special ranking of No.33, while two-time Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka also received a special ranking of No.46.

Nadal was one of five players in the men’s draw to receive a protected ranking, joining Marin Cilic (21), Denis Shapovalov (27), Milos Raonic (33) and Reilly Opelka (33).

The other players in the women’s draw to receive a special ranking are Jennifer Brady (14) and Angelique Kerber (31).

Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic is the top-ranked male player while Poland’s Iga Swiatek is the top-ranked women’s player, with last year’s champion Aryna Sabalenka in the No.2 spot.

Alex de Minaur, Alexei Popyrin and Max Purcell were all included in the men’s entry list, with de Minaur the top-ranked Aussie at No.12.

The 2024 Australian Open will get underway on Sunday, January 14 and will wrap up with the men’s singles final on the night of Sunday, January 28.

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