World No.52 Nick Kyrgios has been forced to withdraw from the 27th annual Hopman Cup due to a back injury and will be replaced by Western Australia’s own Matt Ebden.
Kyrgios, 19, had a breakthrough year in 2014 advancing to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon before reaching a career high ranking of 51 in September.
“I’m disappointed that I have to withdraw from the Hopman Cup,” Kyrgios said.
“Being selected for your country is always a privilege and I wish I could be there. I’ll be watching from home and of course will be cheering on Casey and Matt.
“I hope to be able to play at the Hopman Cup one day in the future,” Kyrgios added.
Ebden will team up with Casey Dellacqua, the first Western Australian duo to play the event in its history.
Ebden, the former world No.61, won the Australian Open mixed doubles title in 2013 and has captured four career doubles titles.
“It’s unfortunate that Nick has had to withdraw but I can’t express how honoured and excited I am to represent Australia at the Hopman Cup,” Ebden said.
“Growing up as a junior in Perth, the Hopman Cup was our event. It was the tournament I went to when I was younger and it was one that I always wanted to play.
“I am pumped to play alongside Casey, another West Australian and someone I have known for many, many years.
“It will be the first time two West Australian’s will play together at the Hopman Cup so I hope the Perth public can get out and support both of us,” Ebden continued.
“Although this is disappointing news about Nick, we hope he recovers quickly and wish him all the best. We will miss him in Perth but I’m very pleased Matt, who is a hometown favourite, is able to wear the green and gold and play for Australia,” Paul Kilderry, Hopman Cup Tournament Director added.
“We will have nine top 20 players including four top ten players here in Perth and we can’t wait for all the action to begin.”