The BB&T Atlanta Open is set to have a new champion as last year's winner Nick Kyrgios has been announced to be skipping the American hard-court event.

The 22-year-old was eyeing to open his US swing campaign in Atlanta next week, but a right hip strain wouldn't allow him to do so.

Kyrgios' last two matches ended with a retirement as the problematic hip caused him to quit his first-round matches at Queen's and Wimbledon. The Australian has been bothered by a hip injury the whole season, which recently got worse during this past grass-court season.

''Having to decide not to defend my title at the BB&T Atlanta Open was tough and disappointing,'' Kyrgios said following the withdrawal.

''We were hopeful up to the last moment that my hip could respond and allow me to compete at the highest level, but unfortunately, it's just not ready. ''

Not done with Atlanta

Three-time ATP singles champion Nick Kyrgios has expressed his desire to make a comeback to the BB&T Atlanta Open in the future. The Australian had a dream debut appearance at the Georgian event last year, winning it all.

''I hope all of the fans in Atlanta know that I wish I could have returned to win again, and hopefully, I will be able to do so in the future,'' he added.

ATP Atlanta Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez also hopes that last year's winning run wasn't the last seen from Kyrgios at the tournament.

''Everyone in Atlanta wishes Nick the best and a speedy recovery back to ATP World Tour action,'' Gonzalez said in a statement.

''He has been a great BB&T Atlanta Open champion, and we look forward to welcoming him back in the years to come.''

Eyes set on Washington

Nick Kyrgios remains hopeful that he will be ready to line up at the upcoming Citi Open in Washington, July 31 - August 06.

Should the 22-year-old be ready to play, he would be making his debut appearance at the nation's capital.

Kyrgios is looking to leave his mark during this year's US swing as it's played on the hardcourts -- which fit his aggressive game-style perfectly. After the Citi Open, the Australian's schedule is expected to include the Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati as well as the well-known US Open Tennis Championships.

Being and staying healthy will be a key in Kyrgios' potential run in the above-mentioned tournaments.

''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,'' Kyrgios told Sport360 recently.

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