Australian Open: Aussie star Nick Kyrgios contracts COVID-19 on eve of Melbourne Grand Slam

Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the Sydney Tennis Classic, after testing positive for COVID-19, but hopes to play at the Australian Open next week - "if all goes well".

Australian Kyrgios withdrew from the Melbourne Summer Set ATP tournament last week, due to asthma, according to organisers, and pulled out of his Sydney clash with Italian seventh seed Fabio Fognini on Monday.

"I just want to be open and transparent with everyone, the reason I have had to pull out of Sydney is because I tested positive for COVID," Kyrgios says on Instagram.

"I am feeling healthy at the moment with no symptoms. I wish everyone all the best and to stay safe where you can.

"If all goes well, I will see you all at the Australian Open."

A crowd favourite at Melbourne Park, Kyrgios has not played since late September, due to knee issues, and has slipped to 114th in world rankings.

He was ruled out of the Australian team for the season-opening ATP Cup in Sydney this month.

The 26-year-old played only 15 matches in 2021, winning seven, and heads into the year's first Grand Slam with no tune-up matches under his belt.

The Australian Open begins on January 17.

Last week, Kyrgios spoke out in support of longtime rival Novak Djokovic, after the world No.1 had his anti-vax medical exemption overtuned and faced deportation out of Australia, seemingly missing the chance to win his record 21st Grand Slam title.

That decision has since been overturned and Djokovic has been released to prepare for the tournament.

"Look, I definitely believe in taking action," tweeted Kyrgios. "I got vaccinated because of others and for my mum's health, but how we are handling Novak's situation is bad, really bad.

"This is one of our great champions, but at the end of the day, he is human.

"Do better."