Australian Open: Hometown hero Nick Kyrgios stuns fans with injury withdrawal from Grand Slam

Nick Kyrgios' hopes of ending his country's 47-year wait for a homegrown men's Australian Open champion have been shattered on the opening day, when he pulled out of the tournament with a knee injury.

In his opinion at least, Kyrgios, 27, entered the tournament as one of the favourites, after reaching the Wimbledon final and the US Open quarter-finals last year.

"Obviously, I'm extremely disappointed," he said. "This is one of the most important tournaments of my career, it hasn't been easy at all.

Nick Kyrgios announces his withdrawal from the Australian Open
Nick Kyrgios argues a point at the US Open. Photo credit: Getty Images

"This coming around is just bad timing, but that's life, you know. Injuries are part of the sport.

"I'm devastated. Going into one of these events as the favourite is brutal."

Trainer Will Maher says Kyrgios has been troubled by a small tear in the meniscus of the knee for a couple of weeks and withdrawing from the tournament was the sensible decision.

Kyrgios had given himself every chance of competing, but a hit with doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis on Monday morning convinced him he had to pull out.

The withdrawal also means Kyrgios and Kokkinakis - dubbed the 'Special Ks' - will defend the men's doubles title they won at Melbourne Park last year.

Maher thinks Kyrgios will be over the injury in time to play at the Masters tournament at Indian Wells, California, in early March.

"I'm not doubting that I'll be back to my full strength and will be back," Kyrgios added.