Nick Kyrgios quits on match, admits he is scared of hip surgery in the aftermath of a shattering Wimbledon retirement.
Conceding an operation might eventually be an option, Kyrgios will have an MRI as soon as possible to assess the damage to his left hip.
Downcast after retiring when trailing Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 6-4 after just 65 minutes, Kyrgios initially said he “had too much stuff going on” for the rest of the season to have surgery.
Desperate for Australian success in the Davis Cup semi-final against Belgium in September, Kyrgios plans to rest and receive more treatment before resuming on the US hardcourt swing.
Asked if he was frightened of surgery, he said: “I would do everything possible to avoid it. But I don’t know.
“I’m obviously a little bit scared, obviously. But I don’t think I need it at the moment.
“I don’t think anyone wants to go down the surgery route.
“I had it right after Paris. I wasn’t feeling it at all. When I initially got on the grass, I wasn’t feeling my hip at all.
“As I said, the first set when I played against Donald Young (at Queen’s Club), it was fine. I couldn’t feel anything. I was playing great. I was feeling good.
“Then it just all got taken away pretty quickly.
“When I initially got on the grass, I wasn’t feeling my hip at all.
“I spoke to the doctor before the tournament started. He was leaning towards me not even playing.
“It’s my favourite tournament. I do well here every year. So it’s tough for me to go out there and get beaten and pull out. It’s not the easiest thing for me to do.
“I did the right things. I took 10 days off, got an injection, rehabbed, it was fine. I fell over at Queen’s. I can hardly do anything about it, you know.”
Unable to move laterally, Kyrgios attempted to blast his way out of trouble — only to find disaster.
It is his worst Wimbledon showing since debuting here in 2014 with searing run to the quarter-finals, a surge crowned by victory over then world No.1 Rafael Nadal.
A fourth-round presence in the past two seasons, Kyrgios has been plagued by bone bruising and other issues in his left hip for months.
He believed he had solved the problem after receiving an injection following the French Open, but a first-round tumble against Donald Young aggravated the injury.
Rating himself only 60-65 percent fit pre-match, Kyrgios struggled from the outset.
Herbert swept through the first set in 26 minutes after Kyrgios’s serve deserted him in the eighth game.
The Australian lost his way with two double-faults after leading 40-15, virtually gifting Herbert the set.
The Frenchman served it as Kyrgios trudged to his chair, shaking his head in frustration.
Labouring, Kyrgios embarked on a full power assault, thumping ambitious drives as he struggled for movement.
His body language on the changeovers betrayed a forlorn outlook. Sitting with a towel over his head, Kyrgios fiddled with a bottle cap as his Wimbledon dream turned to a nightmare.
Alert to Kyrgios’s problems, Herbert cleverly exploited the situation with subtle slices and hard-headed ruthlessness.
He claimed a pivotal service break in the seventh game of the second set to take complete control.
Seemingly, the only question was not whether the Frenchman would win, but how long the match would last. And so it was.
A trainer was called at the end of the set as Kyrgios cut a miserable figure, head bowed with hands to his face.
Kyrgios spoke with Australian physio Paul Ness and had treatment before walking over to Herbert and conceding.