Melbourne, Australia, 7 December 2013 | Tennis Australia

Rising star Nick Kyrgios has made a late withdrawal from the Australian Open 2014 Play-off, set to get under way at Melbourne Park on Monday 9 December.

The 18-year-old Australian Open 2013 boys’ singles champion cited the recurrence of a minor elbow injury as the reason for his withdrawal.

Kyrgios, who was named Male Junior Athlete of the Year at the Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards on Monday night, said he was disappointed to withdraw from the event.

“The Play-off is a great opportunity to earn a wildcard into the main draw of the Australian Open, so it’s really disappointing to forfeit that chance,” he said.

“Looking ahead to the summer and what I want to achieve, I know it’s the right decision to withdraw from the Play-off and make sure I’m 100 per cent fit for the coming months.”

Kyrgios’ coach, Simon Rea, said the decision was based on medical advice.

“As Nick’s training loads have progressively increased over the last 10 days to two weeks, he has had a recurrence of some of the minor elbow irritation that forced his early return from the USA in October,” Rea said.

“The feedback from our medical team is that Nick’s elbow has improved significantly over the past month, but in order to have him pain-free and ready to compete over the Australian summer, Nick and I feel this is the correct decision at this time.

“We sincerely apologise for this news, as in many ways it would have been the ideal preparation for Nick’s summer to have had the opportunity to compete next week.”

Kyrgios is replaced in the 16-strong men’s field by 17-year-old Blake Mott.