‘Relax’: Kyrgios reacts to ATP sanction
Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios has been handed a six month probation period after his outburst at an official in Cincinnati.
Kyrgios has had a wild season, winning two titles at Acapulco and Washington, but also had some explosive outbursts.
It culminated at the Cincinnati Masters where Kyrgios lost during the second round against Russian Karen Khachanov but exploded, calling umpire Fergus Murphy "a f***ing tool" and a "potato" among a volley of abuse throughout the game as well as appearing to spit in his direction at the end of the match.
Kyrgios then accused the governing body for men's tennis, the ATP, of being "pretty corrupt" after his first-round win at the US Open when asked about his record $A167,000 fine for the outburst earlier in the month.
Kyrgios later said it was "not the correct choice of words" before highlighting what he felt were double standards in the game.
While Kyrgios' "pretty corrupt" blow-up was deemed to not constitute a major offence with no further penalties applied, Kyrgios' outburst at Murphy has him on a knife's edge.
He was deemed guilty of aggravated behaviour under the player major offence provision in the ATP Code.
The investigation found a pattern of behaviour from the Aussie but Kyrgios was handed a probationary period of six months beginning on the Monday after he accepts the terms.
If he breaches the probation, he will be fined US$25,000 and suspended for 16 weeks.
"Everyone. I can still play, I'm just on probation, relax," Kyrgios wrote in a message posted to his Instagram account. "I'll be playing and tennis will still be fun it's ok. I just have to keep a lid on my behaviour that's all."
"Live and die by the sword," he added in a comment on another post. "I'll take probo."
As part of the probation, Kyrgios has to agree to certain conditions.
These include no further code violations which would result in a fine, which includes:
- Verbal or physical abuse of officials, spectators or any other persons while on-court or on-site.
- Unsportsmanlike conduct based upon an act, such as spitting, directed towards an official, spectator or other person during or upon conclusion of the match.
- Visible obscenity directed towards an official.
He also has to get "continued support from a mental coach" during ATP Tour events as well as additional support during the off-season - between November and December - with a "professional specialising in behavioural management".
Kyrgios has five working days to lodge an appeal.
It comes after Kyrgios pulled out of next week's China Open due to a collarbone injury with the star set to return to Australia for treatment.
It appears to be the same injury that saw Kyrgios pull out of his final Laver Cup match, which was meant to be with Rafael Nadal before he withdrew with injury.
Unfortunately a collarbone injury I sustained at Laver Cup has escalated and has forced me to pull out of the Asian swing, I’ll be heading back to Australia to rest and recover. See you all soon 🙏🏽❤️— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) September 26, 2019
Kyrgios was looking good in his match against Andreas Seppi at the Zhuhai Championships, rushing out to a 4-1 lead in the first set.
But a "clicking" shoulder meant he was unable to serve properly and he lost 7-6 6-1.
"I'm serving usually somewhere around the 230km/h mark and I wasn't even able to crack about 180," Kyrgios said after the loss. "So, yeah, I mean I was obviously hindered a lot.
"I felt this about a week and a half ago and then obviously at Laver Cup it kind of flared up a little bit and then it set into it.
"I mean, there's no point for me to play if I can't really serve, because serving is my strength, my favourite shot, my whole game is based around it and that's where I've had my success this year when I've been serving my best.
"I'm probably not going to bother playing until I can get it right again."
Kyrgios said he hoped to play the new revamped Daivs Cup competition but he admitted "I'm not even too sure what I'm going to do moving forward with the rest of my season".