|Published : 17 Oct 2016, 19:52:19|
ATP suspends Kyrgios until mid-January
The ATP has suspended Nick Kyrgios until 15 January following his behaviour during the second-round match defeat by Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters, reports The Guardian.
The Australian rushed through his 6-3, 6-1 loss to Zverev last Wednesday without putting much effort behind his serves or groundstrokes, admitting afterwards that he “took the easy way out”. During the match, the 21-year-old walked towards his chair after floating a serve across the net without even waiting for Zverev to return it. Kyrgios, who also clashed verbally with a spectator during the match, was fined $16,500 (£13,500) on Thursday but has now been fined a further $25,000 (£20,500) in addition to the suspension.
“Kyrgios has been found to have committed the player major offense ‘Conduct Contrary to the Integrity of the Game’,” read an ATP statement. “The offense means that Kyrgios receives an additional fine of $25,000, and is suspended from ATP tournaments for eight tournament weeks, effective from today through to Sunday 15 January 2017.”
The ATP has confirmed however that Kyrgios can return earlier, should he enter a “plan of care”. The statement continued: “The suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist, or an equivalent plan approved by ATP, meaning Kyrgios could regain eligibility to compete on the ATP World Tour or Challenger Tour from Monday 7 November 2016.”
A statement from Tennis Australia seemed to confirm that the player was seeking that help. “Nick’s health and wellbeing is a priority and the ATP has offered a reduced penalty on the provision that he seeks appropriate professional advice, which he has agreed to do.”
Kyrgios has apologised for his behaviour, releasing a statement in the wake of the fine in which he cited injuries and exhaustion. “My body finally just gave out in Shanghai both physically and mentally,” read the statement. “This is no excuse, and I know very well that I need to apologise to the fans – in Shanghai and in other parts of the world – as well as the tournament organisers in Shanghai who do an amazing job.”
He added: “I do understand and respect the decision by the ATP and I will use this time off to improve on and off the court. I am truly sorry and look forward to returning in 2017.”