ATP Suspends Nick Kyrgios For 8 Weeks, Fines Additional $25,000 For Tanking - uSports.org
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ATP Suspends Nick Kyrgios For 8 Weeks, Fines Additional $25,000 For Tanking Nick Krgios Fined $16,500 for Lack of Effort - SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 12: Nick Kyrgios of Australia returns a shot against Mischa Zverev of Germany during the Men's singles second round match on day four of Shanghai Rolex Masters at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 12, 2016 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) Full view

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 12: Nick Kyrgios of Australia returns a shot against Mischa Zverev of Germany during the Men's singles second round match on day four of Shanghai Rolex Masters at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 12, 2016 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

ATP Suspends Nick Kyrgios For 8 Weeks, Fines Additional $25,000 For Tanking

Nick Kyrgios will miss the rest of the season after being suspended by the men’s tour and fined an additional $25,000 by the Association of Tennis Professionals for ”tanking” a match and insulting fans.

ATP Suspends Nick Kyrgios For 8 Weeks, Fines Additional $25,000 For Tanking

The ATP said the hot-tempered, 21-year-old Australian was sanctioned for “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game” following an investigation into his behavior during a second-round loss to German qualifier Mischa Zverev last week at the Shanghai Masters, behavior that resulted in an initial $16,500 fine for “lack of best efforts,” unsportsmanlike conduct, and verbal abuse of a spectator.

Kyrgios displayed little effort during his 6-3, 6-1 defeat against Zverev, even patting easy serves over the net and walking away before his opponent’s serve had crossed the net.

The ATP added Monday that, in addition to the fine, Kyrgios will serve an eight-week suspension lasting through Jan. 15– just one day before the start of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of 2017.

However, the tour also said the suspension will be reduced to three weeks if the Australian agrees to enter “a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist or an equivalent plan approved by the ATP.” This would make him eligible to return on Nov. 7.

There are no regular tournaments scheduled for after Nov. 7. The only event in November is the ATP finals in London from Nov. 13-20. The 12th-ranked Kyrgrios has not qualified for the eight-player finals, so he will need to wait until next year in any case to return to the tour.

Kyrgios released a statement Monday offering another apology for his conduct in Shanghai, and saying he will return next year. He did not state whether he would enter the treatment program mandated by the ATP.

”I regret that my year is ending this way and that I will not have a chance to continue chasing the ATP finals,” Kyrgios said. ”This was an important goal for me. 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.”

During the match in Shanghai where he had his outburst, Kyrgios was warned by the chair umpire about his behavior as a professional and jeered and booed by the crowd. This led the Australian to angrily retort to a fan’s taunts by yelling, ”You want to come here and play?”

In a post-match interview, Kyrgios said he didn’t care about the crowd reaction because he didn’t owe them anything. It was a day after his opening win, when he said he was tired and bored and didn’t really get time to savor his title-winning run in Tokyo over the weekend.

Kyrgios tweeted an apology following the loss: ”Not good enough today on many levels, I’m better than that. I can go on about excuses but there are none. Sorry (hash)StillAWorkInProgress.”

In the statement issued on his web site Monday, Kyrgios offered further contrition.

”The season has been a long one as I battled several injuries and other challenges towards the end of the summer,” he said. ”The Asian circuit was particularly tough after the long week and win in Tokyo and with the travel throughout the continent, my body finally just gave out in Shanghai both physically and mentally.

”This is no excuse, and I know very well that I need to apologize to the fans in Shanghai and in other parts of the world … I of course know how important the fans are to the success of our sport and I personally love the interaction with fans in the many different cities throughout the world on the tennis circuit.”

This is not the first time Kyrgios has been punished by tennis authorities due to misconduct.

In 2015, Kyrgios was banned for 28 days and fined $25,000 for making lewd remarks about Swiss great Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend during a Rogers Cup match in Montreal.

He was also criticized for his displays at Wimbledon and the US Open, and withdrew from Rio 2016 following an argument with the Australian Olympic Committee.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 12: Nick Kyrgios of Australia returns a shot against Mischa Zverev of Germany during the Men’s singles second round match on day four of Shanghai Rolex Masters at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 12, 2016 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Written by Pablo Mena
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