The ATP’s most controversial player is done for the season.
After his latest incident, Nick Kyrgios has been suspended for eight weeks, though it’s reduced to three (the rest of this season) provided he “enters a plan of care under the direction of a Sports Psychologist, or an equivalent plan approved by ATP.” He was also fined an additional $25,000 on top of the $16,500 he was docked last week.
Kyrgios triggered his second “major offense” violation (after his vulgar comments toward Stan Wawrinka and Donna Vekic last summer in Canada) in a listless 6-3, 6-1 loss to Mischa Zverev in Shanghai. The 21 year old did various things in the match, including a “popcorn” serve, giving up on points, and arguing with a fan.
Via his website, Kyrgios again apologized and pinned the lack of effort on “my body finally just [giving] out in Shanghai both physically and mentally.” The Australian came to Shanghai having just won his first 500 title in Tokyo, though playing back-to-back weeks is hardly a rare occurrence in tennis.
He added, “I regret that my year is ending this way and […] 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.”
However, it’s fair to question whether anything will actually change going forward. For one, he has apologized before and these incidents persist. He also retweeted this…
— Connor Biernat (@BiernatConnor) October 14, 2016
and complimented Murray, a longtime supporter of his, as “someone with a bit of perspective.” Only time will tell.
If Kyrgios meets the conditions of the suspension, he’ll be defending his title with Dasha Gavrilova in the Hopman Cup exhibition to start 2017. If not, the suspension expires the day before the Australian Open, keeping him eligible to play in his home Slam.