Though some surely wanted harsher punishment, the ATP has again fined Nick Kyrgios for bad behavior during a match.
Kyrgios committed multiple infractions in a stunning 6-3, 6-1 loss to Mischa Zverev in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, the first Masters 1000 event since the U.S. Open and the penultimate one of the season.
Coming off his first 500 title last week, beating Gael Monfils and David Goffin in Tokyo, the mercurial Australian was expected to do his part in delivering the first match between himself and Novak Djokovic, set to clash in the quarterfinals. Instead, he clicked off during the match with Zverev (the journeyman older brother of rising star Alexander/Sascha Zverev), first hitting a one-handed backhand before escalating to flat giving up on points:
Kyrgios was fined a total of $16,500 ($10,000 for the ATP’s “best effort” rule, $5,000 for verbal abuse of spectator, as he snapped back at a fan asking if he wanted to come play for him, and $1,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct). It’s a drop in the bucket for a top-20 player, but $10,000 is the highest fine for a violation not deemed to be a “major offense” of “aggravated behavior.”
The 21 year old has obviously been in trouble before with on-court obscenities, ball abuse warnings, arguments with chair umpires and, most infamously, making vulgar comments about Stan Wawrinka’s fellow-player girlfriend Donna Vekic during a match against Wawrinka in August 2015. For that, Kyrgios did trigger the major offense rule and was fined an additional $25,000 and put on probation that ended in February without any further incidents worthy of triggering a suspension.
Kyrgios apologized on Twitter but with problems like this continuing despite previous apologies, it rings hollow at this point:
Not good enough today on many levels, I'm better than that. I can go on about excuses but there are none. Sorry #StillAWorkInProgress ????????????????
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) October 12, 2016