MELBOURNE: Controversial Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has been banned by the ATP after a bizarre straight-sets loss at the Shanghai Masters.
The 21-year-old Australian won’t play again in this year and faces a ban until January for what the ATP has described a “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game”.
The ban announcement comes after a probe into Kyrgios’ performance against German Mischa Zverev in a second-round match in which he fell 6-3, 6-1 in 48 minutes and appeared to give up on a number of occasions, reported news.com.au.
During the match, Kyrgios lobbed a serve over the net and walked off the court before Zverev fired a winner.
Later on, after the crowd began booing him, he engaged with them and told his fans if they knew what they were talking about.
However, he later issued an apology on Twitter after the match and admitted that it was “not good enough on many levels.”
In order to have his suspension reduced, the ATP will require the 21-year-old Australian to attend meetings with a sports psychologist.
“Following the completion of its investigation into Nick Kyrgios’ second round match last week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, the ATP has announced that Kyrgios has been found to have committed the player major offence Conduct Contrary to the Integrity of the Game,” the ATP said in a statement.
“The offence means that Kyrgios receives an additional fine of USD 25,000, and is suspended from ATP tournaments for eight tournament weeks, effective from today, Monday 17 October, 2016, through to Sunday 15 January, 2017.
“However, 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,” the statement added.
Following the ATP’s decision, Kyrgios said that he would like to apologise again for the circumstances in Shanghai
“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 said.
The Aussie has become the first player to be suspended for behavioural issues since John McEnroe in 1987.