Sport

Nick Kyrgios cops 8-week ban from ATP

Nick Kyrgios is unlikely play again in 2016.
Nick Kyrgios is unlikely play again in 2016. Kamran Jebreili

AUSTRALIAN tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios has again sought to apologise for his controversial performance at last week's Shanghai Masters which has seen him booted off the tour for the rest of the year.

The 21-year-old has become the first elite player to be suspended for behavioural issues since American John McEnroe in 1987.

Following an ATP World Tour investigation, Kyrgios has been handed an eight-week suspension and a $32,900 fine

According to reports, the governing body of men's tennis wanted to oust Kyrgios for 12 weeks but relented during negotiations.

Kyrgios' ban could be reduced if he meets certain conditions, including consulting sports psychologists and life coaches, but he won't play again in 2016.

The ban comes after the probe into his bizarre performance in Shanghai, where he appeared to deliberately lose to German battler Mischa Zverev.

"Following the ATP's decision today I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again for the circumstances in Shanghai," he said in a statement.

"The season has been a long one as I battled several injuries and other challenges towards the end of the summer.

"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 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."

ATP executive vice-president for rules and competition Gayle Bradshaw reviewed Kyrgios' controversial antics and ruled the Canberra-raised player had failed to give his "best effort" during a 48-minute 6-3 6-1 shock loss.

Kyrgios also hit out at fans during and after the match, claiming he owed them nothing.

Fined for Spectator Abuse and Unsportsmanlike Behaviour.
Fined for Spectator Abuse and Unsportsmanlike Behaviour.

"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," he continued in his statement. 

"I am someone who gives a huge amount of time to my fans because I love and value their support.

"Their energy is what motivates me to reach for the top of the game. I regret that my year is ending this way and that I will not have a chance to continue chasing the ATP Finals. 

"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."

Officials also confirmed existing fines totalling $21,659 - including $13,127 for lack of effort, $6563 for verbal abuse of a spectator and $1969 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The ban means Kyrgios will not be able to play the $2.5 million Swiss Indoors in Basel and the $5.4 million BNP Paribas Masters in Paris this month.

He was also a chance to qualify for the season-ending $9.8 million Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in mid-November.

Topics:  atp nick kyrgios tennis



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