Deemed as no tanker, Nick Kyrgios has avoided another fine following his fourth-round exit from Wimbledon.
Kyrgios was widely condemned for seemingly not trying in one horror game in the second set of his dramatic 7-5 6-1 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (8-6) defeat at the hands of Richard Gasquet on Monday.
But the Australian received some much-needed relief on Tuesday when the ITF opted against adding to his woes and punishing him under grand slam “best effort” rules.
Kyrgios’s reprieve will come as no surprise to the great Roger Federer, who was among those supporting the besieged youngster after he copped a grilling on social media and then from Fleet Street.
Federer, a self-confessed racquet-smashing hot-head early in his career, couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about when Kyrgios was under fire.
“One game? A game is like 55 seconds,” said the 17-times grand slam champion.
“Again, did he really do it or not? A game where a guy serves well, is that tanking too?
“It’s like sometimes it’s part of like a boxer when he puts his hands down; is that tanking? Then he swings freely again.
“I think we shouldn’t dig too deep into those kind of things. If you told me he did an entire set, plus more, plus this, I’d say, `Okay, it’s a bit much probably’.
“But I just watched the end of the third, the end of the fourth. He was fighting then. He was really wanting to win. He should have been in the fifth at the end.
“In my opinion, it was a great match and it was close. The fans got their money’s worth, in my opinion.”
Federer said easily dropping “one game to me is part of tactics as well”.
“Sometimes to throw the other guy off,” he said.
“Maybe yourself, you can be frustrated and just not feel like it for a couple of points.
“Especially a younger guy, it’s going to happen more often than one of the top guys that have been around, that just like say, `Okay, point mentality, we’ll do it again and again and again and again’.
“For a younger guys, it’s a little bit boring at times, which I understand.”
Kyrgios, who fought back to have two set points to force a deciding fifth set, maintained his innocence all along and said he never stopped trying.
“I’m not perfect out there,” the 20-year-old said.
“I’m going to have ups and downs. It’s the way you respond from that. I think it takes some serious balls to respond the way I did.”
Kyrgios departed the All England Club with a total of $US9,500 ($A12,675) in fines from his turbulent campaign – but he’ll be pleased to have been formally cleared of not trying at any stage.