Nick Kyrgios’s season is over and he’s been told to see a sports psychologist after receiving a ban and further $32,000 fine following his meltdown during the Shanghai Masters.
The wayward tennis star was ousted for eight weeks by the ATP on Monday – reduced to three weeks if he met certain conditions laid down by the sport’s governing body that includes consulting a sports psychologist.
After winning the Japan Open the week before, the world No.14 unravelled at the Chinese tournament last week, and was initially fined $22,000 for lack of best effort, verbal abuse of a spectator and unsportsmanlike conduct.
But the ATP added to his woes by slapping him with a further fine and ban for conduct contrary to the integrity of tennis.
“(Kyrgios) … is suspended from ATP tournaments for eight tournament weeks, effective from today, Monday 17 October, 2016, through to Sunday 15 January, 2017,” the ATP said on its website.
“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.”
Kyrgios was an outside chance of qualifying as one of the top eight players in 2016 for the rich season-ending Masters event in London mid next month but would have required strong results in his slated next two tournaments to make the cut.
But the temperamental 21-year-old’s season is now over and he admitted as much when responding to the ATP decision on his website.
“Following the ATP’s decision today I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again for the circumstances in Shanghai,” he said, citing a long season in which he battled injury and mental fatigue.
“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.”
“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.”
Kyrgios looked completely disinterested during his 6-3 6-1 loss to German journeyman Mischa Zverev in Shanghai, at one point walking toward his chair after floating a serve across the net without waiting for his opponent’s return.
He also asked umpire Ali Nili to “call time” on the match and got into several heated arguments with spectators, telling one fan to “sit down and shut up and watch”.
The ATP had decided to conduct a further investigation into the matter, also taking into account comments made by Kyrgios during his post-match press conference where he attempted to defend some of his behaviour.