Australian Nick Kyrgios will sit out eight weeks for his behavior at a weekend match in Shanghai. File photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
Australian Nick Kyrgios was suspended for eight weeks and fined an additional $25,000 on Monday for "tanking" a match and insulting fans in last week's Shanghai Masters.
The ATP announced the sanction against the 21-year-old Kyrgios for "conduct contrary to the integrity of the game" following an investigation into his behavior during a second-round 6-3, 6-1 loss to German qualifier Mischa Zverev.
Kyrgios had already been fined $16,500 last Thursday for violating the ATP Code of Conduct.
The ATP said Kyrgios' suspension will last through Jan. 15 -- a day before the start of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of 2017 -- but the ban will be reduced to three weeks if he agrees to enter "a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist or an equivalent plan approved by the ATP." Kyrgios would be eligible to return Nov. 7 if he completes the treatment program mandated by the ATP.
After being booed following a lackluster performance against Zverev, Kyrgios took his frustration out on the fans in Shanghai. Kyrgios said in his post-match interview that he didn't owe the spectators anything and the fans could "just leave" if they don't like the way he conducted himself. His outburst came only days after he had won his third title of the season in Tokyo.
Kyrgios issued a statement Monday offering another apology for his conduct in Shanghai.
"I regret that my year is ending this way and that I will not have a chance to continue chasing the ATP finals," Kyrgios said. "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 also commented on his official website: "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 apologize to the fans in Shanghai and in other parts of the world. ... 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."