Nick Kyrgios has surprisingly managed to avoid an immediate ban from the ATP Tour following the conclusion of an investigation into his explosive second-round match in Cincinnati last month.
The peak body for tennis is expected to come under the microscope after instead opting to give the firebrand Australian a 16-week suspended ban and fine.
The suspension and fine of $US25,000 (A37,000) will kick in if Kyrgios commits a similar offence within a six-month period, while he must also agree to continued support from a mental skills coach during tournaments plus seek extra help from a specialist in behavioural management before the end of the year.
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Kyrgios had already been handed a record fine of $US113,000 ($A167,000) after committing eight offences during his second round match with Karen Khachanov, including verbally abusing umpire Fergus Murphy and spitting towards the official at the Cincinnati Masters in August.
He later said “the ATP was pretty corrupt anyway” before backing down from the claims.
The ATP determined that did not constitute a major offence and determined no further penalties would apply.
The investigation was conducted by Gayle David Bradshaw, executive vice president, rules & competition, who concluded that Kyrgios “has been found to have committed Aggravated Behaviour under the Player Major Offense provision in the ATP Code.”
After a string of incidents over the past five years former Australian greats Pat Rafter and Rod Laver had called for Kyrgios to receive a ban.
Meanwhile, Kyrgios has pulled out of next week’s China Open because of a collarbone injury and will head home to Australia to recover, he said on Thursday.
The 24-year-old made the announcement a day on from his first-round exit at the Zhuhai Championships, after which he said that he could sit out the rest of the season because of the injury.
“Unfortunately a collarbone injury I sustained at Laver Cup has escalated and has forced me to pull out of the Asian swing,” Kyrgios, a colourful but controversial character, wrote on Twitter.
“I’ll be heading back to Australia to rest and recover. See you all soon,” added the 27th-ranked firebrand.
Team World goes a bit bonkers
Kyrgios, who appears to revel in being the enfant terrible of tennis, looked set to stroll to victory over lower-ranked Andreas Seppi on Wednesday.
But his game imploded and he went down 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, having led 4-1 in the first set and seemingly on course for a comfortable victory.
Afterwards, he said that his right shoulder had been “clicking” and he had been unable to serve properly.
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