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Nick Kyrgios Suspended, Fined by ATP: Latest Details and Reaction

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured Columnist

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 12:  Nick Kyrgios of Australia returns a shot against Mischa Zverev of Germany during the Men's singles second round match on day four of Shanghai Rolex Masters at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 12, 2016 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios was suspended from tournament play for eight weeks and fined $25,000 by the ATP on Oct. 17 but has gotten his ban reduced to three tournament weeks after agreeing to enter "a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist."

Per the ATP World Tour, Kyrgios, 21, has been sanctioned for "conduct contrary to the integrity of the game" after he appeared to throw a second-round match against Germany's Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Rolex Masters last week.

On Sunday, the ATP confirmed Kyrgios “has taken up the care plan on offer to him from the ATP. The details and contents of the plan are strictly confidential,” the ATP said, according to the Australian Associated Press (h/t the Guardian).

Should he have to serve the full eight-week suspension, he will not be eligible for tournament play until Jan. 15, 2017, the day before the start of the Australian Open.

Kyrgios issued a statement following the ATP's announcement, apologising for his antics and revealing that, after a long season, his "body finally just gave out in Shanghai both physically and mentally."

He signed off with "I am truly sorry and look forward to returning in 2017."

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The New York Times' Christopher Clarey provided the statement in full and reported that Kyrgios has agreed to seek help:

Christopher Clarey @christophclarey

Nick Kyrgios's statement appropriately contrite after ATP suspension. Tennis Australia says he's agreed to seek "professional advice" https://t.co/6xevjzKu0C

After his bizarre defeat to Zverev, Kyrgios was initially fined $10,000 for showing a "lack of best efforts" in the clash, $5,000 for verbal abuse of a spectator and $1,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct, per the Guardian.

Not only did he seem completely uninterested in winning the match—at one point floating a dolly serve over the net and heading for his seat, per TennisTV (via Marathonbet)—but he also argued with a fan who questioned his attitude:

Marathonbet @marathonbet

Nick Kyrgios throwing points in his #ShanghaiRolexMasters match v Alexander Zverev. He really just doesn't care. https://t.co/tAf7JlkgR1

The young Aussie has long been a controversial figure, and his Shanghai performance was far from the first time he raised eyebrows.

At Wimbledon in 2015, Kyrgios appeared to throw a second-set game against Richard Gasquet. Later that year, on court at the Montreal Masters, he remarked to Stan Wawrinka that "[Thanasi] Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend," an outburst for which he was fined, per the Telegraph. 

Former British No. 1 Anne Keothavong responded to the news of Kyrgios' ban with sympathy:

Anne Keothavong @annekeothavong

Nick Kyrgios is 21 years old. I'm sure we can all admit to doing and saying stupid things at that age. And some of us continue to do so.

Meanwhile, Leo Schlink in the Herald Sun reported that Kyrgios is "the first elite player to be suspended for behavioural issues since John McEnroe in 1987."

It has long been a suspicion of many that Kyrgios' petulance is holding him back from making good on his exceptional talent, per BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce.

The week before Shanghai, Kyrgios claimed the biggest victory of his career by triumphing at the Japan Open, beating David Goffin in the final. 

Many will hope that his latest sanction can inspire him to rein in his behaviour and focus on improving his consistency. 

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