Nick Kyrgios Could Be Suspended 16 Weeks from ATP Tour for Abusive Behavior

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2019

Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts during his men's singles first round match against Andreas Seppi of Italy at the Zhuhai Championships tennis tournament in Zhuhai in China's southern Guangdong province on September 25, 2019. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
STR/Getty Images

A 16-week ban and a fine worth $25,000 await Nick Kyrgios if he commits any more violations of ATP Tour rules and policies after the Australian received a suspended punishment for his actions at the Cincinnati Masters back in August.

The sentenced was levied on Thursday, according to the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated (h/t Yahoo Sports):

"The tour fined him $25,000 and banned him for 16 weeks, sanctions which will only be applied if he commits similar acts of bad behavior in the next six months. He must also agree to receive continued support from a 'mental coach' while competing at events, and getting additional help in the offseason from a specialist in behavioral management."

Kyrgios, 24, clashed with umpire Fergus Murphy during his second-round loss in Ohio and smashed two rackets in his anger.

Kyrgios was initially fined $113,000 for eight infractions, and the latest punishments have been applied after the ATP deemed the player's actions as "'aggravated behavior under the Player Major Offense.'"

A troubled time in Cincinnati wasn't the only occasion Kyrgios clashed with the ATP during this calendar year. The governing body of men's tennis also examined the player referring to the institution as "pretty corrupt" during the U.S. Open.

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However, the ATP "determined the remarks did not constitute a 'major offense' and hasn't applied further penalties," per the report.

Kyrgios has taken to social media (h/t Reuters, via the Guardian) to respond, posting the following message: "Everyone, I can still play. ... I just have to keep a lid on my behavior, that's all."

Fans will be keen to see if he can back up his words and not let his temperament undermine his natural talent. 

Christopher Clarey of the New York Times believes he is fortunate to have escaped more immediate punishment:

Kyrgios' behavior won't be tested for a while yet because he has confirmed he will miss the China Open and Shanghai Masters in October with a shoulder injury:

Ranked No. 27 in the world, Kyrgios is an aggressive player who usually guarantees excitement, but he is yet to win a Grand Slam.