Kyrgios handed suspended ban, additional fine for Cincinnati outburst

(Reuters) - Australia’s Nick Kyrgios was handed a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of $25,000 on Thursday for “aggravated behaviour” following an investigation by the ATP.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Laver Cup - Geneva, Switzerland - September 21, 2019 Team World's Nick Kyrgios in action during his singles match against Team Europe's Roger Federer REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

The 24-year-old, one of the most combustible characters in tennis, was fined $113,000 over a meltdown in Cincinnati last month and courted more trouble with the governing body of men’s tennis at the U.S. Open describing them as corrupt.

“The investigation found a pattern of behaviour related to Kyrgios’s verbal abuse of officials and/or spectators in the past 12 months that constitutes a violation,” the ATP said in a statement, adding that Kyrgios had five working days to appeal.

Both the fine and suspension are deferred pending Kyrgios's compliance with a set of conditions here which will apply at ATP and Challenger Tour events during a six-month probationary period.

Some of the conditions include no further code violations that result in a fine for verbal or physical abuse of officials, fans or any others on-court or on-site and unsportsmanlike conduct and any obscenity directed at officials.

He was also told to seek “continued support” from a mental coach during tournaments and consult a professional specialising in behavioural management in the off-season.

Kyrgios had picked up the initial fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse and an audible obscenity in Cincinnati after arguing with the chair umpire and smashing two rackets during his second-round defeat by Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

The Australian confirmed earlier on Thursday that he would miss the remainder of the Asian swing after aggravating a shoulder injury he originally suffered at the Laver Cup.

The ATP added that a second investigation had taken place after Kyrgios’s comments at the U.S. Open, although the world number 27 had clarified his remarks saying that “corrupt” was not the correct choice of words.

“Following a clarification issued by the player... it was determined that the incident did not constitute a Player Major Offense and no additional penalties were applied,” ATP added.

Kyrgios, who has won titles in Acapulco and Washington this year, is known for his outbursts both on and off the court.

In May, he was expelled from the Italian Open after slamming his racket into the ground, kicking a water bottle and tossing a chair towards the centre of the court before walking out.

Three years ago, he withdrew from the Rio Olympics saying “unfair and unjust treatment” at the hands of his country’s Olympic Committee had led to his decision.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra and Toby Davis