Kyrgios handed suspended ban for Cincinnati outburst

Nick Kyrgios has been given a suspended 16-week ban from the ATP Tour following the conclusion of an investigation into his explosive second-round loss at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last month.

The Australian was handed a record fine of 113,000 US dollars (approximately £90,000) after committing eight offences during his match with Karen Khachanov, including verbally abusing umpire Fergus Murphy and spitting towards the official.

The ban, along with a further fine of 25,000 dollars (approximately £20,000), 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 coach during tournaments and seek extra help from a specialist in behavioural management before the end of the year.

Nick Kyrgios has been handed a suspended ban
Nick Kyrgios has been handed a suspended ban (Adam Davy/PA)

Kyrgios was charged with having committed aggravated behaviour under the player major offence provision in the ATP code, and an investigation by Gayle David Bradshaw, the tour’s executive vice-president, rules and competition, concluded that was proven.

An ATP statement read: “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 six-month period will begin the Monday after Kyrgios accepts the ruling. The 24-year-old, ranked 27, has five working days in which to lodge an appeal should he wish to do so.

There has been criticism of the time it has taken the ATP to reach a decision, with Kyrgios playing in the US Open and the Laver Cup in between.

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Any immediate ban would have been complicated by Kyrgios having on Thursday ruled himself out of the next series of events in Asia because of a collarbone injury.

That is perhaps timely given two of Kyrgios’ most controversial moments have come at the Shanghai Masters. He was banned for eight weeks in 2016 after appearing to give up during a match against Mischa Zverev, while the following year he was fined again for retiring from a match without apparent cause.

The Australian has been particularly volatile this season and was defaulted from a match in Rome in May after throwing a chair across the court.

A separate investigation into comments made by Kyrgios after his first-round win over Steve Johnson at the US Open, when he called the ATP corrupt in relation to the Cincinnati fine, concluded he had not committed a major offence.

Unfortunately a collarbone injury I sustained at Laver Cup has escalated and has forced me to pull out of the Asian swing, I’ll be heading back to Australia to rest and recover. See you all soon 🙏🏽❤️

— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) September 26, 2019

Kyrgios quickly backtracked from the comments, claiming he had meant to accuse the ATP of double standards rather than corruption.

The ATP statement concluded: “Following a clarification issued by the player the following day, it was determined that the incident did not constitute a player major offence, and no additional penalties were applied.”

Kyrgios is hoping to return to action at the Davis Cup finals in November.

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