Kyrgios sets off on disciplinary tightrope

Nick Kyrgios’ six-month probationary period will start on Monday after the Australian opted not to appeal the punishment handed down by the ATP last week.

Kyrgios faces a 16-week ban from ATP tournaments and a fine of 25,000 US dollars (approximately £20,000) if he violates certain conditions during the next six months.

Those include not receiving code violations during matches for verbal or physical abuse of officials or spectators, visible obscenities or an offence of unsportsmanlike conduct, such as spitting, towards officials or spectators.

Kyrgios must also see a specialist in behavioural management during the off-season and seek support from a mental coach during ATP tournaments.

The punishment was a result of a second-round match at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in August when Kyrgios committed eight separate offences, including verbally abusing umpire Fergus Murphy and spitting in the direction of the official.

He was fined an initial 113,000 dollars (approximately £90,000) but the ATP launched an investigation, which concluded there was a pattern of behaviour related to Kyrgios’ verbal abuse of officials and spectators.

The ATP confirmed Kyrgios has accepted the additional sanctions, which is no surprise given the timing.

The announcement came on the same day in which Kyrgios revealed he was pulling out of the current series of tournaments in Asia because of a collarbone problem.

He may not play another ATP event this season, in which case he would complete half his probationary period without competing in a match.

The six months will run out at the end of March 2020, and the sanction only applies during ATP events, so November’s Davis Cup finals and the Australian Open in January do not count.

Kyrgios responded to the sanction on Instagram, saying: “Guess I’m on my best behaviour for 6 months,” adding the hashtag “detention”.

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