London, United Kingdom, Oct 17 – Wayward tennis star Nick Kyrgios will seek psychological help to avoid an eight week ban ordered by the ATP for a tantrum at the Shanghai Masters, Tennis Australia said Monday.
The ATP ordered a $25,000 (22,700 euros) fine and said a three week ban would be increased to eight weeks if the 21-year-old Kyrgios did not seek help for his temper.
The world number 14 gave away points and swore and argued with fans before being booed off court after his 6-3, 6-1 defeat by Mischa Zverev in his second round match last week.
Tennis Australia said in a statement that it would support Kyrgios.
“Nick’s health and wellbeing is a priority and the ATP has offered a reduced penalty on the provision that he seeks appropriate professional advice, which he has agreed to do,” said a statement by the Australian body.
Kyrgios apologised again for his behaviour in Shanghai.
“The season has been a long one as I battled several injuries and other challenges towards the end of the summer,” he said in a statement.
“My body finally just gave out in Shanghai both physically and mentally.
“This is no excuse, and I know very well that I need to apologise to the fans – in Shanghai and other parts of the world – as well as the tournament organisers in Shanghai who do an amazing job.”
Kyrgios said he “regretted how his year was ending.”
“I do understand and respect the decision by the ATP and I will use this time off to improve on and off the court.”
The $25,000 ATP fine will be added to a $16,500 penalty ordered last week.
The Shanghai outburst was the latest in a long line of incidents involving the Australian. Last year he was given a suspended one-month ban for making comments to Stan Wawrinka about his wife.
“Nick’s conduct in Shanghai was unacceptable, disrespectful to the sport and its fans,” said ATP executive chairman Chris Kermode.
“We take these matters very seriously and he has since apologised for his actions.
“Nick is a phenomenal talent and our hope is that he uses this time away from the tour constructively and, with some support, is able to return to competition with an improved mindset and stronger than ever before.”
The ATP said that after an investigation into the Australian’s second round match in Shanghai, Kyrgios had been found guilty of conduct contrary to the integrity of the game.
This meant an additional fine and an immediate eight week suspension.
“However, the suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist, or an equivalent plan approved by ATP.”
If Kyrgios agrees to see a psychologist he could return to the tour on November 7, after the three week ban.
As he would have no more tournaments to play, even the three week ban means that Kyrgios’s year is effectively over.
“We have spoken to his management and Nick has agreed to seek the help of a sports psychologist and will now be available to play in the Hopman Cup in early January,” a Tennis Australia spokesperson told AFP.