World No. 14 Nick Kyrgios, who has been accused of tanking his match against Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters, today received multiple fines from the ATP or the Association of Tennis Professionals. The Australian’s fines amount to US$16,500; he was fined the maximum amount of $10,000 by the ATP for displaying what is described as a “lack of best efforts,” a $5,000 fine for heckling a spectator, and a further $1,500 fine for “unsportsmanlike conduct.”
A fan watching the match had shouted to Kyrgios at the end to “respect the game” and “respect the people”, shouting “You wanna come here and play? Sit down and shut up and watch.”
Kyrgios did not appear to be entirely mentally present at the match, prompting umpire Nili Ali to say “you can’t play like that,” reminding the young Australian it was a “professional tournament.”
That prompted the 21-year-old to ask Nili to “wrap up the match,” calling for an early changeover so he could “go home.”
While Kyrgios took a more contrite tone on Twitter, and claimed serious fatigue, his behaviour on court told a different story. Asked by a reporter at the end of the event if he wanted to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals in London, Kyrgios responded “I couldn’t care less, honestly.”
The episode during his match against Zverev marks one of many incidents involving the Australian since his professional debut. Indeed, Kyrgios, who has displayed his talent on a number of occasions, and recently won the ATP500 Rakuten Japan Open title, has become more known for his on-and-off court antics than his gameplay.
Arguably the biggest incident involving Kyrgios had been against rival and 2016 US Open winner Stan Wawrinka, whose partner, WTA professional Donna Vekic, Kyrgios had sledged.
The young player also described himself as “bored" during his first-round match against big-serving American player Sam Querrey. This is not the first time Kyrgios has been accused of tanking a match; he saw similar comments in his loss to France’s Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon last year.
He has attracted serious criticism from a number of senior players – the most well-known among them American former No. 1 John McEnroe, who called for Kyrgios to leave the sport if he was unable to solve what he described as a “serious attitude problem.”
Kyrgios has not commented following the ban.