(Reuters) – Tennis ‘bad boy’ Nick Kyrgios has been banned for eight tournament weeks for his conduct at the Shanghai Masters last week, the governing body for men’s tennis (ATP) said on Monday.
“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…” the ATP said in a statement.
The volatile 21-year-old has also been slapped with an additional $25,000 fine for “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game”, which can keep him out of action until mid-January.
Tennis Australia (TA) said Kyrgios, who issued a statement on Monday to apologise for his behaviour, has agreed to seek professional help, which could see him return to court on Nov. 7.
“Nick understands the gravity of his actions, has shown remorse and expressed a willingness to improve,” TA said in a statement.
“We have always offered assistance and advice to Nick and his team and will continue to do so.”
The talented-yet-temperamental Australian was beaten 6-3 6-1 by Mischa Zverev in a second-round match in Shanghai in which Kyrgios put in a series of half-hearted serves and appeared to be walking off court before the unseeded German had returned the ball to him.
Kyrgios also clashed with a spectator before being booed off the court. He was fined $16,500 by the ATP on Thursday.
ATP Executive Chairman and President Chris Kermode described Kyrgios as a “phenomenal talent” and hoped the Australian would use his time away from the game constructively.
“Nick’s conduct in Shanghai was unacceptable, disrespectful to the sport, and its fans,” Kermode said.
“We take these matters very seriously, and he has since apologised for his actions.”
In his statement, Kyrgios promised to behave better when he eventually returns to the court.
“Following the ATP’s decision today I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again for the circumstances in Shanghai,” he said.
“I do understand and respect the decision by the ATP and I will use this time off to improve on and off the court. I am truly sorry and look forward to returning in 2017.”
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)