ATP hands Kyrgios suspended 16-week ban for poor behaviour

Paris, Sept 26 (AFP/APP):Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios received a suspended 16-week ban from the ATP on Thursday and was placed on probation for six months for “aggravated behaviour” following a number of on-court outbursts over the past year.

The suspension is deferred pending Kyrgios’ compliance with several strict conditions mandated by the ATP, which include seeking additional support from a specialist in behavioural management during the off-season.

“The suspension will be lifted at the end of the six-month probationary period provided that the above conditions are met,” the ATP said in a statement. It added the same applied to a $25,000 fine.

Tour organisers opened an investigation into Kyrgios following an explosive meltdown at last month’s Cincinnati Masters which saw him smash two racquets, launch an abusive tirade at the chair umpire before appearing to spit at the official during a second-round match.

He was fined $113,000 for ball abuse, leaving the court without permission, an audible obscenity and unsportsmanlike conduct during his loss to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

But the ATP decided to extend the inquiry into the volatile Kyrgios, who was also disqualified and fined for throwing a chair on to court during the Rome Masters in May.

“The investigation… has concluded that Kyrgios has been found to have committed aggravated behaviour under the Player Major Offense provision in the ATP Code,” the governing body said Thursday.

“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” of the ATP rule book, it added.

Kyrgios, 24, has five days to appeal the decision.