Aussie bad boy Kyrgios fined, is sorry for Rome rage

ROME • The latest instalment of Nick Kyrgios versus the world on Thursday brought about a €20,000 (S$30,744) fine from the ATP Tour, a forfeiture of €33,635 in prize money and 45 ranking points.

The Australian, who is as widely known for his temper tantrums as his tennis skills, erupted in a profane tirade during his second-round Italian Open match against Casper Ruud, tossing a chair onto the court before walking off, with his opponent leading 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 2-1.

The game penalty after his second code violation of the match - he was penalised first for ball abuse and then for unsportsmanlike conduct - led to his meltdown.

But the Tour took dim view of his histrionics, ordering him to also pay back his hospitality costs for the event, with the possibility of further punishment.

The 24-year-old already was not winning any popularity contests among his peers in Rome after blasting world No. 1 Novak Djokovic for his "cringeworthy" post-match celebrations and accusing world No. 2 Rafael Nadal of having a "super salty" attitude in a recent podcast interview.

While Kyrgios did not speak to reporters after the match, he apologised in an Instagram post a few hours later, writing: "Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today.

"Just super unfortunate that it had to end in a default. Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe."

The world No. 36's litany of bad behaviour came as recently as March when he got into a spat with a fan who was heckling him at the Miami Open.

In 2016, he was suspended eight weeks by the Tour for a lack of effort in a match and insulting fans at the Shanghai Masters.

The previous year, Kyrgios was given a total fine of US$12,500 (S$17,200) for disparaging comments to Stan Wawrinka and the Swiss player's girlfriend, and a "ball person", during a tournament in Montreal.

Considering his previous behaviour, he may be facing another suspension and Ruud feels it should be a long one. The Norwegian said: "I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks he should be suspended for at least half a year so that maybe he can change. You can't behave like that and keep on playing."

However, Roger Federer, after beating Croatia's Borna Coric 6-2, 4-6, 6-7 (7-9) in his last-16 match, said the penalties were already sufficient for Kyrgios.

The Swiss added: "What did he do? He hurt a chair? That's not enough for me (to warrant a ban)."

NYTIMES, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2019, with the headline 'Aussie bad boy Kyrgios fined, is sorry for Rome rage'. Print Edition | Subscribe