Kyrgios: Punishment fair but I am not embarrassed

NEW YORK • Australia's Nick Kyrgios says he has learnt his lessons after the unsavoury on-court incident that led to him being fined and handed a suspended ban from the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour.

On the eve of the US Open, where he will meet world No. 3 Andy Murray in the first round, the 20-year-old told the Observer that he deserved the ban, that he has apologised to the players concerned and that it is not something he would do again.

However, almost in the next breath, he said he was "not embarrassed at all".

Kyrgios fell foul of ATP rules when he made lewd remarks to Stan Wawrinka about the Swiss' girlfriend, Donna Vekic, which were caught clearly on television microphones. The incident caused ripples within the sport, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal saying that comments like that had no place in tennis.

As he looked back on the events of the past month, Kyrgios said he had not expected the furore when he opened his mouth on court.

"I didn't think it would be picked up (on microphones) like that but it happened," he said.

"I guess I'll just learn from it.

"I mean, obviously, I wouldn't do it again but I wouldn't say I was embarrassed by it at all."

In addition to the total of US$35,000 (S$49,000) in fines he received, Kyrgios said he had no issue with the one-month ban.

It will come into force if he accumulates another US$5,000 or more in fines at ATP-sanctioned events in the next six months.

"I think it is fair," he said.

"I deserved to be punished, to some extent. I definitely know that I've got to keep everything in order and obviously be on my best behaviour out there. But, at the same time, I'm not going to go out there not showing any emotions."

Last week in Cincinnati, Wawrinka said Kyrgios had not apologised, at least not to the extent he expected. On Saturday, Kyrgios insisted he had.

"I apologised to Stan privately and publicly," he said. "I apologised to Donna, not in person, but obviously through contacts."

Asked if Wawrinka had accepted his apology, he said: "Whether he accepted it or not, it's not my problem." THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'Kyrgios: Punishment fair but I am not embarrassed'. Print Edition | Subscribe