Weeks after his disgraceful meltdown at ATP Masters 1000 in Cincinnati, Nick Kyrgios was just issued a warning by the governing body of men’s tennis, ATP. In Ohio, he criticised the chair umpire, Fergus Murphy multiple times, unnecessarily dragged Rafael Nadal into the squabble, broke tennis racquets, spat on the court and verbally abused Murphy.
His unsportsmanlike conduct in Cincinnati was not the first time he has performed such antics. Earlier this year in in Rome, he was penalized with a game after being handed a series of code violations for using obscene language. He was even disqualified from the Italian Open 2019 for smashing a chair on the court.
His on-court histrionics have not been the controversial acts performed, he has also criticised the governing body of men’s tennis outside the tennis courts. During the US Open 2019, Nick Kyrgios did not receive any penalty for calling the ATP ‘corrupt’ in the post-match press conference.
Also, in the month of May, Nick Kyrgios publicised his “French Open sucks” comment right before the Grand Slam tournament was set to begin. Considering all the above misconducts, disparagements, and the ridiculous actions, what should have been the punishment?
Last month, the Barcelona FC star, Lionel Messi accused the Conmebol (the South American Football Confederation) of corruption. He was forced to serve a three-month ban from international football due to his comments and levied an extra-penalty of US$ 50,000 fine.
However, in Kyrgios’ case, the ATP has been lenient. According to the ATP Rulebook, in the Conduct Contrary to The Integrity of The Game section, a player disparages or attacks ATP, the tennis professional will be subjected to a fine of $100K and/or suspension from the ATP Tour for a period of three years. However, in Kyrgios’ case, no penalties were issued to him for his ‘corrupt’ comment and the matter has been simply overlooked by the men’s tennis association.
Later on social media, he elaborated upon his ‘corrupt’ comment and stated, “I’ve had huge support from [ATP boss] Chris Kermode and have given it in return, so I want to clarify my comments but stand by my beliefs and sentiment around double standards.”
ATP just released a statement for his “Aggravated Behavior” and deferred him a suspension. Clearly, the punishment doesn’t suffice for his outbursts on the professional courts on multiple occasions. They have just revealed the further course of punishments if in case Kyrgios misbehaves again within the span of six months. He will be fined an amount of US$ 25,000 followed by a 16-week suspension from the circuit provided a filthy act takes place within these six months.
The ATP synchronised their time of announcement of the penalty with Kyrgios’ layover announcement and after the conclusion of Laver Cup. Their so-called ‘investigation conclusion’ was publicised after his withdrawal from the Asian Swing 2019. The six-month probation period imposed by ATP includes his injury hiatus from tennis and followed by the off-season break of tennis. This very much sums up the rigged act of the ATP and their fondness towards Kyrgios.
Their deferred suspension penalty to Nick Kyrgios corresponds to a warning or rather, it’s just a slap on his wrist from the ATP’s end for his multiple livid conducts on the court.
Last month, ATP sacked the Wimbledon 2019 men’s singles final chair umpire, Damian Steiner. As it turned out, he gave multiple media interviews about the final match without seeking the required authorization from an ATP supervisor. However, in Kyrgios’ case, the ATP continues to be lenient and give him the leverage to play professional tennis.
Recently, Pat Rafter was surprised that the ATP did not take strict action against Kyrgios for his filthy outburst and why he has not been banned from the professional Tour. Kyrgios swiftly replied and highlighted the fact that he earns profits for the ATP by filling up the tennis stadium as people turn up in huge numbers to watch him play. For the ATP, Nick Kyrgios is simply a money-making machine.
“Probably because everywhere I play the stadiums are sold out, and the event makes money with me around? Not surprised rafter has commented on this topic, the guy loves hanging fellow Aussies out to dry. Enjoy staying relevant champ,” Kyrgios replied to Rafter’s remarks.
The probation will come into play from Monday while Kyrgios will be absent from circuit for a few weeks from now. Assuming that the Australian would resume his professional tennis in the month of January, and by the end of February his probationary period would wind up. After that, Nick Kyrgios will get to be the regular ‘Nick Kyrgios.’
The ATP being easy-going with the Australian tennis player explicitly summarises their deceitful characteristic. Maybe, the ‘bad boy’ of tennis was correct, “the ATP is pretty corrupt anyway.”