“That Was a Tough Decision”: Former ATP Vice-President Opens up on Fining Nick Kyrgios

Published 11/25/2021, 2:40 AM EST
Australian Nick Kyrgios discusses a call with the chair umpire during a match | Credits: TODAY Sports


Nick Kyrgios is a name that needs no introduction. The Australian star has been in the conversation for grand slam glory candidature. However, he has yet to win a major title. On the other hand, with his on-court antics, Kyrgios seems to have won many an audience over.

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The 26-year-old Australian has seen his fair share of trouble, too. Involved in many disciplinary cases owing to his behavior, Kyrgios has paid hefty fines quite a few times. Although Kyrgios is no stranger to making the headlines, more of them seem to come from controversy than from his matches.

One of the most elite umpires in tennis history, and former vice-president of the ATP, Lars Graff, remembers taking Kyrgios to task over his behavior.

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Nick Kyrgios was fined for not following the rules

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios speaks with umpire Marijana Veljovic regarding the net during his second-round match against France’s Ugo Humbert REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Lars Graff, recalling an incident with Australian player Nick Kyrgios, talked about how vividly he remembered it. The Australian had chosen to retire from the match early, defaulting and leaving the stadium. This was strictly against the rules, according to which Nick had to complete a medical exam before leaving the premises.

Having tracked Kyrgios down, Lars recalled how Nick, on the phone, told him he was almost an hour away. Citing his distance from the ground, Kyrgios told Lars that he would only return the subsequent day.

“I told Nick he could not do that. The rule is clear. You can not leave the site without seeing a doctor when you retire from a match,” Lars recalled.

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Despite his warnings to Kyrgios of the hefty fine that his behavior would entail, his words fell on deaf ears. Lars recalls how he had to reluctantly go ahead with the punishment and fine the Australian in order to set an example.

“That was a very tough decision. I am not happy to fine anybody but I was showing the other players that the rules are the rules and we need to follow them,” he stated.

Kyrgios is no stranger to fines

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 05: Nick Kyrgios of Australia is seen in his match against Borna Coric of Croatia during day five of the ATP 250 Murray River Open at Melbourne Park on February 05, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

The Australian world number 92 has seen hefty fines on several occasions. In 2019, Nick Kyrgios was fined a whopping $113,000 by the ATP for expletive-filled outbursts in which he insulted the umpire. Furthermore, he went on to smash rackets and hold up the match by refusing to ready up to return service.

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A year before that, Kyrgios was fined $17,500 for a lewd act on the court with a water bottle during the Queen’s Club Championship. Two years prior, Kyrgios was kicked out of the Italian Open for throwing a chair.

Kyrgios had previously seen an eight-week ban as well. This was due to him seemingly having thrown away a match at the Shanghai Masters. Kyrgios’ match against Mischa Zverev had everyone, and the officials, questioning his level of effort against the German.

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Samarveer Singh

30 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. A collegiate athlete himself, Samarveer admires all sportspersons who put in the work in order to achieve excellence.

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