The ATP has issued further punishments against Nick Kyrgios after microphones caught him telling his opponent, Stan Wawrinka, mid-match that his girlfriend cheated on him with another tennis player.
The comments — and Kyrgios’ initial refusal to apologise — sparked an outrage within the tennis community and bolstered the 20-year-old Australian’s reputation as tennis’ new “bad boy.”
Kyrgios was initially fined $US10,000 for the comment, but was given additional conditional sanctions after a review from ATP. Under the new punishment, he’ll be fined $US25,000 and suspended for 28 days if if he incurs any fines over $US5,000 or any fines for verbal or physical abuse at an ATP tournament over the next six months.
The incident came during a match at the Montreal Masters, when an on-court microphone caught Kyrgios telling Wawrinka, “[Tennis player Thanasis Kokkinakis] banged your girlfriend… sorry to tell you that, mate.”
According to Kyrgios’ ATP profile, he’s earned over $US800,000 in prize money this season.
On top of the official punishment from the ATP, Kyrgios has incurred the wrath of the tennis community. Roger Federer, who has defended Kyrgios before, said the tennis world isn’t used to that type of trash-talking. Andy Murray agreed that tennis players don’t often trash talk like that because of the microphones and social media.
Wawrinka, in preparation for the Cincinnati Masters, said that he was still hurt:
“Yeah, for sure I was struggling today to be completely on the court and to fight the way I wanted and everything. It’s been some tough days for some people, and it’s always difficult to completely focus on the tennis court… I think as a player, you realise more what he did and what’s the consequence for private life, for person involved in that case. That it’s not just few words, but with one sentence he can touch a lot and hurt a lot of people.”
Wawrinka also said he never heard a personal apology from Kyrgios and that Kyrgios’ later Facebook apology wasn’t enough. Kyrgios used his Facebook to dispute the reports that he never personally apologised to Wawrinka.
It’s fair to wonder if Kyrgios will be under a microscope for the next six months with an impending suspension. If he were to curse, argue with refs, or break more racquets, he could earn that suspension.
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