So Nick Kyrgios tanked ANOTHER match last week. And the ATP hit him with a $16.5K fine thereafter then a bigger one yesterday, banning the hot-headed Australian from 8 weeks of tournament play unless he sought help.
Kyrgios responded saying he would get better and Tennis Australia added that he would get help.
If Kyrgios does get help he’ll be back in business to start 2017. So the net result? He loses about $40K and misses two events he may not have been playing anyway in Basel and Paris.
The problem I have is the ATP should have done more. Kyrgios is just 21 and already he’s racked up numerous fines and multiple suspensions. He’s even been on probation.
So as a repeat offender, he should have been hit harder and I think banned from the tour for five months (till Indian Wells), four with good behavior.
But the ATP didn’t want to lose their mega-brat, mega-star for the Australian swing so they lightened the sentence.
Like him or not, Kyrgios sells tickets, he makes news and people watch him. Heck, in the middle of the football season here in the U.S., Murray winning Shanghai never got a mention while Kyrgios’s tanking made the highlights and the blogs.
That said, it’s good that the ATP is pushing Kyrgios to get help, because he needs it. His performance last week was inexcusable and an ugly mark on him and the sport.
And all of this is compounded by the fact that Kyrgios is a darn good player. Someone who I think will win Slams if he can get his act together. That’s why I think the punishment should have been stronger. And to really send a message that enough is enough, he should have been banned through January and been barred from competing at the Australian Open. Then you hit him.
Of course, 8 weeks or 5 months, it might not matter. Kyrgios will be Kyrgios and there may be no way for anyone to change his attitude, not while he’s this young. There’s no way of really knowing. We just have to watch and I know many will.
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