The antics of Nick Kyrgios at the Shanghai Masters has earned him a time-out from the ATP, which has informed him that he is not welcome at any of their remaining events for 2016.
Citing “Conduct contrary to the integrity of the game,” as the reason for the ban, Kyrgios can have the suspension reduced if he agrees to counseling sessions with a sports psychologist. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the course of those sessions!
On balance, the actions of Kyrgios at the Shanghai Masters does not seem any more egregious than those of Novak Djokovic, who went on a racquet-bashing spree recently at the same tournament.
The notoriously volatile Djokovic even has a YouTube page titled “Top 10 Best Djokovic Racquet Smash,” so it would be hard to characterise the penalty levied against Kyrgios as a response to a pattern of bad behavior when he is not the sole repeat offender and Djokovic’s issues an isolated occurrence.
It would seem more to be Kyrgios’ unrepentant attitude as much as anything that has attracted the nuclear response of the ATP.
Kyrgios would be permitted to return in time for the Australian Open in January, the first of the coming year’s Grand Slam events.