The so-called “Bad Boy of Tennis” strikes again and this time, he will pay for his actions.
Hold up. Tennis has a bad boy?
Tennis has a villain and his name is Nick Kyrgios. The 21-year-old Australian has been suspended for eight weeks and fined an additional $25,000 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for tanking during a match last week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Kyrgios was already fined $16,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct, failing to give a full effort and verbal abuse of the spectator during the same match. However, the ATP said if Kyrgios seeks professional, psychological help, he could be eligible to return on November 7, 2016.
Kyrgios gave a statement on his website about the suspension.
Who Is Nick Kyrgios?
For those who do not know tennis, Kyrgios is actually a pretty good player. He’s ranked 14th in the world and has three ATP titles to his name, which is solid considering he’s only 21. That being said, Kyrgios is nuts, plain and simple. He’s a hothead who continues to find himself in the media for the wrong reasons.
Exhibit A: Last year, in a match with three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, during a court change, Kyrgios walked right up to the net and told Wawrinka “Kokkinakis (a professional tennis player) banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that mate.” Lucky for us, cameras caught the exchange.
I don’t care who you are. That’s a low blow by all accounts. You don’t tell someone that their girlfriend is cheating on them WHEN THERE ARE CAMERAS AROUND! It’s even a slippery slope to tell someone that information in private. It’s not like Kyrgios and Wawrinka were best buds. Kyrgios was mad that Wawrinka was winning and took a cheap shot at him to knock him off his game.
Let’s look at what happened at the Shanghai Masters. First of all, Kyrgios lost the second-round match to Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-1. That’s not the news. It’s what Kyrgios did during the match that caused his suspension and fine. Kyrgios did not try whatsoever. He patted serves across the net and walked off the court early. When the fans started to boo and the umpire told him to start trying, Kyrgios told them “You want to come here and play?”
On SportsCenter, Scott Van Pelt summed it up best.
Hey Nick, act like a professional for once. Have I ever been tired from traveling and playing tennis throughout Asia? Of course not. However, last time I checked, that is your job and not mine. You are getting paid to travel and play tennis across the world. You are getting paid to put on a show for the fans. I don’t care if you’re tired. Suck it up, dude. I don’t feel bad for you whatsoever. What you did during that match was a disgrace. Go seek professional help because it’s clear that you need it.
I’m totally fine with creating a character for yourself. Tennis needs its good guys and its bad guys. It makes for better television. You want to be the new “Bad Boy” of professional tennis? You want to be a legend and a rockstar like John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors? How about you back up your tough-guy attitude and just win some tournaments? Start acting like a professional tennis player and not like a teenage boy.
You try to talk the talk, but it’s time to walk the walk, Nick Kyrgios.