Nick Kyrgios faces a fine and possible suspension after being defaulted yesterday from the Italian Open in a fit of rage.
The day after giving an explosive interview in which he said he ‘can’t stand’ the ‘cringeworthy’ Novak Djokovic, the 24-year-old Australian hurled a chair on to the court before being slung out of the tournament.
It overshadowed events elsewhere in Rome, including Jo Konta’s back-to-back wins over two US Open champions, Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens, to reach the quarter-finals.
Nick Kyrgios has been defaulted from the Italian Open after chaotic scenes unfolded in Rome
The incident started when the Australian seemed to question one incident with an official
Kyrgios furiously smashed his racket into the ground before kicking something along the floor
Kyrgios then picked up a seat from courtside and hurled that into the centre of the court
Fans reacted furiously to his outburst and were heard booing during videos on social media
The 24-year-old slamming his racket onto the ground as he reacts furiously to a decision
July 2015 – Accused of ‘tanking’ (not playing up to his ability) when losing to Richard Gasquet.
August 2015 – Fined $13,127 and given a suspended 28-day ban for insulting Stan Wawrinka.
June 2016 – Pulled out of 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as he accused the Australian Olympic Committee of ‘unfair and unjust treatment’ and ‘unwarranted attacks’.
October 2016 – Fined $32,900 for ‘lack of best efforts’ when losing to Mischa Zverev at Shanghai Rolex Masters.
June 2018 – Fined after he was caught on TV mimicking a sex act with a water bottle during a change of ends at the Fever-Tree Championships. The BBC was forced to apologise to viewers.
February 2019 – Kyrgios did not break the rules but left Rafael Nadal distinctly unimpressed after attempting an underarm serve during a clash with the Spaniard at the ATP Tour event in Acapulco.
Kyrgios is sure to have his second-round prize money of £29,000 docked after losing the plot against Norway’s Casper Ruud when he was given a game penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Playing on a noisy outside court, he allowed himself to get riled by spectators and became involved in an exchange with officials after being made to forfeit a game to go 2-1 down in the decider.
Having angrily hurled his racket to the floor he threw the fold-up chair on to the court and went into an expletive-filled rant, shouting at the umpire: ‘I am giving 100 per cent to deal with f****** idiots like him, I’m done.
‘I’m f****** done. I’m f****** done with it. I don’t give a f***.’
He then put his bag over his shoulder and walked off before being officially defaulted.
Kyrgios later took to his Twitter account and mocked the celebrations from his opponent after he won by default.
He wrote: ‘Hahahaha’ and added two crying laughing emojis in response.
But after the dust had settled Kyrgios later tweeted an apology: ‘Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say the atmosphere was crazy.’
The ATP could fine him and suspend him from regular events — not Grand Slams — but his box-office power is obvious.
WARNING – EXPLICIT LANGUAGE IN VIDEO
Ruud, who was beaten 6-4, 6-4, later in the day by Juan Martin del Potro, urged the ATP to make an example of Kyrgios with a lengthy ban.
‘I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks he should be suspended for at least half a year,’ he told reporters.
But Roger Federer took a different stance and felt the fines, deduction of ATP points and the removal of complimentary accommodation was enough of a punishment.
Kyrgios had already caused a stir when he laid into Djokovic in an interview with the No Challenges Remaining podcast.
‘He wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This celebration thing is so cringeworthy,’ were some of the choicer comments.
The incident on Thursday is far from the first controversy Kyrgios has been involved in. He was given a ban by the ATP in 2016 after walking off court midway through a match against Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters and may well find himself suspended again.
After Wednesday’s washout Konta had to play two matches, and first defeated 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-7, 6-4, 6-1. Three hours later she beat Williams 6-2, 6-4. Konta will now meet Marketa Vondrousova.