Nick Kyrgios’ season has ended prematurely, after receiving a ban by the ATP following the tennis player’s behaviour in Shanghai last week.
The 21-year-old has been given an eight-week ban and a $32,900 fine following an investigation by the ATP World Tour into his performance at the Shanghai Masters where he came under fire for tanking against Germany’s Mischa Zverev.
According to a report by the Herald Sun, the governing body of men’s tennis had been wanting to ban Kyrgios for 12 weeks, but reassessed the terms during negotiations.
Following the news, Kyrgios released a statement on Monday evening in which he apologised to his fans for his poor performance in China.
“Following the ATP’s decision … I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again for the circumstances in Shanghai,” the statement read.
“The season has been a long one as I battled several injuries and other challenges towards the end of the summer.
“The Asian circuit was particularly tough after the long week and win in Tokyo and with the travel throughout the continent, my body finally just gave out in Shanghai both physically and mentally.
“This is no excuse, and I know very well that I need to apologise to the fans – in Shanghai and in other parts of the world – as well as the tournament organisers in Shanghai who do an amazing job.”
While he admitted that the ATP finals were an “important goal” of his, he said that he understands and respects the decision.
“I will use this time off to improve on and off the court. I am truly sorry and look forward to returning in 2017,” he wrote.
Tennis Australia also released a statement backing the ATP’s decision.
“Nick’s health and wellbeing is a priority,” the statement read.
“Nick understands the gravity of his actions, has shown remorse and expressed a willingness to improve.
“We believe it’s our responsibility to help Nick, along with all our young athletes, improve both professionally on court as a player, and personally.
“We have always offered assistance and advice to Nick and his team and will continue to do so.”
If Kyrgios meets certain conditions put forward by the ATP during the off-season, such as consulting sports psychologists and life coaches, the player could serve as little as three weeks.
Despite this however, the suspension means he will miss out on the $2.5 million Swiss Indoors in Basel and the $5.4 million BNP Paribas Masters in Paris this month, and also takes him out of the running to qualify for the $9.8 million Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Kyrgios is the first elite player suspended on the back of behavioural issues since John McEnroe in 1987.