Australia’s Nick Kyrgios was hit with a $16,500 fine on Thursday after his extraordinary performance at the Shanghai Masters where he tanked points and argued with fans.
The combustible world number 14 received the maximum $10,000 fine for “lack of best efforts”, plus $5,000 for abusing a spectator and another $1,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Trouble-prone Kyrgios, 21, patted a slow serve into his opponent’s court and failed to properly contest several points in his 6-3, 6-1 defeat to 110th-ranked Mischa Zverev.
Kyrgios also clashed with the chair umpire and fans, received a code violation for swearing and had a heated argument with one spectator when he was facing match points.
Afterwards, he lashed out at the crowd who booed him on several occasions during the second-round match and as he left the court.
“I’m good at hitting a tennis ball at the net. Like, big deal. I don’t owe them anything. It’s like, it’s my choice,” he said.
“If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch. Just leave. If you’re so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren’t you as good as me? Why aren’t you on the tour?”
It was just the latest incident involving the Australian number one, who received a one-month suspended ban last year for a lewd comment about Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend.
Kyrgios later apologised for the Shanghai meltdown when he tweeted: “Not good enough today on many levels, I’m better than that. I can go on about excuses but there are none. Sorry.”
World number one Novak Djokovic said Kyrgios was one of the game’s biggest talents but that he had “life lessons” to learn.
“Not many great things are spoken about him lately,” said the Serb.
“I’m sorry to hear that, because I share the opinion of many players and many people in the tennis world, that he’s one of the greatest talents that the game has seen lately and he’s got huge potential.
“He’s been doing well... you’ve got to give him credit for that. But on the other hand, he obviously has life lessons to learn. He’s still relatively young, so hopefully that’s going to happen.”