Sydney: Combustible tennis star Nick Kyrgios on Friday insisted he’ll be on his “best behaviour” for the next six months after being put on probation by the ATP following a series of recent on-court outbursts.
The temperamental Australian was hit with a suspended 16-week ban on Thursday which can be lifted after a six-month probationary period provided he meets certain strict criteria.
It includes seeking support from a specialist in behavioural management during the off-season.
“Guess I’m on my best behaviour for 6 months,” he told his 1.2 million Instagram followers, while adding the hashtag #detention.
In response to one user saying he should have been banned for life, the Australian replied: “Well no not really. I’m chilling, relaxing. I’ll speak when I want.”
The ATP opened a probe into Kyrgios following an explosive meltdown at last month’s Cincinnati Masters which saw him smash two racquets, launch an abusive tirade at the chair umpire before appearing to spit at the official during a second-round match.
He was fined US$113,000 for ball abuse, leaving the court without permission, an audible obscenity and unsportsmanlike conduct during his loss to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.
Kyrgios, 24, has five days to appeal the suspended ban, but has yet to indicate whether he will or not.
While he was penalised for the Cincinnati outbursts, he avoided further punishment for calling the ATP “pretty corrupt” during the US Open after he “clarified” his comment.
Kyrgios, who boasts a long list of misdemeanours, was scheduled to play the China Open next week but pulled out on Thursday, citing a collarbone injury.
“I’ll be heading back to Australia to rest and recover. See you all soon,” said the 27th-ranked firebrand after his first-round exit at the Zhuhai Championships.