Nick Kyrgios is facing a heavy fine and possible lengthy suspension after defaulting out of the Italian Open following an epic meltdown that saw him throw a chair on the court mid-match.
Kyrgios received a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in his second-round clash with Norway’s Caspar Rudd on Friday morning (Australian time) when he furiously kicked a bottle, then hurled his chair and racket onto the court before launching a blistering verbal attack on officials.
The ATP men’s tour said the Australian will forfeit his $37,500 in prize money from the tournament and 45 ATP points, adding there will likely be further punishment pending an investigation.
The on-court meltdown came just hours after an explosive interview with the No Challenges Remaining podcast, in which he ripped into rivals Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Fernando Verdasco.
Norwegian qualifier Rudd was leading 6-3 6-7 (7-5) 2-1 when Kyrgios, frustrated at losing a point on serve, received a warning for ball abuse.
He then took exception to some movement in the stands during a rally and made his feelings known to the crowd, and was docked a point for unsportsmanlike conduct, then was docked the game for the same offence.
Furious at the decision, Kyrgios booted a water bottle and then stunned spectators by picking up a fold-up wooden chair and hurling it across the court.
The 24-year-old defaulted himself from the contest after picking up his bag and storming off, although he did shake hands with Ruud and the chair umpire.
**kicks water bottle**
Rough day for Nick Kyrgios at the Italian Open. pic.twitter.com/7pHQDjFqe6
— ESPN (@espn) May 16, 2019
“Very eventful day to say the least,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram later.
“Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today, just super unfortunate that it had to end in a default. Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe.”
ESPN analyst and tennis coach Brad Gilbert wrote on Twitter: “Hopefully @ATP_Tour takes a very careful look exactly what happened in Kyrgios match, with his prior issues especially the one in China a few years ago, you wonder what they will do for fines and or suspension.”
Serial offender Kyrgios, who has a history of bad behaviour, was suspended by the ATP Tour in 2016 for tanking in a match against Mischa Zverev and insulting fans during a loss at the Shanghai Masters.
The ATP have confirmed Kyrgios will lose $33,635 in prize money from the tournament in addition to 45 ATP points, and said there’s likely be further punishment pending an investigation.
In 2015, Kyrgios insulted Stan Wawrinka with crude remarks during a match in Montreal.
He was fined $US12,500 and given a suspended 28-day ban.
He also attracted criticism for deciding not to play at the 2016 Olympics because of a spat with chef de mission Kitty Chiller.