Nick Kyrgios Quits Shanghai Match In Controversy

Nick Kyrgios (zimbio.com)

Once again the Shanghai Masters has proven to be a place of nightmares for Nick Kyrgios after he retired in anger during his first round match against Steve Johnson.

During an evenly contested opening set, there was little to distinguish between both players with no breaks of serve occurring going into a tiebreaker. In was during the tiebreaker where Kyrgios grew visibly frustrated with the umpire. Leading 4-3, he was given a point-penalty for an audible obscenity after earlier hitting a ball out of the court. The Australian World No.21 appeared frustrated with the umpires management of the crowd, who was seen moving around whilst points were being played.

“This stuff is normal? What is he doing?” Kyrgios shouted towards his camp whilst pointing to the umpire. “He didn’t say anything when it was happening, nothing.”

The mood of the controversy-stricken player continued to deteriorate. On TennisTV, a microphone heard him threatening to quit the match if he loses the tiebreaker.

“If I lose this now, I’m retiring and go home.” He mumbled.

Staying true to his work, Kyrgios walked to the net after dropping the tiebreak 7-5, drawing boos from the crowd. Meanwhile, Johnson was left confused by the unexpected outcome of the match.

The latest high-profile incident is a case of deja vu for Kyrgios. Just 12 months ago, he made headlines at the same tournament for seemingly tanking during his match against Germany’s Mischa Zverev. That incident resulted in him being slammed with a brief suspension from the sport due to unsportsmanlike conduct.

Kyrgios retirement has occurred three days after he reached the final of the China Open. During the final, which he lost in straight sets to Rafael Nadal, the Australian also received a point-penalty after a series of heated exchanges with the umpire.

UPDATE

Following his retirement, Kyrgios has posted a public apology in a statement uploaded to his Twitter account. In it, he explained that his withdrawal was due to him ‘feeling unwell.’ Furthermore, the 21-year-old also revealed that he has been experiencing pain in his shoulder during a practice session earlier in the day.

“I’ve been battling a stomach bug for the past 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today which I think was pretty evident from the first point,” he wrote.
“My shoulder started to hurt in the practice today which didn’t help either and once I lost the first set I was just not strong enough to continue because I’ve not eaten much the past 24 hours.”

Kyrgios made no comment about the match umpire, instead revealing that he could still play in the doubles draw in Shanghai depending on how he feels the next day. Kyrgios is paired up with France’s Lucas Pouille this week.

It is understood that the ATP have launched a formal investigation into the matter, but they are yet to make a public comment.

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