SHANGHAI – Temperamental Australian Nick Kyrgios was fined $10 000 and lost another $21 085 in prize money on Wednesday after storming off midway through his first-round match at the Shanghai Masters.
World number one Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, raced into the third round in just 54 minutes as he attempts to win one of the rare tournaments that has eluded him.
But it was the 22-year-old Kyrgios who was again in the spotlight following what was just his latest controversy on Tuesday.
The ATP said it had fined Kyrgios for unsportsmanlike conduct, and he will not collect his prize money because he failed to get signed off for a medical after retiring from his match.
Kyrgios’ time at the Shanghai Masters is over after he also pulled out of his scheduled doubles match with Frenchman Lucas Pouille on Wednesday.
He apologised after walking off court on Tuesday, having lost the first-set tie break to the American Steve Johnson.
In a statement posted on Twitter a few hours later, he said that he had a “stomach bug” and had hurt his shoulder. The tweet later appeared to have been deleted.
It was a nasty case of déjà vu for the world number 21 – a year ago he argued with spectators and was accused of giving away points in a defeat at the same Shanghai event.
The talented but fiery Kyrgios was consequently fined and suspended.
His immediate future in tennis is again under threat following Tuesday’s incident, when he hastily exited the court with jeers and boos ringing in his ears.
It came after he complained about the umpire and spectators in the arena, and was docked a point penalty for the second match running because of his conduct, which included blasting a ball out of the court in a flash of rage.
“What’s happening here?” he asked, seemingly irritated by spectators moving around between points in the tie break.
“Exactly why I shouldn’t come here,” he muttered.
Kyrgios appeared to blame the umpire for failing to get the spectators in line, and his afternoon worsened fast when he received a point penalty.
“Poor officiating again,” Kyrgios complained, and added: “Sick of this place.”
If Nadal was fast in dumping out the American Jared Donaldson, rising star Alexander Zverev was even faster. He was on court for just 12 minutes when Britain’s Aljaz Bedene retired hurt.
The unseeded Bedene was losing 4-0 in the first set when he called it quits because of a leg injury.
The 20-year-old Zverev, the German prodigy who is seeking his sixth title of a breakthrough season, joins sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov in the third round.
But the Bulgarian had an almighty scare and saved three match points before pulling through 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) against the American Ryan Harrison.
Also through in Shanghai, where matches were forced indoors because of the rain, were Gilles Simon of France and Sam Querrey of the United States.