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Nick Kyrgios Crosses The Line • 113,000 Times Over • In Cincinnati Loss To Khachanov

By Ricky Dimon

In small doses, you can argue that Nick Kyrgios is good for tennis. He is wildly entertaining (for better or worse!), plays at a speed that keeps fans engaged, and his natural talent is off the charts.

Unfortunately for Kyrgios–and for tennis–he does not come in small doses. It has gotten to the point where he is out of control all of the time. Even in Washington, D.C., a tournament he won two weeks ago, the 24-year-old still made more headlines for his bad behavior than he did for his good play.

He definitely did not come in small doses in Cincinnati. And it’s a tournament he definitely did not win.

Kyrgios maintained his fine tennis form from D.C. and got through his opener against Lorenzo Sonego with minimal fuss. But the volatile Australian went completely off the rails on Wednesday night against Karen Khachanov.

It started to go haywire well before the match even started, when none other than Fergus Murphy was assigned be the chair umpire for this contest. It was an assignment that neither Fergus, Nick, or the entire tennis world will soon forget. No one had forgotten the previous incidents between the player and umpire this summer at Queen’s Club and in D.C. But those incidents, insults, and Kyrgios instigation paled in comparison to what transpired in Cincinnati.

With Murphy manning the chair, it was a predictable circus. Kyrgios got a first warning for ball abuse. He got a second violation (point penalty) for unsportsmanlike conduct (insulting the chair umpire). Wanting to avoid a third violation (game penalty) but also wanting two destroy two rackets, Kyrgios left the court to do the deed. But he failed to leave the court in a timely manner after the second set, only deciding to leave once his window of opportunity had passed. Thus he left the court without being allowed to and pulverized two rackets in the hallway. 

Not knowing quite what to do, Fergus got on his radio and told a supervisor, “He left with two rackets and came back with two broken rackets.”

Somehow, Kyrgios avoided a game penalty.

The third set, unsurprisingly, was a disaster–complete with tanking, more insults, and more expletives.

That is nothing new for Nick, but what happened following the merciful end of his 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-2 loss to Khachanov crossed the line. Even by Kyrgios’ standards it was bad. After a decent embrace with the Russian that Kyrgios probably did not deserve, he obviously declined to shake Fergus’ hand and instead called him a “f—— tool” while spitting in his direction.

I’m sorry; I sometimes root for Nick because–as stated earlier–his is occasionally entertaining and the longer he sticks around at tournaments the greater his entertainment value. But calling a chair umpire a “f—— tool” and spitting in his direction is grounds for suspension. Even if it was a first-rime offense, that would be the case. And to say Nick is NOT a first-time offender would be the grossest of understatements.

He WAS fined. And fined heavily. $113,000 to be exact, for:

– ball abuse

– unsportsmanlike conduct

-leaving the court

-audible obscenity

-unsportsmanlike conduct

-unsportsmanlike conduct

-verbal abuse

-unsportsmanlike conduct

-unsportsmanlike conduct

Count ’em up. That’s NINE code violations. Nine code violations in a single match. That’s a flat-out suspension for anyone…ESPECIALLY for Kyrgios.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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