Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has been fined $16,500 for tanking his match and arguing with a fan Thursday at the Shanghai Masters.
He received the maximum $10,000 fine for showing a “lack of best efforts” during his second-round loss to Mischa Zverev, as well as $5,000 for verbal abuse of a spectator and $1,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
When people bought tickets to the event, they probably did so in hopes of seeing some quality tennis. Instead, during Kyrgios’ 6-3, 6-1 loss to Zverev, they saw this:
Three days after winning his third title of the season at the Japan Open, Kyrgios was phoning it in — and just barely at that.
“It was just tough,” the 21-year-old player said after the match. “Obviously I played a lot of matches in a row. Physically tired, mentally tired.”
He added: “Just took the easy way out tonight and obviously didn’t show up at all.”
At one point during the match, chair umpire Ali Nili scolded Kyrgios, telling him, “This is a professional tournament; you have to act like a professional.”
Fans took notice and started booing the lack of effort. One of them shouted, “Respect the game!” and “Respect the people!”
Kyrgios yelled back: “You wanna come here and play? Sit down and shut up and watch.”
After the match, he made several observations about the crowd and its reaction:
— “I feel like if they knew what they were talking about, they’d be on the tennis court and being successful as well.”
— “I can’t really understand it at all. They don’t know what I’m going through, so no, I don’t understand it.”
— “I don’t owe them anything. It’s my choice. If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch. Just leave.”
— “If you’re so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren’t you as good as me? Why aren’t you on the tour?”
— “You want to buy a ticket? Come watch me. You know I’m unpredictable. It’s your choice. I don’t owe you anything. Doesn’t affect how I sleep at night.”
Zverev defended Kyrgios after the match.
“You reach a point where you’re mentally tired, and some people react one way, some people react a different way,” he said. “It doesn’t say anything about whether he’s professional or not.”
Zverev added: “Would Federer behave like that? Probably not. But [Kyrgios] has a creative mind. He’s top-15, 16 in the world, so he’s doing something right.”
Oct. 13, 7 a.m.: This article was updated after Kyrgios was fined for his behavior during the Shanghai Masters. Also, the date of the match has been changed from Wednesday to Thursday.
This article was originally published Oct. 12 at 12:20 p.m.