Bad boy Nick Kyrgios is set to comply with tennis chiefs’ demand that he sees a psychologist in order to avoid a ban from the sport that would keep him out until next year.
The measure is part of a second wave of sanctions for the Australian’s behaviour last week at the Shanghai Masters, where he appeared to stop trying during his defeat to German Mischa Zverev.
World No14 Kyrgios was fined $16,500 (£13,500) for “tanking” – deliberately losing – and a subsequent post-match outburst.
ATP Tour bosses on Monday levied a further $25,000 (£20,500 fine) and issued an eight-week ban, but agreed to cut the suspension to three weeks if Kyrgios agreed to “enter a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist”.
Tennis Australia indicated the 21-year-old would agree to do so, meaning he could return to action as soon as 7 November.
“Nick is a phenomenal talent,” said ATP chairman Chris Kermode. “Our hope is that he uses his time away from the tour constructively and, with some support, is able to return to competition with an improved mind-set and stronger than ever before.”
Kyrgios earlier issued an apology for his conduct in Shanghai, without mentioning whether he would accept the ATP’s terms.
“I do understand and respect the decision by the ATP and I will use this time off to improve on and off the court,” he said. “I am truly sorry and look forward to returning in 2017.”
Konta's WTA Finals lifeline
Britain’s Johanna Konta has been given renewed hope of qualifying for the WTA Finals after world No1 Serena Williams withdrew with a persistent shoulder injury.
Konta is a the first reserve for the season-ending event in Singapore next week but is herself a doubt with an abdominal injury that forced her to abandon the Hong Kong Open last week.
Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro and Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova could yet overtake Konta as Williams’ replacement if either win the Kremlin Cup in Moscow this week.