Australian professional tennis player Nick Kyrgios has admitted “emotions got the better of me” after forfeiting his second-round match with Norwegian Casper Ruud at the Italian Open.
The 24-year-old was in the deciding set when he was given a game penalty, reportedly for swearing, to trail 2-1.
Kyrgios then kicked a bottle, threw down his racquet, hurled a chair on the court, picked up his bag and walked off.
Consequently, he was fined 20,000 euros (£17,461) for unsportsmanlike conduct and also lost his prize money.
In addition to the prize money of £29,366, he forfeited the 45 ranking points gained during the tournament and was told to cover the costs of his hospitality.
In his reaction, the player remorsefully wrote: “Very eventful day to say to the least. Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today, just super unfortunate that it had to end in default.
“Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe.”
Kyrgios has a history of fines for poor behaviour on court and in March clashed with a fan at the Miami Open.
Kyrgios has history of explosive behaviour on the pitch, earlier this week he served underarm during victory over Daniil Medvedev, while his actions on Thursday came as it emerged he told a podcast interview that he “could not stand” Novak Djokovic – who he described as “cringeworthy” – and called Rafael Nadal “super salty”.
During an interview In Kyrgios, said he was talking to psychologists to address mental health issues, branded Roger Federer the “greatest of all time”, he went in on Nadal, calling the Spaniard his “polar opposite”.
But he had nicer things to say about Britain’s Andy Murray, currently out of the game following hip surgery.
“It sucks not seeing him around here, in the locker room he was the best,” he said.
Reacting to the fine imposed on Kyrgios, Norwegian Ruud said he thought Kyrgios had “got what he deserved,” adding that he believes the ATP, which governs men’s tennis, should now take action.
“He thinks he can do what he likes,” Ruud added.
“He was getting more and angrier. There’s been a lot of talk about it with other players.
“I think there should be some hard punishment; there’s been some other stuff as well. He should be suspended for at least six months.”
For Federer, a suspension was warranted: “He walked off the court. What did he do? Did he hurt a chair? I mean, that’s not enough for me.
“A zero pointer, fine, all this stuff is already tough enough. He knows it’s a mistake what happened.”