Nick Kyrgios has been put on probation for six months. The question is, can he stay out of trouble for that long?
The Australian firebrand was disciplined by international tennis' governing body, the ATP, for his grubby sledge against Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka earlier this month.
After losing the first set, Kyrgios was heard to say “Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend, sorry to tell you that mate”. The comment made crude reference to his friend and fellow Australian player Thanasi Kokkinakis and 19 year-old-Croatian player Donna Vekic, with whom Wawrinka had been linked romantically
The overall decision out of the review is that Kyrgios will incur no further penalty on the condition he keeps out of trouble for a period of six months.
If he does transgress again, there will be a fine and an automatic one-month ban from the tour competition.
With the U.S. Open looming just a week away it can only be hoped that Kyrgios thinks seriously about this latest warning and concentrates purely on playing tennis of the calibre for which he has become famous.
Gayle David Bradshaw from the ATP said Kyrgios had expressed regret over the incident and hoped he would learn from this latest incident.
She said he needs to “understand he is responsible to the tour and to fellow players for both his actions and his words”.
Former Australian tennis champion and Davis Cup captain, now Tennis Australia’s Director of Performance, Pat Rafter said Kyrgios still had a lot of growing up to do.
“Nick is struggling with trying to find out who he is and how he fits into the big scheme of things and can he be his own personality," Rafter said told radio station WS FM101.7.
"At this stage, it’s not working very well for him.
“He’s got to try and find out if he can get that balance right because if he doesn’t he’ll do really bad damage to himself.”
Six months in professional sport may not seem long but it will incorporate two grand slams -- the US Open and, more importantly, the Australian Open -- and the whole summer of Australian tennis.
Kyrgios will be mistaken if he thinks a home crowd will continue to support his playing prowess and talent if this other side of his game continues to be on display.
Currently ranked 37 in the world, there is no doubt the next six months will be a testing time and a steep learning curve for the young Australian.
Kyrgios may have to look at his motivation for playing professional tennis if he continues on what can only be seen as his current path of professional self-destruction.Suggest a correction