Nick Kyrgios is pleading innocent as officials investigate his latest - and possibly unprecedented - tennis tantrum.
Returning to the scene of his infamous tanking last year that led to a ban from the world tour, Kyrgios was involved in yet another sensation at the Shanghai Masters.
Despite television footage and audio capturing the Australian hot-head telling his courtside box he'd quit after the first set in an apparent protest over the decisions of chair umpire Fergus Murphy, Kyrgios claimed he was both injured and ill.
Down 5-4 in the tie break Kyrgios heard saying: "If I lose this set I'm retiring and going home." 3 points later he walked out.— Bill Woods (@bmrwoods) October 10, 2017
"Guys, I want to apologise to the fans in Shanghai and those that watched around the world on TV today," he said in a statement after walking off after losing the first set 7-5 in a tiebreaker against American Steve Johnson.
"I've been battling a stomach bug for 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today which I think was pretty evident from the first point.
"My shoulder started to hurt in the practice today which didn't help either and once I lost the first set i was just not strong enough to continue because I have not eaten much in the past 24 hours.
"I'm hoping to be Okay for the doubles and will make a decision tomorrow morning, hopefully off a good night's sleep which I didn't get last night."
Kyrgios is partnering Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the doubles, with the pair teaming for a first-round win in Shanghai the night after Australia's No.1 lost to Rafael Nadal in the China Open final.
A huge crowd pleaser, another doubles would also delight fans and swell Kyrgios's bank account.
But it would be a bad look for the game to condone his return to the court so soon after his spectacular mid-match retreat to the locker room.
"I'm gutted to be honest as I was keen to keep the good momentum that I built in Beijing going and finish the year strong," Kyrgios said.
"I'll do what I can to make sure I do."Suggest a correction