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Kyrgios hits back at Rafter over suspension comments - 'Enjoy staying relevant champ'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 18 Sep 2019
  • Kyrgios responds to Rafter on Twitter
  • Rafter earlier this week said he was confused as to why Kyrgios hadn't been suspended yet
Nick Kyrgios (PA Images)

Nick Kyrgios has returned serve at Pat Rafter after the former Davis Cup captain expressed his bewilderment over why he hasn’t been suspended due to his long history of controversial incidents on tour.

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Kyrgios is currently under investigation for a pair of separate blow-ups during the U.S. Open Series, including branding Irish umpire Fergus Murphy a ‘f***ing tool’ after a loss in Cincinnati and labelling the ATP as ‘pretty corrupt’ for the subsequent hefty fine he received during a press conference at the U.S. Open.

The Australian was also defaulted from a match at the Rome Masters in May after throwing a chair across the court.

Between the outbursts, Kyrgios has produced some scintillating tennis to win two ATP 500 titles in Acapulco and Washington, beating the likes of Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Stan Wawrinka during those runs.

Crowds have flocked to see Kyrgios all over the world due to his unpredictable nature and for the entertainment he undoubtedly brings to the sport - whatever your opinion is of his behaviour - and Rafter believes his box office traits that shouldn’t stop the ATP from suspending him.

“It’s an interesting one. I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened,” Rafter said on Monday during the ATP Cup launch in Sydney when asked if Kyrgios should be suspended. “But there’s obviously something else going on behind the scenes (that) I don’t know. On paper, it looks like he should be suspended to me.
“He draws a crowd, but at what stage do you say is the crowd more important or are you trying to uphold a certain protocol and a standard for the players to adhere to,” Rafter added.

Kyrgios and Rafter had a falling out when the latter was the Davis Cup captain a few years ago and there’s seemingly still bad blood between the pair.

Currently in Geneva preparing to represent Team World in the Laver Cup later this week, Kyrgios hit back at Rafter’s comments on Twitter.



“Probably because everywhere I play the stadiums are sold out, and the event makes money with me around?” Kyrgios wrote. “Not surprised Rafter has commented on this topic, guy loves hanging fellow Aussies out to dry. Enjoy staying relevant champ.”

Gayle David Bradshaw, the ATP Executive Vice President, Rules & Competition, is the man who will be responsible for handing down the verdict on Kyrgios.

Bradshaw was also in Sydney for the ATP Cup launch on Monday and will begin his decision-making process later this week upon his return to Florida.

It’s believed Kyrgios faces anything between a complete exoneration or up to a 12-month ban for his antics.


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Kyrgios hits back at Rafter over suspension comments - "Enjoy staying relevant champ"

Nick Kyrgios has returned serve at Pat Rafter after the former Davis Cup captain expressed his bewilderment over why he hasn’t been suspended due to his long history of controversial incidents on tour.

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