Kyrgios fined $113,000 for Cincinnati meltdown, faces suspension

Nick Kyrgios of Australia wipes his face between points while playing Karen Khachanov of Russia during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio. (AFP)
Updated 15 August 2019
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Kyrgios fined $113,000 for Cincinnati meltdown, faces suspension

  • The ATP said the massive sanction included individual fines for ball abuse, leaving the court without permission, an audible obscenity and unsportsmanlike conduct
  • Kyrgios also had a run-in with Umpire Murphy at Queen’s Club in June after he accused a line judge of match-rigging and was given a code violation

CINCINNATI: Controversial Australian star Nick Kyrgios was Thursday fined $113,000 (101,701 euros) after his explosive Cincinnati Masters meltdown which saw him smash two racquets, launch an abusive tirade at the chair umpire before appearing to spit at the official.
The ATP said the massive sanction included individual fines for ball abuse, leaving the court without permission, an audible obscenity and unsportsmanlike conduct during his second round loss to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.
Kyrgios, 24, was warned that he could also face another suspension from the sport once a full investigation has taken place.
After the world number 27 lost 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to Khachanov on Wednesday night, he called umpire Fergus Murphy a “f***in’ tool,” refused to shake his hand while spitting in the direction of the chair.
He had earlier been handed a time violation, docked a point and was warned again after leaving the court without permission at the end of the second set after which he was seen to destroy two racquets in the corridor.
Kyrgios screamed at Murphy that he was the “worst umpire, hands down.”
The various Kyrgios infractions included four fines of $20,000 each for unsportsmanlike conduct plus another $20,000 for verbal abuse.
“In addition to the on-site fines, the ATP is looking further into what happened during and immediately after the match to see if additional action is warranted,” said an ATP statement.
“That could result in an additional fine and/or suspension.”
Kyrgios also had a run-in with Murphy at Queen’s Club in June after he accused a line judge of “match-rigging” and was given a code violation by the umpire.
At the Italian Open in Rome on the eve of Roland Garros, he was disqualified and fined for throwing a chair on to court.
He has also been at loggerheads with the world’s top two players, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal this year.
He accused Djokovic of trying too hard to be liked and blasted the Serb’s post-match “cup of love” celebrations as “cringeworthy.”
After beating Nadal in Acapulco earlier this year, the Spaniard said the Australian “lacked respect.”
The pair met in a bad-tempered Wimbledon second round match in which Kyrgios admitted deliberately spearing a forehand directly at Nadal.
“Why would I apologize? I mean, the dude has got how many slams, how much money in the bank account?” said Kyrgios after his four-set defeat.
“I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I’m not going to apologize to him at all.”
For good measure, Kyrgios picked up a code violation for unsportsmanlike behavior and described the umpire as a “disgrace,” claiming his handling of the Center Court blockbuster as “pathetic” for failing to warn the Spaniard over what he claimed was his pedestrian pace of play.
In 2015, in one of his more notorious outbursts, Kyrgios was fined for making a sexually disparaging remark in Canada about the girlfriend of three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka.
The following year, he was banned for eight weeks after being accused of not trying at the Shanghai Masters.


Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

Updated 15 September 2019
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Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

  • Tokyo is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games
  • Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games

TOKYO: The mayor of a town in northeastern Japan that will host Olympic soccer games says his city has received no funding from the central government that has promised to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to help in the reconstruction of the region.

The Japanese government and Tokyo 2020 organizers are hoping to use the Olympics to showcase Japan’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Several Olympic events, including soccer and baseball, will be held in northeastern Japan.

But with less than a year to go before the opening ceremony, Yutaka Kumagai, the mayor of Rifu in Miyagi Prefecture, says his city has seen no funding from the central government.

“There is no help from the government, we don’t have any budget from them, none,” Kumagai said on Saturday. “Tokyo 2020 is said to be a symbol of the reconstruction but when it comes to the budget, we don’t have any budget from the Olympic games here in Rifu.”

Kumagai made the comments during a media tour of Miyagi Stadium, a 49,000-seat facility in Rifu that will host men’s and women’s football at the 2020 Olympics.

About 50,000 people are still displaced in the Tohoku region as of August, according to the Reconstruction Agency. Yoshiaki Suda, the mayor of Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, concurred with Kumagai. Like Rifu, Onagawa is a coastal city that sustained heavy destruction.

“We haven’t received any subsidy, even one yen, from the central government,” Suda said. “Whatever we do for the venues, for the hospitality for the Olympics, we have to do ourselves.”

Some media reports have made the claim that the Olympics have hampered the reconstruction efforts, taking workers away from the region to help with construction in Tokyo.

Japan is one of the most earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas in the world. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 quake offshore caused a tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The quake and tsunami heavily damaged coastal neighborhoods in northeastern Japan and took more than 18,000 lives.

Tokyo, which projected total costs of about $7.5 billion in its winning bid for the games in 2013, is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games.

A group of anti-Olympic activists, many from outside Japan, have held small protests and other events this summer under the Japanese title “Han-gorin no Kai” — which translates roughly to No Olympics. They oppose Olympic spending, which they say cuts into budgets for housing and environmental issues.

They also call for more money to rebuild Fukushima prefecture located northeast of Tokyo. Organizers say Fukushima is a main focus of the Olympics, staging baseball, softball and soccer games there to persuade the world the area is safe.

Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games. In August, Tokyo’s summer heat forced an Olympic women’s triathlon qualifying event to be shortened because of high temperatures that are likely to impact next year’s games.

Tsunekazu Takeda, the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was forced to quit earlier this year when he was implicated in a vote-buying scheme to land the games. He has denied wrongdoing, but acknowledged he signed off on about $2 million that French investigators allege went to buy votes.