Over-the-top Stefanos Tsitsipas could find himself in the ATP sin bin along with Nick Kyrgios after his bad boy racquet smash at the ATP Cup slightly injured his father/coach.
Team captain Apostolos Tsitsipas was sitting courtside at the Greek tie against Australia in Brisbane when his world No. 6 son erupted with a racquet smash while heading to the bench; fragments struck the elder Tsitsipas on the left arm and he immediately retreated to safe ground in the nearby team zone.
Meanwhile, Tsitsipas’ mother Julia came immediately down from her own seat to give her son a stern maternal rebuke.
With Kyrgios watching from the other side of the set – and maintaining his cool due to his own current probationary period from the ATP – the Aussie later admitted he took it all in as a spectator only due to his precarious disciplinary status.
The 24-year-old is on warning that one more infraction is almost certain to result in a temporary ban from the sport.
“I am on probation, so I got to stay in check. I’m trying, I’m trying (to be a good boy),” Kyrgios said after a 7-6(7), 6-7(3), 7-6(5) win.
Kyrgios is under a cloud after copping a $115,000 fine for a blow-up on court last August in Cincinnati; his every step is being watched by ATP officials.
Tsitsipas blustered through after his racquet incident, emphasising he’s still pleased with his form heading into the January 20 start of the Australian Open.
” It happened accidentally. I didn’t mean to do it and straight away forgot about it and moved on from there,” the Greek said. adding: “Maybe I’ll stay in my room for three days, grounded by my father.”
Greek exited the competition with a 1-2 group record.
While Tsitsipas heads onwards to Melbourne – he is set for the Kooyong Classic exhibition next week – Kyrgios and Australia will compete in the ATP Cup knockout stage in Sydney.
“I feel good with my game,” Tsitsipas said, “The only thing that might concern me a little bit is when I in close matches I feel like I’ve lost this competitiveness within me.
“It’s probably a few technical issues that I have to work on and…work on my tactics more.”
Australia face Britain in a quarter-final on Thursday morning in Sydney.