Nick Kyrgios accused of match-fixing by former NRL stars

By @saihoops on
Nick Kyrgios
Tennis - China Open - Men's Singles Finals - Beijing, China - October 8, 2017 - Nick Kyrgios of Australia sits on the bench during a change of ends as he plays against Rafael Nadal of Spain. Reuters / Thomas Peter

Nick Kyrgios has been lambasted by former National Rugby League (NRL) stars Matthew Johns and Mark Geyer, who have accused the Australian tennis star of match-fixing. Kyrgios stormed off the court on Tuesday after losing a first-round tie-breaker to America's Steve Johnson at the Shanghai Masters. 

Kyrgios was playing in the first-round of the ATP Masters 1000 event, barely 48 hours after losing to World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the final of the China Open in Beijing. Despite Kyrgios' up-and-down year, several analysts felt the 22-year-old Aussie was finally taking positive strides and was en route to sustained success. 

However, Tuesday's incident has once again raised grave concerns about Kyrgios' mental health and his determination to represent Australian tennis at the world stage. Last year, he was accused of tanking a match against Germany's Mischa Zverev at the same event in Shanghai and was subsequently banned for eight weeks.

NRL legends rip Nick Kyrgios apart for latest walk out

Johns and Geyer, viewed as legends in the world of NRL, didn't mince their words while discussing Kyrgios during a radio appearance on Thursday morning. “It’s embarrassing behaviour. It’s offensive, the deliberate lack of effort from this individual. That (walking away from a match) is bulls***. This bloke ... it’s just disgraceful behaviour. People pay good money to watch this match. He tells supporters courtside that if he loses the first set he’s going to walk off, does it, then tries to go and apologise on Twitter saying he’s got a tummy bug. Please," Johns told Triple M, via news.com.au

Geyer had a different take on the situation and flat out accused Kyrgios of being involved in a match-fixing racket. “It’s even pushing the boundaries of match-fixing. If some people are hearing him say that ... it’s in match-fixing territory. My favourite player growing up was John McEnroe. I hate when people compare Nick Kyrgios to him. McEnroe never walked off the court after losing a set and said ‘I’ve got a stomach ache’. He was a brat, but he was a really good brat who won a lot of tournaments. Kyrgios has got no intestinal fortitude.”

Nick Kyrgios has been slapped with a AU$40,000 fine from the ATP for staging a walk-off against Steve Johnson at the Shanghai Masters. Though Kyrgios took to Twitter and cited a stomach bug for his premature exit, tennis analysts the world are running out of sympathy for the mercurial Australian.

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