Nick Kyrgios quits at Shanghai Masters to protest umpiring

By @saihoops on
2017 US Open, Nick Kyrgios
Aug 30, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Nick Kyrgios of Australia gestures against John Millman of Australia (not pictured) on day three of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. USA TODAY Sports / Geoff Burke

Nick Kyrgios went from the high of reaching the China Open final to a sensational first-round exit at the Shanghai Masters within the span of 48 hours. The Australian tennis star stormed off the court Tuesday after losing a first-round tie-breaker to America's Steve Johnson in the first round of the ATP Masters 1000 event.

This isn't the first instance of Kyrgios tanking or forfeiting a match. Last year, Kyrgios was accused of tanking a match against Germany's Mischa Zverev at the same event and was subsequently handed a eight-week ban from the ATP.

As aptly described by ESPN: "Kyrgios's dramatic walk-off comes a year after he was suspended from the ATP Tour for tanking at the Shanghai Masters and leaves his immediate playing future in doubt once again. The 22-year-old had received two code violations for unsportsmanlike conduct and expressed his dismay at the chair umpire for copping a point penalty during the tiebreaker."

The walk-off left the on-air commentators dumbfounded. "What is it about Shanghai and Nick Kyrgios? Emotions getting the better of him and he's off. The next chapter of the Nick Kyrgios career unfolds."

A few hours after the match, Kyrgios released a statement via twitter to apologise for his actions. "I've been battling a stomach bug for the past 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've not eaten much the past 24 hours," wrote the talented player from Canberra.

Earlier in the week, Kyrgios wrote a piece for The Players Voice, claiming to have found his "purpose" in life after the China Open finals defeat to Rafael Nadal. "What's the purpose for all this? I've been asking myself that question for the last couple of years. You've no doubt noticed that I'm not all that good at hiding the fact I'd rather be somewhere else a lot of the time. So, what have I been doing it for? I haven't had that and I've always been envious of those who did. I think I've found my purpose in the last couple of months. I'm building something."