Nick Kyrgios opts for NBA All-Star weekend over tennis tournament

Nick Kyrgios has had his contract to compete at next year’s ATP Tour event in Rotterdam cancelled so he can take part in the NBA All-Star weekend.

The Australian had committed to the ABN Amro tournament in February, but it seems there are things he’d rather be doing.

Kyrgios is currently suspended from the Tour having failed to give his best effort in a match in Shanghai last week, where he rolled in underwhelming serves which had some questioning his appetite for the game.

The 21-year-old has made it clear basketball is his big passion, and ABN Amro Tournament director Richard Krajicek has agreed to cancel his contract so he can play in a celebrity match on February 19, the same day as the final in Rotterdam.

The latest controversy of Kyrgios’ chequered career came during his second-round match in China last week against Mischa Zverev, after he became involved in heated exchanges with the umpire on his way to a 6-3 6-1 loss.

The ATP responded by suspending Kyrgios for eight weeks and fining him 41,500 US dollars (£34,000), but Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon champion, has some sympathy, telling the Nederlandse Omroep Stichting: “We wanted to hold him to his contract.”

(Julio Cortez/AP)
Krajicek continued: “You see what can happen when he is tired and (tennis) has little meaning, as in China. We do not want that. So we decided to terminate his contract. We want a top tennis player seen on the court. Kyrgios prefers his passion beyond his profession.

“If every week he is focused on tennis, he might be mentally burned out after six months. He needs an outlet.”

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