Kyrgios chooses NBA All-Star Celebrity Match over ATP event

By Tom Webber 12 January 2017 171
Kyrgios chooses NBA All-Star Celebrity Match over ATP event

Suspended tennis player Nick Kyrgios will not feature at the 2017 Rotterdam Open in order to participate in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Kyrgios has come under the spotlight for a perceived lack of professionalism and commitment to the sport due to his on-court antics.

The Australian is currently serving an eight-tournament-week ban after he was deemed to have committed a 'major offence which was conduct contrary to the integrity of the game' by the ATP during a defeat to Mischa Zverez at the Shanghai Masters.

Kyrgios could have his suspension reduced to just three tournament weeks if he agrees to enter a plan of care under a sports psychologist, which Tennis Australia confirmed he will do.

Regardless of how long he is banned for, the 21-year-old would have been eligible to take part in the Rotterdam Open next February.

However, tournament director Richard Kraijcek felt it would not have been worthwhile to force Kyrgios to participate when he had the chance to take part in the NBA match.

"Kyrgios is a big NBA fan and the chance to be on the court with Michael Jordan is unique for him," said Kraijcek in a statement.

"We do not think it makes much sense to have him on our court if he is not 100 per cent motivated.

"With a field which already includes [Stan] Wawrinka, [Rafael] Nadal, [Dominic] Thiem and [Robin] Haase we think we have enough quality on show."

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Tom Webber