Fergus Murphy

Kyrgios fined after 'potato' jibe at Irish umpire

Australian tennis ace Nick Kyrgios has been slugged with a record fine after abusing Irish umpire Fergus Murphy, at one stage calling him ‘a potato’.

The controversial Australian lost his cool at the Southern Open in Cincinnati after losing the second set to Russia's Karen Khachanov.

"The worst f***ing ref ever, the worst ref in the game,” the 24-year-old shouted.

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"I've never experienced anything like this in my life. It's a disgrace. It's only with you," the world No 27 told the umpire. "Why do I always have problems with this potato in the chair? He’s a spud.”

At the end of the match, which Kyrgios lost, he unleashed on Murphy again, saying: "You're a f***ing tool bro."

Fergus Murphy is one of the most experienced tennis umpires on the pro circuit.

Fergus Murphy is one of the most experienced tennis umpires on the pro circuit.

He refused to shake hands with the official and spat in his direction.

The ATP's response has been swift, outlining nine offences the 24-year-old committed, ranging from ball abuse to five counts of unsportsmanlike conduct. Four of those had a US$20,000 tariff attached to them, while his verbal abuse also cost him the same amount.

The ATP added that investigations remained ongoing to see if "additional action is warranted under the Player Major Offense section of the code" and that further fines or a suspension remained an option.

Kyrgios’ list of offences were:

  • Ball Abuse (Warning)

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Point Penalty) – US$ 20,000 fine

  • Leaving the Court – US$ 3,000 fine

  • Audible Obscenity – US$ 5,000 fine

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 5,000 fine

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine

  • Verbal Abuse – US$ 20,000 fine

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine and

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine

It is not the first time Kyrgios has clashed with the experienced Irish umpire.

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He picked up more than £13,000 in fines in one day at Queen's Club in England earlier this year, with several flash points across two matches.

Murphy was again in the firing line, with the line-calling the subject of Kyrgios' ire, and the Australian bizarrely mocked the Irish official's hat.