Roger Federer thinks Nick Kyrgios should be spared suspension by ATP tour bosses looking into the Australian’s chair-tossing outburst.
The 20 time grand slam champion suggested a fine and points penalty should be punishment enough for Kyrgios’ ill-tempered display.
ATP officials said the 24-year-old would be docked 20,000 euro (£17,477) for unsportsmanlike conduct over the incident, as well as forfeiting 45 ranking points and 33,635 euro (£29,392) in prize money.
The Australian exploded during his second-round match against Norway’s Casper Ruud at the Italian Open on Thursday.
After being handed a game penalty in the deciding set – apparently for swearing – the world number 36 slammed his racket into the clay, kicked a water bottle then hurled a folding chair on to the court.
Qualifier Ruud said: “I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks he should be suspended for at least half a year.”
In 2016 Kyrgios was banned for eight tournament weeks and fined after walking off court midway through a match against Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters.
During his press conference after winning two matches in Rome, Federer was asked if Kyrgios should be temporarily barred from competing for his latest controversy.
“I don’t think he should be suspended, personally, because he walked off the court,” said the Swiss.
“What did he do? He hurt a chair? I don’t know. It’s not enough for me. I don’t know if he’s on probation or not from his Shanghai thing or not, if that’s the case then obviously maybe it can be looked into.
“But if that’s run its course I don’t think he should be suspended. I think a zero-pointer, a fine – all this stuff is already tough enough and he knows it’s a mistake what happened.”
Writing on Instagram, Kyrgios said Thursday had been “very eventful to say to the least”.
He added: “Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today, just super unfortunate that it had to end in a default Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe.”
His antics in Italy came only 24 hours after he laid into the sport’s biggest stars in an interview on the No Challenges Remaining podcast, saying he “could not stand” Djokovic and calling Nadal “super salty”.