Certainly no stranger to controversy during his chequered career, tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios has once again set tongues wagging in the build-up to next week's Australian Open. This time it was his choice of attire that made headlines, with the 21-year-old sporting a t-shirt at a press conference in Sydney on Monday night (9 January) that was less than complimentary towards Donald Trump.
After beating Rafael Nadal 4-3, 2-4, 4-3, 4-3, 4-3 in a Fast4 Tennis exhibition match at the new ICC Sydney Theatre in Darling Harbour, Kyrgios changed into a top that portrayed the outspoken president-elect with devil horns above a not-so-subtle caption that simply read "F**k Donald Trump".
When asked about his clothing by Fox Sports Australia, the current world number 14 said: "It's pretty self-explanatory really."
Unlike three-time Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep in the aftermath of her emotive Golden Globes speech, Kyrgios has yet to be subjected to a stinging rebuke from divisive Republican Trump via his extremely active Twitter account.
Kyrgios was handed an eight-week ban from tennis and fined $25,000 (£20,579, €23,627) in October for his behavior and lack of effort at the Shanghai Masters. The tall right-hander, whose previous list of transgressions include unsportsmanlike conduct at Wimbledon, numerous swearing fines and a 28-day suspension for lewd comments regarding the girlfriend of Stan Wawrinka, had that period of absence reduced to three weeks on the condition that he "enters a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist, or an equivalent plan approved by ATP".
Canberra's Kyrgios competed alongside Daria Gavrilova at the 2017 Hopman Cup tournament in Perth last week and allayed fears over a lingering knee problem after Australia's title defence ended with a surprise defeat to the Czech Republic. While he was able to defeat Nadal, the two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist has now withdrawn from the World Tennis Challenge event that begins in Adelaide on Tuesday evening in a bid to be fit for the Australian Open.
"Nick is receiving iontophoresis treatment, which is essentially a cortisone treatment through the skin, rather than through injections, which they are trying to avoid at his age," WTC general manager David Hearne said. "It is a five-stage treatment, of which Nick has already received two stages.
"Nick has been advised to completely de-load, to give him the best chance by the weekend to have a couple of days training before the Australian Open. Although we are disappointed we understand that Nick needs to get his body right."