Nick Kyrgios provides explanation for Shanghai Masters walk-off

WATCH: Uninjured Kyrgios quits mid-match in Shanghai

WATCH: Uninjured Kyrgios quits mid-match in Shanghai

A year ago the Australian was handed a ban by the ATP Tour for showing a lack of effort against Mischa Zverev and arguing with the umpire and fans.

Runner-up to world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the China Open final, Kyrgios had been making a run towards the season-ending World Tour Finals before handing Johnson a mid-match walkover.

Kyrgios could find himself in hot water again if he does not have a legitimate explanation for his decision to retire after losing the first set of his opening-round match 7-5 on a tie-break.

He and Johnson were both comfortable on their serves and they went into the tie break with signs Kyrgios was beginning to lose his cool.

"Guys, I want to apologise to the fans in Shanghai and those that watched around the world on TV today", he said in a statement after walking off after losing the first set 7-5 in a tiebreaker against American Steve Johnson.

Yifan Ding via Getty Images Nick Kyrgios leaves the court after retiring from the Men's singles match against Steve Johnson at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

This isn't the first instance of Kyrgios tanking or forfeiting a match.

"I've been battling a stomach bug for the past 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today which I think was pretty evident from the first point", Kyrgios said.

He continued to argue the toss with the official who eventually awarded a penalty point against the Australian during the changeover when he trailed 2-5, meaning he began the eighth game already 0-15 behind. His shoulder had also started to hurt that day while practicing.

Earlier, Kyrgios had angrily blasted a ball out of the court after a video replay decision proved him correct. "It felt like Atlanta in August. He played well, I played awful".

Juan Martin del Potro also made the third round, with the Argentine 16th seed seeing off the challenge of young Russian Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4.

Marin Cilic faced a tricky opponent in Kyle Edmund, but the fourth seed had more than just the world number 53 to contend with as conditions proved hard for both players.

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