FILE - Australia's Nick Kyrgios of Eagles returns the ball to Grigor Dimitrov of Falcons during a match of Day 3 of the World Tennis League at Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Dec. 21, 2022. Photo: AP
The comments from Kyrgios, widely published in Australia on Thursday based on interviews for the upcoming Netflix documentary series “Break Point,” are the latest on his longtime struggles with mental health.
He went to a hospital in London to “figure out my problems” after the loss to Rafael Nadal four years ago at Wimbledon, where he wore a compression sleeve over his right arm during his singles matches to conceal his scars.
“I was genuinely contemplating suicide,” Kyrgios said, in comments published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “I lost at Wimbledon. I woke up and my dad was sitting on the bed, full-blown crying. That was the big wake-up call for me.
“I was like ‘OK, I can’t keep doing this.’ I ended up in a psych ward in London to figure out my problems.”
Kyrgios said he was “drinking, abusing drugs” and his relationships with family and friends were deteriorating.
“That pressure, having that all-eyes-on-you expectation, I couldn’t deal with it,” he said. “I hated the kind of person I was.”
Kyrgios, who has previously discussed his mental health struggles on social media and in interviews, has spent many months on the sidelines with injuries since reaching the 2022 Wimbledon final, which he lost to Novak Djokovic.
He returned to the elite tour this week at Stuttgart after seven months off, but lost in the first round.
In February, he apologized in an Australian court when he escaped conviction on a charge of common assault after pleading guilty to shoving a former girlfriend to the ground in 2021.
Kyrgios’ psychologist, Sam Borenstein, said in a written report and testimony that Kyrgios had suffered major depressive episodes around the time of the assault and had used alcohol and drugs to cope. Kyrgios’ mental health led to impulsive and reckless behavior.
A magistrate did not record a conviction against Kyrgios for reasons including that the offense was at the low end of seriousness for a common assault, was not premeditated and he had no criminal record.
Immediately after the court ruling, Kyrgios issued a statement through a management company saying: “I was not in a good place when this took place and I reacted to a difficult situation in a way I deeply regret. I know it wasn’t OK and I’m sincerely sorry for the hurt I caused.”
“Mental health is tough. Life can seem overwhelming,” he added in the statement. “But I’ve found that getting help and working on myself has helped me to feel better and to be better.”
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