Nick Kyrgios has called for people who are struggling to talk to someone, opening up on one of the darkest period of his life when his tennis was at its best.
Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has revealed he self-harmed during the 2020 Australian Open, labelling the period of time “one of my darkest periods”.
Kyrgios has long been a controversial figure in tennis and has been a lightning rod for criticism as many believe his prodigious talent has gone unfulfilled.
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Now Kyrgios is a grand slam men’s doubles champion alongside childhood mate Thanasi Kokkinakis at this year’s Australian Open.
But while Kyrgios has appeared to shrug off criticism in the past, the tennis star has revealed that one of his best grand slam results came when he was at his lowest.
In 2020, Kyrgios made the fourth round of the Australian Open, before being ousted in four-sets by Rafael Nadal.
At the time, Nadal was ranked No. 1 while Kyrgios was seeded 23.
While the Spaniard claimed the victory, he also earned great respect from Nadal, who praised the Aussie for his performance to make the fourth round for the third round. Kyrgios’ best Australian Open result was a quarterfinal in 2015, while he also made the fourth round in 2018.
But while Kyrgios was flying on the court, he revealed that off the court it was a different story.
Sharing a picture from before the Nadal match, Kyrgios pointed to marks on his arm as evidence of self harm, while calling for people who are struggling to seek help.
“This was me 3 years ago at the Australian Open,” he began. “Most would assume I was doing ok mentally or enjoying my life … it was one of my darkest periods.
“If you look closely, on my right arm you can see my self harm. I was having suicidal thoughts and was literally struggling to get out of bed, let alone play in front of millions. I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family & friends. I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone.
“This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive.
“I know that day to day life can seem extremely exhausting, impossible at times. I understand that you feel if you open up it may make you feel weak, or scared. I’m telling you right now, it’s OK, you are not alone. I’ve been through those times when it seemed as if those positive energetic vibes were never ever going to be reality. Please, don’t feel as if you are alone, if you feel as if you can’t talk to anyone, I’m here, reach out.
“I’m proud to say I’ve completely turned myself around and have a completely different outlook on everything, I don’t take one moment for granted. I want you to be able to reach your full potential and smile. This life is beautiful.”
Kyrgios also opened up on his mental health earlier this month during an Instagram Q&A.
It’s a brilliant message that is not at all out of character from the Aussie, despite the popular consensus on the star.
While those who tune in for grand slams may see a hothead or, as vanquished doubles players hit out after losing to the Special K’s during the Australian Open, an “absolute knob”, Kyrgios has shown time and time again he will lend a helping hand to those in need.
During the Covid pandemic, he lashed Novak Djokovic and other leading players for their stance on the virus and particularly the Adria Tour, but also called out the Australian government for what he saw as an “absolute s***show” around the world No. 1’s entry to Australia.
But he often participates in tennis clinics in Australia and during the pandemic also delivered food boxes to those in need.