CANBERRA, Australia — Nick Kyrgios had suffered severe depression, suicidal ideation and insomnia in the past, a psychologist told a court on Friday when the Australian tennis star pleaded guilty to pushing a former girlfriend to the ground two years ago.
The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up pleaded guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court to assaulting Chiara Passari during an argument in his hometown of Canberra in January 2021.
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Magistrate Jane Campbell did not record an conviction against Kyrgios for reasons including that the offense was at the low end of seriousness for a common assault, and was not premeditated.
Campbell described it as an act of “stupidity” and “frustration.”
Kyrgios’ psychologist, Sam Borenstein, said in a written report and testimony by phone that Kyrgios had suffered major depressive episodes in the past and had used alcohol and drugs to cope. Kyrgios’mental health led to impulsive and reckless behavior.
His knee injury this month had resulted in mild to moderate symptoms of depression, but his mental health was improving, Borenstein said.
“He’s doing very well,” Borenstein said. “His mental health has improved significantly.
Lawyers for Kyrgios had sought to have an assault charge stemming from events two years ago dismissed on mental health grounds but the application was unsuccessful.
In February last year, Kyrgios opened up about his performance at the 2019 Australian Open, saying what appeared to be a positive time in his life had been “one of my darkest periods.”
“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends,” he wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Kyrgios made further references to his mental health struggles during his runs to the final at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.
After ending Daniil Medvedev’s U.S. Open title defense in September last year to reach the quarterfinals, Kyrgios expressed pride at lifting himself out of “some really tough situations, mentally” and “some really scary places” off the court.
Kyrgios had a career setback last month when he withdrew from the Australian Open because of an injured left knee that required arthroscopic surgery.