“Was a Lonely, Dark Place”: Nick Kyrgios Reveals Struggles With Depression

Published 11/08/2020, 3:48 AM EST
Nick Kyrgios of Australia looks on during in his fourth round match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)


Maverick Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios opened up about his battle with depression. His struggle with mental issues has seen him lose out on a significant amount of playing time in the ATP calendar.

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Kyrgios said his return to the familiar surroundings of his Canberra home and quality downtime with his parents has helped him plan for the next ATP season.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts during his Men’s Singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

“I just lost joy for the game”: Nick Kyrgios

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Seen as controversy’s child, Kyrgios said the punishing ATP schedule, which often keeps players away from their loved ones, took him to a “lonely, dark place”.

“A lot of people were putting pressure on me, I put a lot of pressure on myself,” said Kyrgios, recalling his struggles in an interview to Stellar magazine.

“I just lost the joy for the game and I was spiraling out of control,”  Kyrgios said.

Grappling with monsters within, Kyrgios missed out on tennis action this year, thus failing to add to his six ATP titles.

“I was afraid to talk to people”: Kyrgios

The extended absence from the circuit has seen Kyrgios drop down the ATP rankings to 45. Shedding more into the battle with demons in his head, Kyrgios said, “I fell into depression because of the things that I thought I had to be.”

“I was afraid to go out and talk to people because I thought I’d let them down because I wasn’t winning matches,” Kyrgios said.

Kyrgios broke into the ATP circuit in 2013 and moved to a career-high of 13 in ATP singles rankings on October 24, 2016.

Kyrgios shared about a day on tour, at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, when he could not get out of bed.

“There were moments when I was seriously depressed”: Kyrgios

“When I was struggling – and it wasn’t about just tennis – there were moments when I was seriously depressed,” Kyrgios said.

“I remember waking up in Shanghai one year and it was 4pm and I was still in bed, curtains closed. I didn’t want to see the light of day,” Kyrgios said.

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“I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone. It was a lonely, dark place,” Kyrgios said.

“I don’t think people understand how lonely tennis can be. You’re out there on the court on your own,” Kyrgios said.

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“You can’t really talk to anyone. You have to figure things out for yourself. I did struggle with that,” Kyrgios said.

However, Kyrgios said he has emerged stronger from his darkest phase and will return to action in the Australian Open next year.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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