Nick Kyrgios has revealed he ended up in a psychiatric ward following a loss at Wimbledon in 2019 because he felt suicidal.
The tennis star 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 from self-harming.
“I was genuinely contemplating suicide,” Kyrgios said, in the latest season of Netflix’s tennis documentary series Break Point.
“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.”
The Australian 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, 28, who has previously discussed his mental health struggles on social media and in interviews, has spent many months out 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 apologised 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.
His 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 leading to impulsive and reckless behaviour.
The magistrate did not record a conviction against Kyrgios for reasons including that the offence 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 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.”
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected] in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.