Tennis Star Nick Kyrgios Gets Candid About Hitting Rock Bottom And Thoughts Of Self-Harm

The seven-time ATP title winner addressed mental health issues he silently dealt with in 2019 during an episode of the podcast “On Purpose with Jay Shetty.”

Nick Kyrgios is reflecting on one of the lowest moments in his life. 

On the latest episode of the “On Purpose with Jay Shetty” podcast hosted by New York Times bestseller Jay Shetty, the 2022 Australian Open Doubles champion discussed how he hit rock bottom and the community he leaned on for support, as reported by PEOPLE.

Kyrgios told Shetty that alcohol fueled his downfall in 2019.

“I wasn’t thinking clearly. I was drinking every night,” he said. “You know, just at the time I thought it was just fun, but it wasn't fun. It was just self-inflicted pain. And I had friends around me telling me it wasn't healthy, and I ignored them.”

He also said he was admitted to a psychiatric ward in London the day before he was set to compete against Rafael Nadal. While at the facility, he was told he should stay for two weeks "to be reassessed." The tennis star recognized that he needed to make changes.

"It's like, I looked at myself. I was like, I can't do this. I have to somehow change these habits. So I had self-harm everywhere. I had to wear an arm sleeve on the center court of Wimbledon, and no one knew any of these problems. And it was, it was hard. And I look back and I just don't know how I got out of it to be honest, I was such a mess."

Furthermore, he said the media played a role in his inner challenges while competing, adding, "When I'm on court, I turn into a different person. I love competing, and it's like, I hate losing."

"And the worst thing was the media; I was having decent results during that time. And the media was like, 'Okay, is this a new Nick Kyrgios?' And I was like, this is the darkest period of my life. There was a tournament in Mexico, Acapulco, where I was thinking about, I was having suicidal thoughts, and you know, I was just on the balcony of my hotel, and I was genuinely thinking about it," he explained.

During that match, he defeated his opponent while “everyone globally was thinking ‘Is this the person we have all been waiting for,’ while adding, “I was on the brink of everything. That’s so scary because no one else knew what was going on. It was really hard.”

Although Kyrgios will not be competing next year due to a knee injury, he is thankful for the support of his fans during the most challenging times, adding they are why he has not retired from the sport.

"For instance, there was a Make-A-Wish kid that I met up with a week and a half ago. He's probably got six months to live, and then I realized that those types of people that look up to me and really want me to succeed, that's who I started playing for ... Like kids, the future generation."

He continued, “That's the reason why I probably would have retired...So that's why I love playing now. Like I play for them, but that's what got me out of it.”

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