Kyrgios admits spending time in psychiatric hospital after 2019 Wimbledon loss

Nick Kyrgios has gone out publicly admitting that he spent time in a psychiatric ward in London following a loss at Wimbledon in 2019 because of suicidal thoughts.

The Australian tennis star made the headlines in his home country on Thursday after the next episodes of the Netflix documentary series “Break Point” are announced to air on June 21st. In the series, Kyrgios opens up about his mental struggles, self-harming, and the time he spent in a mental institution.

Nick Kyrgios
Photo by Charles Guerin/ABACAPRESS.COM – Photo by Icon sport

What was Kyrgios’ Breaking Point?

Kyrgios says that he reached the lowest point after the second round loss to Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Wimbledon. That was a tough one for the Australian, as he failed in the third and the fourth sets in tie-breaks for a final 3-1 loss.

Kyrgios admits that he was wearing a sleeve during his matches to conceal the scars that covered his right arm at the time. After the loss, he went to a London hospital to figure out his problems.

“I was genuinely contemplating suicide,” Kyrgios says. “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.”

Kyrgios recalls that he was abusing drugs and alcohol at the time, and his relationship with his family and friends was 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 came back strong after the hospital stay winning the ATP Washington tournament in the following weeks, defeating Daniil Medvedev in the finals, who was on top of his game that summer, reaching 6 consecutive final matches.

However, Kyrgios’ struggles did not end there, as he played a total of 25 matches in 2020 and 2021.

He made a full comeback in 2022, having the highlight of his career at Wimbledon. Kyrgios was about to face Rafael Nadal again, this time in the semifinals, but the Spaniard withdrew, and Kyrgios went straight to the finals against Novak Djokovic.

The Australian had won both of the previous matches against Djokovic and won the opening set in the finals. Still, Djokovic proved once again that he is tough to beat and came back to win 3-1 at the end.

Kyrgios once again won the tournament in Washington following Wimbledon, losing only one set on the way to the title.

He got a major break when he apologized to the Australian court and avoided conviction on a charge of common assault after pleading guilty to shoving a former girlfriend to the ground in 2021.

Kyrgios’ psychologist, Sam Borenstein, in written testimony, said that Kyrgios had suffered major depressive episodes around the time of the assault, using alcohol and drugs to cope and that his mental health issues led to impulsive and reckless behavior.

Kyrgios took a long break following 2022. He made his 2023 debut in Stuttgart, losing in the opening round. Kyrgios, who is currently ranked at no. 25 in the ATP rankings, is preparing to play at Wimbledon, hoping for another deep run.

Other Players Going Through Similar Battles

Kyrgios is not the only player to admit to having mental health issues. Back in 2021, Naomi Osaka, the 4-time Grand Slam champion, withdrew from the French Open after the opening round after being fined by the organizers for refusing to speak to the press after matches. The Japanese had a turbulent year after that, and in the autumn of 2022, she decided to step off the court for an extended period.

Earlier this year, Amanda Anisimova announced that she would be taking an indefinite break from tennis, citing mental health issues as the reason for that decision.

The 2021 US Open winner, Emma Raducanu, is another player who has faced serious mental battles. After a sudden success with the Grand Alam victory, Raducanu was constantly under the spotlight, which was tough to deal with. The 20-year-old withdrew from the Madrid tournament this year and will take her time before coming back on court.

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