Nick Kyrgios lifts lid on drink, drugs and self-harm hell during 2019 breakdown

Australian Open: Kokkinakis and Kyrgios speak after win

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Nick Kyrgios has opened up on his struggles with alcohol, drugs and self-harm which led him into a breakdown back in 2019. Kyrgios wrote his name into the history books in January after winning the Australian Open doubles title alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis in Melbourne.

Since bursting onto the scene as one of tennis’ hottest prospects as a teenager though, things haven’t always been as successful for the 27-year-old. His antics both on and off the court have undoubtedly made him one of the most watched and talked about players in the world of tennis.

However, away from the public eye, Kyrgios’ mental health struggled massively and the Aussie star has now bravely revealed the difficulties he went through which eventually led to a breakdown in 2019. Speaking to Wide World of Sports, he admitted he turned to booze, drugs and self harm to deal with his mental pressures.

He said: “It was very serious, to the point of self-harm and it’s not okay. I guess I pushed everyone that cared about me away and I wasn’t communicating, and I just shut down real life and I was trying to handle and tackle my problems head-on.

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“I was abusing alcohol a lot, drugs and that spiralled out of control. Now I barely drink – I literally have a glass of wine at dinner. That was the initial kind of thing I had to clean up a little bit and then build my relationship back with my family and get into healthier habits like the basics; like diet, getting good sleep, trying to train a little bit more and that was it. I think COVID helped me a lot with that.”

Going into detail, Kyrgios admitted that he turned to self harm after feeling like he was ‘letting people down all the time’. He added: “I felt I was letting people down all the time.I felt worthless to be honest, I didn’t feel comfortable, I hated my life at one stage.I was cutting, burning, just pretty f***ed up s***. It was so dark that I kind of liked it as well, like asking people to do it and stuff. What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger [and stronger]. I’m still a bit cooked.”

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Due to bursting into the public eye, another issue the Aussie had to deal with was the opinion of the wider world, on top of his own problems: “Everyone thinks their two cents is relevant to someone else’s life,” he commented. “You’re not living their life so how do you know what they should be doing or how they’re feeling on problems they’re dealing with.”

Despite his past struggles, Kyrgios seems to be moving in the right direction, following recent performances on the court and after meeting partner Costeen Hatzi. Discussing his re-found love for tennis, he said: “I do love the sport; I’m a massive student of the game and I do enjoy watching tennis at times,’ he said. ‘I love it to a degree; it’s my life and I’ve dedicated hours and hours that I’m never going to get back.”

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