Nick Kyrgios opens up on his mental health battle that almost ended his career after being bombarded by social media trolls
- Nick Kyrgios, now 26 and unseeded, stormed into the 3rd round of Wimbledon
- He admitted he faced racial slurs and had such bad depression he wanted to quit
- Earlier he partnered Venus Williams to a win in the mixed doubles first round
Tennis firebrand Nick Kyrgios has told how he nearly quit the sport over social media trolling, ‘racial slurs’ and even pressure to quit from coaches.
Kyrgios, 26, said ‘hateful’ abuse online contributed to a bout of depression that made him want to quit.
‘People are just idiots, really, on social media,’ Kyrgios told reporters ahead of his third round Wimbledon match against Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 16th seed.
Nick Kyrgios’ Australian girlfriend Chiara Passari turned heads during the Aussie tennis star’s dramatic first round Wimbledon victory. At the age of 26 Kyrgios has opened up about how social media trolling caused him depression and almost made him quit the sport
Kyrgios said he had endured racial slurs on social media from ‘idiots’ that eventually affected his confidence
‘Whether it was racist comments, racial slurs, just little things or anything that would destroy my confidence.
‘You have people that have nothing going on in their life and are so hateful.’
‘They have such a s*** life that they just have to find things to beat down other people. It’s awful, it’s really tough.’
Kyrgios is unseeded at this year’s tournament as the world No.60,
He also admitted coaches told him during his rise to tennis stardom ‘you may as well retire’, all this bulls***.’
Kyrgios’ Australian girlfriend Chiara Passari has been courtside during his 2021 Wimbledon campaign
‘I’m proud of who I am and what’s I’ve achieved’, said Kyrgios, who played in the third round on Saturday
‘I’m proud of who I am and who I’ve become and what I’ve achieved in this sport.’
At age 21, he reached number 13 in the world rankings, but he was also throwing rackets and seemed to be constantly arguing with umpires and other players.
At the time revealed he was seeing a psychologist.
‘It beat me down to a point of very bad depression,’ Kyrgios admitted on Saturday.
‘It got really bad for me to the point where I didn’t want to play tournaments. I didn’t want to go out there.
‘Everyone seems to think they have some sort of voice on social media and it’s bad because it can affect people’s mental health.’
A relaxed looking Kyrgios won his mixed doubles match partnering American legend Venus Williams
‘It’s taken me years and years of resilience and maturity to now not really care about it so much.’
There’s no doubt Kyrgios has mellowed and finally found favour with the wider tennis public too.
He admits he will never be ‘up there’ with the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, whom he considers tennis ‘gods’.
Passari started dating Kyrgios in July 2020 after he returned to Canberra because of the Covid-19 pandemic
Kyrgios says he no longer puts as much pressure on himself as he did at 21.
‘Now I just enjoy it when I’m out there. I breathe in the fresh air. I don’t take anything for granted.’
He won his second round mixed doubles match partnering legend Venus Williams, a sign of how he’s become accepted at the top of the sport.
But he knows the very top level of the sport has probably eluded him.
‘I’m ok with not winning grand slams,’ he said.
Nick Kyrgios and Chiara Passari pictured from his Instagram account
Kyrgios says he knows he’ll never be up there with tennis gods like Federer, Nadal or Djokovic but he feels he’s relatable and brings fans to the game