NICK KYRGIOS has revealed he has suffered from depression on the tennis circuit and considered quitting the sport.
The Australian, 25, has had his fair share of run-ins with tennis officials over the past few seasons.
In the past year he has become a changed man, raising serious money for Bushfire charities Down Under and generally cutting down on the Bad Boy ways.
Yet for the first time he has talked about his dark days, admitting he has struggled with the relentless live-in-a-suitcase nature of the ATP Tour.
World No.45 Kyrgios said: “When I was struggling – and it wasn’t just about tennis – there were moments when I was seriously depressed.
“I remember waking up in Shanghai one year and it was 4pm and I was still in bed, curtains closed. I didn’t want to see the light of day.
“I felt like no-one wanted to know me as a person, they just wanted to get a hold of me as a tennis player and use me.
“I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone. It was a lonely, dark place. And things came from that.
“A lot of people were putting pressure on me, I put a lot of pressure on myself.
“I just lost joy for the game and I was spiralling out of control.
“I fell into depression because of the things I thought I had to be. I was afraid to go out and talk to people because I thought I’d let them down because I wasn’t winning matches.”
Kyrgios’s best friend and now-manager Daniel Horsfall added: “He’d be overseas and call me at 3am in the morning, saying he wanted to come home, he wanted to quit.”
Kyrgios has been staying at home with his parents in Canberra during lockdown, having not played since Acapulco in February.
He said: “There are tennis players who live and breathe tennis, and that’s fine. I’m not saying that’s wrong or right.
“But when people say ‘He doesn’t want it badly enough’ or ‘He’s not a champion’. Well, maybe.
“But I’ve reached a level of freedom in my life when I really don’t care what anyone thinks of me.”
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