Nick Kyrgios has admitted to self-harming in the past after opening up on social media about his mental health issues.
Kyrgios reached arguably the zenith of his career so far by winning the Australian Open men's doubles title alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis in January.
He is also in a good place off the court but as he revealed on Instagram, that hasn't always been the case.
ATP Washington
‘I’ve been in some really dark places’ – Kyrgios wins Citi Open singles and doubles
Responding to a fan question about overcoming self-doubt, Kyrgios said: "No one knows what I've gone through, all the struggle I've overcome.
“I have self-harmed, was having dark thoughts about life.
"I always have my back and have all the confidence in the world. I lean on my loved ones.”
Kyrgios has travelled much less regularly around the world in the last couple of years. That's been largely due to the coronavirus pandemic but even as it threatens to get under control, the 26-year-old declared the mental and physical challenges of tennis are why he prefers to stay closer to home.
The Canberra-born star said: "My relationship with my family wasn't great a few years ago because I was always away and didn't have my family around me. I was winning, losing, going through relationship problems, dealing with other problems and I was pushing them away because you feel like the world’s against you.
"I pushed everyone who was close to me away and I fell out with people and that's something I'd never want again.
“I'm going seven months a year abroad in a new place every week. That’s why tennis is so hard in my opinion. The mental game is ridiculous.
"Physically, you have to be an absolute animal. What other sport do you have to play for three plus hours, possibly seven times in two weeks? It doesn't happen.”
Nonetheless, Kyrgios expressed gratitude for what he has achieved in tennis - most notably the recent doubles win in front of his home crowd - and the happier situation he finds himself in with new partner Costeen Hatzi.
"I have won some big titles around the world, played some amazing matches. This one [the doubles title] ranks [No.] 1 for me," he said.
“It's been a rough couple of years. I had Covid a week out from the Australian Open and my team and my beautiful girlfriend looked after me.”
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