Nick Kyrgios has credited Andy Murray for noticing signs that he was self-harming and thanked him for offering support for his depression.
In an interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, Kyrgios spoke about mental health challenges which included being admitted to a psychiatric ward in London and contemplating suicide following Wimbledon in 2019.
Kyrgios has previously admitted that he was self-harming but the specific role that was offered by Murray has also now been revealed. “Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing. Then he realised later in my career that I don’t think I was coachable or I was on my own path, but he was always someone that was looking out for me.
“He saw it [the self-harm] and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage. Andy obviously was trying to give me advice on it. But I was just so stuck in my ways at that time that I didn’t listen. Obviously I’m very thankful. I thank him a lot.”
Kyrgios said that the period of harming himself lasted for between 18 and 24 months. “It was pretty dark to be honest,” he said. “I won tournaments on the professional tour, drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun. It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”
Kyrgios returned to finish runner-up at Wimbledon last year – his best performance in a Grand Slam event – and he hopes that being public about his challenges will help other people experiencing mental health difficulties.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling. When they feel like they’re overwhelmed and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff, they open up and they feel like I’m relatable,” said Kyrgios.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues. They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide. I have conversations with these people. Sometimes I’ve had phone calls with these people. That’s making a real difference and I’m just really proud.”
Kyrgios revealed in the Netflix documentary series Break Point that he wore a compression sleeve at Wimbledon in 2019 to cover scars on his arms that had been caused by self-harming. He went out of that tournament in the second round against Raphel Nadal.
“I was genuinely contemplating suicide,” Kyrgios said. “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’.”