Tennis player Nick Kyrgios recently opened up in an interview with Stellar Magazine about his mental health struggles.
During COVID restrictions, Kyrgios returned to Canberra to live with his parents and noted it impacted him positively.
“On tour there’s a seven-month block when I don’t get to see my family or be home, so I’m really taking advantage of everything going on at the moment,” he said.
“I’ve lost my way a lot; I felt alone in a sea of people. I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about my feelings. I was fighting a lot of things and I didn’t feel like I had a home because I was always travelling.”
Kyrgios had often been in headlines during tennis tournament seasons for his on court behaviour and was dealt a 16-week ban by the ATP for “aggravated behaviour” last year.
Deep down, a darker storm had been brewing.
“I don’t think people understand how lonely tennis can be. You’re out there on the court on your own. You can’t really talk to anyone. You have to figure things out for yourself. I did struggle with that,” Kyrgios said.
The 25-year-old even recalled calling his manager at 3:00am wanting to quit and return home and not wanting to “see the light of day” when in Shanghai.
“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.”
This year gave Kyrgios some space to breathe, get back to basics and his passion for helping others. He began by getting together a new management team and making his best friend Daniel Horsfall his manager.
During the devastating bushfires that ravaged across Victoria the Australian public saw a different side to Kyrgios, who provided some relief to those affected, along with also supplying groceries and care package for those struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I didn’t necessarily feel more welcome… It’s more that the public in Australia were starting to understand what I was about, rather than just tennis,” he said.
The world no. 45 also focused on his NK Foundation which provides “sporting opportunities and a safe space for underprivileged youth in Melbourne.”
“I don’t want to lose that feeling [of security] ever again – and I want to provide that to kids,” Kyrgios said.
After opting to skip the US and French Opens to stay safe from the coronavirus, Kyrgios hopes he will return to play again in January’s Australian Open.