‘Part-time player’ Nick Kyrgios reveals how ‘hate, racism, bulls**t’ drove him ‘into a place of dark’

Nick Kyrgios disappointed

Nick Kyrgios has once again opened up about how he found himself in “place of dark” due to the “hate, criticism and bulls**t” he received.

The Australian has played only a handful of tournaments since tennis resumed following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as he has opted to skip several events in order to protect his mental health.

The 26-year-old, who will return to action at the Canadian Open next week, has not been afraid to admit that bubble life is not for him and says it “feels weird” being back on the ATP Tour.

“I’m a part-time player I guess,” he is quoted as saying by AFP. “It feels still odd to be back.

“I don’t miss it that much any more. I feel vibes, like every time I’m at a tournament it could be my last time I’m ever going to be here.

“I feel weird. I feel strange about my career at the moment. But I love being back. I love seeing all my mates.”

Nick Kyrgios antics

Whether he plays or not, Kyrgios is one of the most-talked about players in tennis as he is never afraid to voice his opinion on controversial topics.

And while criticism is one thing, he has found himself on the receiving end of “hate, racism and bulls**t”, which took its toll on his mental health.

“I’m just resilient,” he said. “If someone is not as resilient as me mentally, the amount of hate I got, the amount of racism I got, the amount of bulls**t that I got from the Tour, from fans, from everything, I could have been… I did fall into places where people like Naomi Osaka are now speaking about mental illness, where I was going through, in my personal opinion, 20 times as bad.

“I’m just saying this sport could have driven me into a place of dark, which it did for a bit, how mentally tough it was for 18, being one of the most well-known players in Australia, getting absolutely hammered with media. It’s not so easy.

“Now I’m 26, I’m old enough. I know it’s all bulls**t.”

Washington Open draw: Rafael Nadal, Cameron Norrie, Nick Kyrgios in same half as young stars headline bottom half

While four-time Grand Slam winner Osaka has received a lot of support after withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon in order to protect her mental health, Kyrgios says he was on the receiving end of “hateful messages” in his younger days.

“All they receive is good press. They don’t really receive hateful messages,” he said. “They don’t really receive ridiculously historic fines for hitting balls out of the stadium or getting a code violation.

“Instead of out-casting and almost crucifying a personality, you say, ‘OK, this guy is different’.”