Nick Kyrgios pleads guilty to assaulting former girlfriend but avoids conviction

Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios has pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend in Australia but avoided a criminal conviction.

A magistrate in the tennis star’s home town of Canberra did not record a conviction against the 27-year-old, describing the common assault as an act of “stupidity” and “frustration” but said it was not premeditated.

The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up had pushed his former girlfriend Chiara Passari to the ground during an argument in January 2021.

Magistrate Jane Campbell also dismissed the offence on the basis that it was at the low end of seriousness for a common assault.

Kyrgios missed the Australian Open in January with a knee injury

A psychologist told the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Magistrates Court that Kyrgios had suffered severe depression, suicidal ideation and insomnia in the past but his mental health had improved.

On Friday, Kyrgios’ psychologist, Sam Borenstein, said in a written report and testimony by phone the tennis star had suffered major depressive episodes in the past and had used alcohol and drugs to cope.

His mental health had led to impulsive and reckless behaviour. Mr Borenstein added that Kyrgios’ recent knee injury had resulted in mild to moderate symptoms of depression, but his mental health was improving.

Lawyers for Kyrgios had previously sought to have the assault charge stemming from events two years ago dismissed on mental health grounds but the application was unsuccessful.

In February last year, Kyrgios opened up about his performance at the 2019 Australian Open, saying what appeared to be a positive time in his life had been “one of my darkest periods”.

“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone. This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive.”

Kyrgios made further references to his mental health struggles during his runs to the final at Wimbledon and the quarter-finals at the US Open.

After ending Daniil Medvedev’s US Open title defence in September last year to reach the quarter-finals, Kyrgios expressed pride at lifting himself out of “some really tough situations, mentally” and “some really scary places” off the court.

Kyrgios had a career setback last month when he withdrew from the Australian Open because of an injured left knee that required arthroscopic surgery.

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