Nick Kyrgios has praised Andy Murray after revealing the role British tennis star played in helping the Aussie deal with his well publicised mental health struggles. The 28-year-old spoke about Murray in glowing terms during an interview with Piers Morgan in which he also made a sad revelation about his mother Norlaila.
Kyrgios' interview with British shock jock Morgan has taken tennis fans by surprise, considering the history of bad blood between the pair. Morgan famously described Kyrgios as a "monumental a**hole" for abusing his own entourage during last year's dream run to the Wimbledon final, while the Aussie hasn't been shy in expressing his feelings about the controversial media personality.
However, the pair have put their differences aside in a must-watch interview in which Kyrgios discusses a number of topics about an eventful tennis career that has rarely had a dull moment. One major topic surrounded Kyrgios' well documented mental health struggles, with the Aussie crediting Murray with encouraging him to seek professional help after enquiring about marks on Kyrgios' arm caused by self-harm.
"He took me under his wing... I thank him a lot."
Nick Kyrgios tells Piers Morgan how Andy Murray helped him with mental health and self harm struggles.
Watch the full interview on tonight's Uncensored at 8pm (UK). @NickKyrgios | @andy_murray | @piersmorgan | #PMU pic.twitter.com/VYpAdQBVKL
— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) December 1, 2023
“Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said on Sky News' Piers Morgan Uncensored. "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. I'd be in the locker room and people would be able to see my self-harm. So I could only imagine what people would think when they were actually versing me on the tennis court. They're like, ‘Wow, this guy's mentally in a storm at the moment and he's still trying to play’.
"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 admits he was in a "pretty dark" place for 18 months to two years, despite the fact he was still competing and at times winning tournaments on the ATP Tour. "I think it was a year-and-a-half to two years of just complete harm. It was pretty dark to be honest," he admitted.
"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."
The Aussie has spoken publicly about his mental health struggles in the hopes of helping others deal with similar issues. Kyrgios says he's "really proud" that by sharing his own problems so openly, he's been able to help others deal with similar struggles.
"That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues," he added. "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."
Nick Kyrgios in sad revelation about his mother
Kyrgios also touched on his sick mother Norlaila's long health battle and revealed that she never attends his matches because she has a pacemaker and it's too stressful to watch him. The 28-year-old also made the painful admission that he'd love for his mother to come and see him play at least one more time.
“She has a pacemaker now – so I don’t think she can come to any of my matches, especially the Australian Open or Wimbledon, with the ups and downs, the craziness that happens," he said. “It’s just too risky. So she watches from home. My whole team comes to watch me live. She’ll stay back at the accommodation and watch on TV.
“I know she’s watching me all of the time. I’ve stressed that woman out so much – and I’m sorry! She’s really proud of my work and how much I’ve grown. I wish she could watch me one last time. That would be a dream. It would be really special if she could tough it out for a couple of years more.”
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