Australia’s Nick Kyrgios says he was in a “lonely, dark place” after suffering with depression while on tour.
The 25-year-old has not played since February after limiting his travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kyrgios, who began to see a psychologist in 2018, said people were not aware how lonely tennis could be.
“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,” he told Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph.
Kyrgios described an incident in Shanghai where he “didn’t want to see the light of day”.
“A lot of people were putting pressure on me and I put a lot of pressure on myself,” he said.
“I just lost joy for the game and I was spiralling out of control.”
Kyrgios has often been criticised for his on-court behaviour.
He was given a suspended 16-week ban and fined $ 25,000 (£20,300) in September 2019 because of “aggregated behaviour”.
He had received a number of fines before that for his conduct.
“I fell into depression because of the things I thought I had to be,” Kyrgios added.
“I was afraid to go out and talk to people because I thought I’d let them down because I wasn’t winning matches.”
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