Nick Kyrgios due in Australian court on assault charge

Online Desk

03 Feb 2023 10:55 AM

Photo: Reuters

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios is on Friday expected to ask an Australian court to drop an assault charge against him, citing struggles with his mental health.

The charge surfaced in July last year, when police said a 27-year-old man -- later confirmed to be Kyrgios -- had been summoned to court "following an incident in December 2021", reports AFP.

The alleged incident has not been detailed, but Australian media, including national broadcaster ABC, have said it involved his former girlfriend.

Lawyers for Kyrgios have previously indicated the Wimbledon finalist would seek to have the charge -- one count of common assault -- dismissed on mental health grounds.

Canberra-born Kyrgios, known for his mercurial talent and on-court outbursts, has spoken publicly about his battles with depression and the pressures of global tennis fame.

The case was adjourned in October, as Kyrgios prepared to play the Japan Open, so experts could prepare mental health reports for the court.

"There's only so much I can control, and I'm taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court," Kyrgios said from Tokyo at the time.

The charge has been filed at a local court in Australia's capital, Canberra.

Under local laws, some charges can be dismissed on the basis of "mental impairment", but magistrates must also consider the gravity of the alleged crime.

Kyrgios burst to fame as a 19-year-old in 2014, when he shocked the tennis world by beating Rafael Nadal to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

Often criticised for squandering his talents, Kyrgios reached the final of last year's Wimbledon -- but was comprehensively beaten by Novak Djokovic.

Kyrgios won the Australian Open men's doubles crown with close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis last year but was ruled out of this year's tournament with a "gruesome" knee injury.

Samakal English

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