Nick Kyrgios must face assault charges on mental health grounds

Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios will seek to have the assault charge dismissed on mental health grounds, his lawyer told an Australian court on Tuesday.

Attorney Michael Kukulies-Smith appeared on behalf of Kyrgios in a court in Canberra, the tennis star’s hometown, and asked for an adjournment so that forensic mental health reports could be prepared.

Judge Glenn Theakston adjourned the case until February 3, when Kyrgios’ lawyers are expected to request that the charges be dismissed under a section of the local crime statute.

The 27-year-old Australian tennis star will appear in court that day for the first time since he was subpoenaed by police in July.

The law gives the judges the power to do this dismiss an accusation when they believe that an accused person is mentally disabled and treating an allegation in this way would benefit the community and the accused.

That joint charge of assaultwhich carries a possible maximum sentence of two years in prison, relates to an incident in January 2021 that was reported to local police last December.

The charges reportedly relate to an incident involving his former girlfriend.

Nick Kyrgios reacts to a point against Karen Khachanov during their men's singles quarterfinal match on day 9 of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the borough of Flushing in the Queens borough of New York on September 6, 2022.
Nick Kyrgios could potentially serve two years in prison on the joint assault charge.
Getty Images

Kukulies-Smith told the court that his client’s mental health history since 2015 made the request reasonable, citing a number of public statements by Kyrgios.

In February, Kyrgios spoke about his performance at the 2019 Australian Open, saying what appeared to be a positive time in his life was “one of my darkest times”.

“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushing away family and friends,” he wrote on Instagram. “I felt like there was no one I could talk to or trust. That was the result of not opening up and refusing to lean on loved ones and just gradually push myself to be positive.”

Nick Kyrgios reacts during his match against Karen Khachanov in their men's singles quarterfinals match at the 2022 US Open Championships to be held at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center on September 6, 2022 in Flushing, New York.
Nick Kyrgios set to play Japan Open amid attack load threat
Annie Wermiel/NY Post

Kyrgios continued to refer to his mental health issues during his runs to the Wimbledon final and US Open quarterfinals.

After the end of Daniil Medvedev US Open title defense Last month, as he reached the quarterfinals, Kyrgios proudly pulled himself off the pitch from “some really difficult situations, mentally” and “some really scary places”.

Theakston asked if Kyrgios had to appear in court for the February hearing, but Kukulies-Smith said his client wanted to attend.

Kyrgios was scheduled to play Taiwan’s Tseng Chun-hsin later on Tuesday at the Japan Open.

Speaking in Tokyo before his matter returned to court, Kyrgios said it was “not difficult at all” to focus on tennis despite the pending charges.

“There is only so much I can control and I take every step and deal with it off the pitch,” he told reporters. “I can only do what I can and I’m here in Tokyo just trying to play good tennis, continue that momentum and just try to do my job.”

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