Former world No. 13 Nick Kyrgios claims his mental struggled were 20 times more dififcult than Naomi Osaka's. Osaka, ranked at No. 2 in the world, refused to do press conferences at the French Open, citing her mental health wellbeing.
After her first round win at the French Open, Osaka pulled out of the tournament because she didn't want to be a distraction. Kyrgios, 26, has been one of the most criticised players on the Tour over the last couple of years.
“I only played five tournaments in two years, but if you look on social media there are accounts that post about me every two weeks. If I'm so bad at the sport, why am I being promoted so much? Deep down I know I'm great at sports, personalities like that are needed, although early in my career I received a lot of hate, racism and other nonsense from some fans, it made me stronger mentally.," Kyrgios said, per Punto de Break.
"Something similar to Naomi Osaka happened to me, now that it is fashionable to talk about mental health, but in my opinion mine was 20 times more serious. They usually have good press, they do not receive hate messages or historical fines.
This sport was about to take me to a dark side, which happened for a while, mentally it was very hard at only 18 years old: I was one of the best-known players in Australia and one of the most criticized by the media. Now I am 26 years old, I am old enough to know that everything is shit, tennis had a hard time embracing a personality like mine," Kyrgios added.
Kyrgios hints he could retire soon
It is not a secret that tennis has never been a big love of Kyrgios. "Honestly, I don't miss it so much anymore," Kyrgios said, when asked did he miss the Tour. "It's good to be back, of course, especially in these tournaments where I'm so comfortable and there are a lot of people, hopefully everything goes well.
Instead, the situation is still crazy, every time I play a tournament I feel those vibes that tell me that this could be the last time I am here. In Atlanta I felt the same. It's like I don't know where I am, I feel weird, I feel weird about my career right now. Seeing the fans again is the best part of being back, seeing all their support."