SYDNEY : Kyrgios reveals depression battle : The Australian tennis star says he had been in a ''lonely, dark place' in recent years.

Polarising Australian Nick Kyrgios Sunday admitted to being in a ''lonely, dark place'' during recent years as he battled depression sparked by the relentless grind of the tennis tour.

The temperamental star is one of the sport's biggest drawcards, but has also faced intense criticism for his combustible antics on the court, with a long list of misdemeanours to his name.

They include an explosive racquet-smashing and expletive-ridden meltdown at last year's Cincinnati Masters that saw put on probation by the ATP and ordered to seek professional help.

''I don't think people understand how lonely tennis can be,'' he told Sydney's Sunday Telegraph magazine.

''You're out there on the court on your own. You can't really talk to anyone. You have to figure things out for yourself. I did struggle with that.''

Kyrgios said he had always been emotional and found it tough spending so long away from his Canberra home and family while on tour, admitting there were times when he was ''seriously depressed''.

''I remember waking up in Shanghai one year and it was 6pm an I was still in bed, curtain closed. I didn't want to see the light of the day,'' he said.

 ''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. I didn't feel like I could trust anyone. It was a lonely, dark place. And things came from that.

 A lot of people were putting pressure on me, I PUT A LOT OF PRESSURE on myself. I just lost joy for the game and I was spiralling out of control,'' he added.

''I fell into depression because of the things I thought I had to be.''

But the. 25-year-old gained new respect by spearheading fundraising efforts for Australia's deadly. bushfires last summer, a crisis which he said gave him a new perspective.  [Reuters]


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