Kyrgios pleads guilty to assault charge

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Nick Kyrgios has pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend Chiara Passari on a night out in Canberra.

The Australian tennis star fronted the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday, where his lawyers unsuccessfully attempted to have his case dismissed on mental health grounds.

The 27-year-old world no. 20 was charged with common assault after he pushed Ms Passari to the ground during a verbal argument after going out for dinner in the Canberra suburb of Kingston in December 2021.

The offence carries a maximum jail sentence of two years if convicted.

Nick Kyrgios, on crutches, pleaded guilty. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageNick Kyrgios, on crutches, pleaded guilty. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

Kyrgios, who recently underwent surgery after pulling out of the Australian Open on the first day of the tournament because of a tear to his knee cartilage, arrived at the court with his family and his current partner, Costeen Hatzi.

Kyrgios’s lawyers had applied to have the charge dealt with under section 334 of the local Crimes Act.

The Act gives the court power to dismiss a charge where it is satisfied that the accused is mentally impaired and the facts or other relevant evidence supports the person being dealt with under this division.

His case had been adjourned to give his legal team time to prepare a psychiatric report to support their application, with the lawyers’ and the court’s clashing schedules forcing the case to be delayed until Friday.

Kyrgios has spoken publicly about his mental health struggles throughout his career.

He described his performance at the 2019 Australian Open had been “one of my darkest periods” despite it being a time when “most would assume I was doing ok mentally or enjoying my life”.

“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends,” he said.

“I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone. This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive.”

His lawyers previously told the court Kyrgios had experienced mental health issues which been disclosed in his medical records over the past seven years.

Kyrgios spoke about his court case while he was playing in the Japan Open in October, telling reporters in Tokyo he had been dealing with it “for months” and was taking it “day by day”.

“There’s only so much I can control and I’m taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court,” Kyrgios said at the time.

More to come

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