Tennis star Nick Kyrgios admits to assaulting ex-girlfriend but avoids a criminal conviction

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By Mario Bowden  with AP
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios leaves the courtroom while on crutches in Canberra, Australia
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios leaves the courtroom while on crutches in Canberra, Australia   -  Copyright  SAEED KHAN/AFP or licensors

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has avoided a criminal conviction despite admitting to assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up pleaded guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court to assaulting Chiara Passari during an argument in his hometown of Canberra in January 2021.

At a courtroom in Canberra, Kyrgios pleaded guilty to pushing Passari to the ground two years ago. Magistrate Jane Campbell did not convict the tennis players for reasons including that the offence was at the low end of seriousness for a common assault, and was not premeditated.

Campbell described it as an act of “stupidity” and “frustration.” 

The court also heard from a psychologist Friday that Kyrgios suffered from depression, suicidal ideation and insomnia in the past.

Kyrgios, who was using crutches following recent surgery on his left knee, didn't speak to reporters as he left the court but issued a statement through a management company.

“I respect today’s ruling and am grateful to the court for dismissing the charges without conviction," Kyrgios said. “I was not in a good place when this took place and I reacted to a difficult situation in a way I deeply regret. I know it wasn’t OK and I’m sincerely sorry for the hurt I caused.

“Mental health is tough. Life can seem overwhelming. But I’ve found that getting help and working on myself has helped me to feel better and to be better."

Kyrgios made further references to his mental health struggles during his runs last year to the final at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the US Open.

After ending Daniil Medvedev’s US Open title defence last September to reach the quarterfinals, Kyrgios expressed pride at lifting himself out of “some really tough situations, mentally” and “some really scary places” off the court.

The 27-year-old Kyrgios had a career setback last month when he withdrew from the Australian Open because of a knee injury which later required arthroscopic surgery.