Australian tennis enigma Nick Kyrgios has finally spoken out about a famous letter that was written for him by cricket legend Shane Warne.
The ‘king of spin’ published the emotional ‘Dear Nick’ letter on his Facebook account in 2015 with the purpose of giving Kyrgios — then a tearaway 20-year-old — some sage advice.
“Nick, grow up, you’ve got an unbelievable talent,” the Aussie icon wrote.
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“Be the best tennis player you can, be silly, have fun, but just don’t be stupid.
“That might be the pot calling the kettle black, because I’ve done some stupid things, but here’s the thing, I’m nearly 48 years of age and I’ve learnt from my mistakes.
The spin king wrote the letter in 2015. Credit: Getty Images
“I’ve been there and I’ve done that, and I actually think in a funny sort of way I could probably help Nick Kyrgios a lot.”
But in an interview with polarising English broadcaster Piers Morgan, Kyrgios — now a 28-year-old — revealed the letter did not reach its target audience.
“I saw it and didn’t read it,” Kyrgios said on Morgan’s Uncensored.
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“But yeah, look, I feel like I’ve been the closest Australian player in the last decade to win a Grand Slam.
“I made the final. I’ve had a pretty successful career. I feel like I’ve won a lot more than I’ve lost.
“(I’m) able to provide for my family, friends and, yeah, respected by millions around the world, obviously. And yeah, I’ve done it my way. At the end of the day, I know that there’s other Australian athletes who just wanted to see me succeed.
“I’ve only ever supported most of them, as well, and I’ve only wanted the best for them. I’m never, never going to be the first one to go out on social media and put someone down. If someone does that to me, I’ll respond. But yeah, I look back at that letter and I look back at how far I’ve come and I’d say he would be proud, for sure.”
Kyrgios also revealed Andy Murray played a major role in helping him during a “dark” mental health crisis.
He said the Scottish tennis veteran took an active interest in helping him turn his life around and had been a “big supporter”.
Andy Murray and Kyrgios in 2018 in London. Credit: Getty Images
“As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing,” Murray said.
“He saw it (the self-harm) and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage.
“I’d be in the locker room and people would be able to see my self-harm. So I could only imagine what people would think when they were actually versing me on the tennis court.
“They’re like, ‘Wow, this guy’s mentally in a storm at the moment and he’s still trying to play’.
“I won tournaments on the professional tour (but was still) drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun.
“It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”
The 2022 Wimbledon finalist remains sidelined with knee and wrist issues and seems unlikely to take part in January’s Australian Open for a second-straight year.
But being able to help other vulnerable people has given Kyrgios a purpose outside of tennis.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling,” he said.
“When they feel like they’re overwhelmed, and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff; they open up, and they feel like I’m relatable.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues.
“They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide.”
– With AAP
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.