Nick Kyrgios reveals Naomi Osaka helped him to open up about his mental health issues. During the 2021 French Open, Osaka openly admitted to battling anxiety and depression. Since then, Osaka has become one of the biggest advocates for athletes' mental health.
Earlier this year, Kyrgios opened up about his battle with depression. During the darkest period of his life, Kyrgios turned to alcohol, drugs and self-harm. But Kyrgios is doing extremely well now as he is happy on and off the court.
"I actually struggled early with mental health and there were times in my tennis career where I was really struggling," Kyrgios said, via Sportskeeda. "I wasn't sure if I was okay to feel that way. But then, actually, I met Naomi.
We did a podcast together, and she kind of opened up."
Kyrgios: People are reaching out and I'm trying to respond and help
"I deal with messages every day with people who are reaching out and I try to respond to as many people as I can," Kyrgios said.
"I think men around my age really struggle to open up. Can't feel weak. [Naomi Osaka] helped me a lot with that." Before the 2021 French Open, Osaka announced she would not be conducting press conferences at the tournament.
After receiving strong criticism, Osaka opened up and admitted that press conferences were sometimes negatively impacting her mental health. "That kind of opened my eyes saying, 'Wow, there's another tennis player as great as the champion she is, that was also going through that,'" Kyrgios said of Osaka.
"Made me feel more comfortable to open up about it." Eaelier this year, Kyrgios and Osaka practiced together. Kyrgios and Osaka have built a solid relationship as Osaka has also spoken positively of Kyrgios on several occasions. Now, both Kyrgios and Osaka are in New York for the US Open.