CANBERRA, Australia. Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios will file a petition to drop the assault charge on mental health grounds, his lawyer told an Australian court on Tuesday.
Lawyer Michael Kukulies-Smith spoke on behalf of Kyrgios in a court in the hometown of the tennis star Canberra and asked to postpone the meeting so that forensic reports could be prepared.
Judge Glenn Theakston has adjourned the case until Feb. 3, when Kyrgios’ lawyers are expected to file a motion to drop the charges under the local crimes section of the law.
The 27-year-old Australian tennis star will stand trial in person on this day for the first time since he was subpoenaed by police in July.
The law gives magistrates the power to dismiss a charge if they are convinced that the accused is mentally deficient, and the consideration of the charge in this way will benefit the public and the accused.
The usual charge of assault, which can carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison, relates to an incident in January 2021 that was reported to local police last December.
The charge is reportedly related to an incident with his ex-girlfriend.
Kukulies-Smith told the court that his client’s mental health history from 2015 makes the statement pertinent, citing a number of public statements made by Kyrgios.
In February, Kyrgios spoke about his performance at the 2019 Australian Open, saying that what appeared to be a positive period in his life was “one of the darkest periods of my life”.
“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abused alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends,” he wrote on Instagram. “I felt that I could neither speak nor trust anyone. It was the result of me not opening up and refusing to rely on my loved ones, but just gradually forcing myself to be positive.”
Kyrgios made further mention of his mental health issues during his runs to the Wimbledon final and the US Open quarter-finals.
After wrapping up Daniil Medvedev’s title defense at the US Open last month to reach the quarter-finals, Kyrgios expressed pride in being able to get out of “some really difficult mental situations” and “some really scary places” off the court.
Theakston wondered if Kyrgios needed to appear in court at the February hearing, but Kukulies-Smith said his client wanted to attend.
Kyrgios was due to play at the Japan Open later on Tuesday against Taiwan’s Zeng Chong Xin.
Speaking in Tokyo before his case was returned to court, Kyrgios said it was “not hard at all” to focus on tennis despite the pending charge.
“I can control a lot of things and I take every step and deal with it off the court,” he told reporters. “I can only do what I can and I’m here in Tokyo and I’m just trying to play good tennis and keep that momentum and just try to do my job.”