Nick Kyrgios' lawyer to argue he's not mentally fit to stand trial on assault charge

Nick Kyrgios' lawyers have formally requested that the common assault charge against him be dismissed on mental health grounds.

The charge relates to an alleged incident that happened between the Australian tennis star and his ex-girlfriend, Chiara Passari, in January 2021.

Common assault charges can lead to up to two years in prison.

At a court hearing on Tuesday, Kyrgios' lawyer Michael Kukulies-Smith applied for the ACT Magistrates Court in Canberra to deal with his charge under Section 334 of the Crimes Act, which gives the court the power to dismiss a charge if it is satisfied the accused is mentally impaired.

An adjournment was granted for a mental health assessment to be conducted.

Kukulies-Smith said he made the request after reviewing Kyrgios' medical history, which documents a number of mental health struggles.

The Wimbledon finalist has been open about some of those struggles, revealing in a social media post earlier this year that he has dealt with both self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

"It was very serious, to the point of self-harm and it's not okay," he said in an interview with Wide World of Sports.

"I guess I pushed everyone that cared about me away and I wasn't communicating, and I just shut down real life and I was trying to handle and tackle my problems head-on. I was abusing alcohol a lot, drugs and that spiralled out of control. Now I barely drink - I literally have a glass of wine at dinner.

"That was the initial kind of thing I had to clean up a little bit and then build my relationship back with my family and get into healthier habits like the basics; like diet, getting good sleep, trying to train a little bit more and that was it. I think COVID helped me a lot with that."

Kyrgios was not present at the hearing as he is currently in Japan where he is preparing to play his opening match in the Tokyo Open on Tuesday.

He was asked by reporters in Tokyo if the ongoing court case was proving a distraction on the court.

"There's only so much I can control and I'm taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court," Kyrgios said.

"I can only do what I can and I'm here in Tokyo and just trying to play some good tennis, continue that momentum and just try to do my job - and that's play tennis, play it well. That's it."

Kyrgios' case is set to resume on February 3rd, and while he is not required to attend in person, his lawyer said he intends do so.

"My client's preference is to attend in person," Kukulies-Smith said.

Latest news