The Daily Telegraph

Kyrgios avoids conviction for assaulting ex-girlfriend

- By Patrick Lawnham

NICK KYRGIOS, the Australian tennis player, admitted to assaulting an ex-girlfriend but avoided a criminal conviction yesterday after a magistrate ruled that the offence was “low-level”.

Kyrgios pleaded guilty to assault after admitting that he shoved his then girlfriend, Chiara Passari, in 2021. His lawyers failed to have the charge dismissed on mental health grounds. The charge can carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison. Magistrate Beth Campbell, however, dismissed it after accepting that Kyrgios was not a reoffendin­g risk.

Kyrgios has establishe­d himself as one of the most recognisab­le yet controvers­ial faces in the sport. He reached last summer’s Wimbledon final before losing to Novak Djokovic.

However, his career has been blighted by numerous incidents of bad behaviour, including swearing at officials and members of the crowd and, in once instance in 2019, throwing his chair across the court.

The magistrate said Kyrgios had been “a young man trying to extricate himself from a heightened emotional situation”. She said: “You acted in the heat of the moment. I am dealing with you in the same way I would deal with any young man in this court. You are a young man who happens to hit a tennis ball particular­ly well.”

Psychologi­st Sam Borenstein told the court Kyrgios suffered from recurring major depression, which included black periods, thoughts of self-harm, insomnia, agitation and feelings of guilt.

Mr Borenstein said the tennis star had relied on alcohol and drugs as a means of coping, but was now making progress in dealing with the issues.

However, Kyrgios could still face action from the ATP, the operators of the Men’s tour, which is examining the case, as such instances are viewed within the context of “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game”.

The world tennis No 20 was charged with a late-night incident from January 10, 2021, when he pushed over Ms Passari after an argument outside her apartment in the inner-city Canberra suburb of Kingston.

Kyrgios, 27, arrived at court yesterday on crutches, flanked by his brother and his new girlfriend Costeen Hatzi, an interior designer.

 ?? ?? Nick Kyrgios arrives at court in Canberra on crutches yesterday
Nick Kyrgios arrives at court in Canberra on crutches yesterday

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