Nick Kyrgios was suicidal three years ago as he battled booze and drugs

Nick Kyrgios stands on the verge of glory as he prepares for a heated battle with Novak Djokovic in today's Wimbledon final.

But just three years ago, the Australian was embroiled in another kind of heated battle – one with drugs, alcohol and personal demons that pushed him to the brink of self-destruction and suicide.

Earlier this year, the 27-year-old shared a poignant photo of himself on Instagram taken during the 2019 Australian Open, a period he described as one of the "darkest" of his life.

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"This was me 3 years ago at the Australian Open," Kyrgios wrote. "Most would assume I was doing ok mentally or enjoying my life… it was one of my darkest periods.

"If you look closely, on my right arm you can see my self harm. I was having suicidal thoughts and was literally struggling to get out of bed, let alone play in front of millions. I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family & friends."

He blamed his downward spiral on refusing to open up to his loved ones, afraid he'd feel weak and scared, but explained that once he pushed past those fears he was able to turn his life around.

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"I have a completely different outlook on everything [now], I don't take one moment for granted … this life is beautiful."

Kyrgios has always been a controversial on-court figure. His brash attitude and eccentric playing style turns a lot of people off, but those close to him always claim that underneath it all is a sweet, sensitive family man who just wants the best for him and his loves ones.

Over the past couple of weeks Kyrgios has clashed with umpires, berated fans, insulted line judges and bickered with opponents, but it's his tennis that's been doing all the real talking, and despite all the (justified) criticism, he's been winning fans because of it.

He may never be Roger Federer to the All England Club faithful, and even vaccine rebel Djokovic has more chance of a standing ovation on Centre Court today. But the Australian's story is nonetheless as inspiring as they come, and winning Wimbledon (his first Grand Slam final, no less) today would be one heck of a fitting way to mark his resurrection from darkness.


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