Arabnews24.ca:Tuesday 4 October 2022 06:06 AM: Tennis star Nick Kyrgios will apply to have an assault charge dismissed on mental health grounds, a court has heard.
His lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith, appeared in court in Canberra, Australia to request an adjournment so a forensic mental health report could be prepared.
Magistrate Glenn Theakston adjourned the case until 3 February when the Wimbledon finalist's lawyers are expected to apply to have the charge dismissed under a section of the local crimes law.
The law gives magistrates the power to dismiss a charge if they are satisfied the accused is mentally impaired, and dealing with the allegation in this manner would benefit the community and the defendant.
The 27-year-old Australian tennis star will appear in court in person next year for the first time since he was charged by police in his hometown in July.
The common assault charge carries a potential maximum sentence of two years in prison.
It relates to an incident in January 2021 that was reported to local police last December, allegedly involving his ex-girlfriend.
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Mr Kukulies-Smith told the court his client's mental health history since 2015 made the application appropriate, citing a number of public statements made by the world number 20.
Earlier this year, Kyrgios revealed on social media that his run during the 2019 Australian Open had been one of his "darkest periods".
Posting on Instagram in February he said: "I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends. I felt as if I couldn't talk or trust anyone. This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive."
Kyrgios has made other references to his mental health describing how he struggled during his runs to the final at Wimbledon and the US Open quarter-final.
He outlined how he had been in "some really tough situations, mentally" and "some really scary places" off the court.
Speaking ahead of his match at the Japan Open on Tuesday, he said it was "not difficult at all" to focus on tennis despite the assault charge hanging over him.
"There's only so much I can control and I'm taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court," he told reporters.