Lawyers for Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios have said they will apply to have an assault charge against him dismissed on mental health grounds.
Kyrgios, who is currently playing in the Japan Open in Tokyo, was not required to attend the hearing in Canberra on Tuesday.
The charge against the 27-year-old relates to an alleged assault in December 2021 on a former partner.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
Kyrgios’s lawyer Michael Kukulies-Smith said he was making the application having reviewed his client’s “medical history since 2015, including public disclosures of his mental health struggles”.
Under section 334 of the Australian Capital Territory’s Crimes Act, the magistrates court has the power to dismiss a case if it is satisfied the accused is mentally impaired and the facts or other relevant evidence supports the person being dealt with under this rule.
However, the bar for a case to be thrown out on these grounds is high, and needs approval from the director of public prosecutions.
A hearing on the application will take place on 3 February. Mr Kukulies-Smith told Magistrate Glenn Theakston that his client’s work meant he spent large periods of time overseas.
But it was Kyrgios’s preference for the hearing to take place as soon as possible and for him to attend in person, the ACT Magistrates Court heard.
The tennis star, currently ranked number 20 in the world, has spoken openly about his mental health struggles in the past, including in posts on Instagram.
This week he insisted that the looming court case was not making it difficult to focus on his tennis.