Nicole Gibbs has opened up about her struggle with clinical depression. The 24-year-old American has been ranked as high as No. 68 and is defending a third-round finish at the Australian Open, but has been as vocal about her highs as her lows—particularly in her musings for My Tennis Life.

She'll open her 2018 Australian Open campaign against a qualifier. Now ranked No. 113, she's trying to fight her way back inside the Top 100, despite knowing that a lot more struggles are ahead.

“When you’re not inside the Top 50, tennis is a constant identity crisis,” she told the Telegraph. “You ask yourself questions all the time: what can I be doing to do better? Am I doing everything I can? How do I get to that next level where I really want to be? There were times when the up and down elements of tennis made things almost unbearable for me.”

Gibbs is far from the only player to deal with mental health struggles. Rebecca Marino quit the game at 22 because of it, while stars like Andre Agassi and Mardy Fish have taken their inner demons public.

It's no secret that tennis is far from an easy sport. Only one winner is left standing at the end of each tournament week, and the battle for points and prize money is relentless, not to mention the lonely life on the road and the heavy pressure of expectations.  

Players, like Gibbs, voicing their demons instead of fearing the stigma of mental health illnesses helps everyone realize that a problem exists, and help is out there.


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