Kyrgios heads ACT bid for Davis Cup

The success of Canberra's Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon could help Canberra secure a Davis Cup tie.
The success of Canberra's Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon could help Canberra secure a Davis Cup tie.

Tennis ACT hopes to ride the wave of Nick Kyrgios' surge into the fourth round of Wimbledon to help it secure a Davis Cup tie next year and give the sport an unprecedented boost in Canberra.

Kyrgios played world No.1 Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon on Tuesday night and will rise into the top 100 regardless of the result.

Tennis ACT, the ACT government and Tennis Australia are locked in negotiations to bring Davis Cup and Fed Cup matches to the capital when the new multimillion-dollar Lyneham centre is complete.

It is hoped Canberra will host the Australian team next year, as well as securing an annual international fixture before the Australian Open.

Kyrgios is planning to relocate from Melbourne backto Canberra when he finishes his European campaign, splitting with coach Simon Rea to reunite with former mentor Todd Larkham.

Tennis ACT boss Ross Triffit said Kyrgios, 19, could reinvigorate the sport in Canberra.

"It's going to have a great effect on general participation,'' he said. "We've got around 40,000 social players in Canberra and 6000 registered players.

"It looks positive [for Davis Cup]. We've had some discussions with Tennis Australia and the ACT government about that. When the complex is complete in 2015, I think we can put together a strong tender.

"With Nick being there it's a huge boost. The community would be behind it if Nick is playing and I think we'd have a strong case."

Kyrgios has been based in Melbourne since last year to launch his professional career.

But he wants to be closer to his tight-knit family and could reunite with Larkham if he can arrange things with Tennis Australia.

Tennis ACT is in the midst of a massive redevelopment at Lyneham. Hardcourts and clay loom as the likely surfaces for the venue.

There are also plans for temporary seating to accommodate 3500-4000 people if Canberra can secure the rights to host a Davis Cup tie.

Tennis Australia development manager Scott Draper backed Kyrgios' intention to return to Canberra.

"The way we view any decision is what's best for the athlete,'' Draper said. "If it's deemed Canberra is the best thing for Nick, then we'll try to find the flexibility to do so.''

Clinton Coleman, who co-manages Kyrgios at the small British agency Global Tennis Connections, admitted that opting to alter what has worked so well represented a gamble for the youngster rated among the leading prospects in the men’s game.

Kyrgios was dubbed a top five prospect by 13th seed Richard Gasquet, and by Wimbledon champion Andy Murray last month as the ''next big Aussie star'''.

''I can’t say more how much everyone in the Kyrgios family and management team appreciate Simon’s personal commitment to it,’’ Coleman said.

''Yes, it is a risk, but it was a decision that took time to make, it wasn’t taken lightly, and we definitely believe it’s the right one.

''It was Nick’s decision, not the family’s or ours. It was his decision that he wanted to change because of x, y and z, and then he spoke to Simon. And Simon, just as he’s been all along, has been exceptionally understanding.’’

With Linda Pearce

This story Kyrgios heads ACT bid for Davis Cup first appeared on Canberra Times.