Nick Kyrgios plays a backhand in his 6-4, 6-3 victory over Harry Bourchier. Photo: Jason Lockett (Tennis Australia)
Bernard Tomic's Davis Cup career might be in limbo, but Canberra's Nick Kyrgios sees the next two weeks as a chance to show Australia captain Pat Rafter he is a player of the future.
Kyrgios won his way through to the quarter-finals of the Australian under-18 championships with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Harry Bourchier at Melbourne Park on Thursday. He will face NSW's Blake Mott for a spot in the semi-finals on Friday.
If Kyrgios wins the tournament, he will earn a wildcard spot in the play-offs to make the main draw of the senior Australian Open in January.
While Tennis Australia has suspended Tomic for next year's Davis Cup tie against Taiwan, Kyrgios said he was still a long way off being a serious candidate for the team.
He joined the squad as an orange boy earlier this year, helping the Davis Cup team prepare for its tie against China in Geelong. Kyrgios loved the experience and it gave him a taste of what it would be like to represent his country.
The 17-year-old still has a year remaining in the junior ranks before he joins the senior tour for good, but he plans to play some Futures and Challenger tournaments on the 2013 senior tour. A berth in the Australian Open would be a great starting point and would ensure Rafter was watching his results closely.
''I've been an orange boy for the Davis Cup team once and it was a great experience hitting with them and living everyday life with them,'' Kyrgios told The Canberra Times on Thursday.
''I'm not too sure [if I'm ready to take the next step]. Hopefully if I go well this week and next week and prove myself in the play-offs then I can start talking about that.''
Having won two junior grand slam doubles titles this year, Kyrgios desperately wants to add a major junior singles title to his resume. He made the quarter-finals in the boy's singles at both the US Open and Wimbledon in 2012 and sees next year as a massive chance to add more silverware to his already impressive trophy cabinet.
''Obviously high expectations for me all round and all the slams next year, but I'll just put that to the side and keep working on my physical and mental sides of things,'' Kyrgios said.