Canberra young gun Nick Kyrgios at the US Open. Photo: Getty Images
He's got the weapons, skills and belief, but Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge believes Nick Kyrgios' greatest obstacle is to avoid being crushed by the weight of public expectation.
The Canberra 18-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise this year, surging up the world rankings to No.186 after qualifying for the US Open main draw. He became the youngest player in the top 200.
He has been earmarked as Australia's next Davis Cup star after training with the national squad this week before its world group qualifier in Poland.
''Honoured to be selected for the Australian Davis Cup team, I'm told I'm the 103rd player to represent Australia. Pumped and prepared!'' Kyrgios said on Twitter.
Woodbridge, Tennis Australia's head of professional tennis, rates Kyrgios a potential future top-10 player. ''He's one of the very best young players in the world,'' Woodbridge said.
''He's in about half a dozen, which includes [Bernard] Tomic, who have a chance to be top 10 in the next generation of players, in about six years' time.
''I watched him play his three qualifying matches and one main-draw match at the US Open, and he's playing top-100 standard of tennis.''
Australia has been crying out for a new star to emerge. Woodbridge said the country's exciting bunch of talent should help Kyrgios share the burden of flying the flag.
''He has to be able to handle the stresses and expectations which come with a quick rise,'' he said.
''It is one of the hardest things he'll have to learn to cope with, but what he does have on his side is we've developed a better batch of players over the last few years.
''It isn't all focused on one guy all the time and I think that releases the pressure valve.''
Woodbridge said it was important Kyrgios did not suffer the same fate as other promising youngsters who have faded into oblivion.
But he warned against diluting the brash confidence which is a hallmark of his game.
''Everybody's always having a word to Nick. It's a good and bad thing,'' Woodbridge said.
''He's got confidence and belief and no one should try and take that away, but he has to keep himself under control and focus that energy into being positive on court.
''You want young players with that x-factor and belief, because there's no way you can make it in the sporting world without it.
''You don't want to take away the flair a young athlete has. He's got the ability to play great shots under pressure.''
Woodbridge said Kyrgios had impressed Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter, and anointed him Australia's next Davis Cup star. ''He's been pushing all the guys at practice and his attitude and work rate has been excellent,'' he said.
''His great asset is when he steps up in a big match he plays aggressive tennis and he performs well. He doesn't get intimidated by the occasion and you can't teach that, it's rare in this day and age. In my mind he will be the next player to represent Australia.''
Woodbridge admitted the speed of Kyrgios' rise had been a pleasant surprise for Tennis Australia powerbrokers.
''Twelve months ago, no one saw him achieving what he has this year in terms of ATP ranking,'' Woodbridge said.