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Tennis ACT looking to host Nick Kyrgios in Fast4 event

Nick Kyrgios could be the headline act at a Fast4 exhibition event at AIS Arena within the next year, with Tennis ACT in early discussions with Tennis Australia and the ACT government.

It's an idea Tennis ACT chief executive Ross Triffitt has been working on for a while and it took a step forward in discussions with tennis bigwigs at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Canberra has proven itself as a venue for elite tennis after not only holding the Canberra International in November, but then the Canberra $75,000 Challenger as a lead-up event for the Australian Open at the behest of the ATP as well.

Triffitt said they had received glowing reports from the ATP and TA for their running of the Challenger tournament at short notice, but with the ATP footing most of the bill for the event he was unsure whether it would return next summer.

Instead, Canberra could be set to host an even bigger spectacle with Triffitt hoping to have world No.41 Kyrgios play in front of his home crowd.

Sydney held a Fast4 event involving Kyrgios, Lleyton Hewitt, Rafael Nadal, Gael Monfils, Pat Cash and John McEnroe in the lead-up to this year's Australian Open.


Triffitt was considering a similar format, with Kyrgios, two legends and another big name to play at either the end of November or in early January.

Discussions were at the early stages with more known over the coming months.

"Really, it's about having name players here in Canberra in addition to the fantastic content we're getting from the Challenger events and other pro events we're having here," Triffitt told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.

"Being able to have Nick Kyrgios play here in a big event is obviously really appealing to us.

"We're in discussions around the potential for this year ... if we find that the business community have an appetite to be supporting these type of tennis events and we can get local sponsorship.

"I think we'd love to have a Fast4 type event here featuring a couple of legend players and Nick and another name player."

Triffitt considered a number of options for a venue but AIS Arena looks the most cost-effective one.

The ceiling of the Royal Theatre at the Convention Centre, where WNBL team Canberra Capitals are looking to play games next season, is too low, while it will cost too much to bring in temporary grandstands at the Canberra Tennis Centre in Lyneham.

With both the AIS Arena and Lyneham able to hold about 4500 people, it's cheaper to install a drop-in tennis court at the former than bring in seating at the latter.

"We wanted to have an exhibition event involving Nick Kyrgios last year and we just couldn't get a financial model for it to work, mainly because we don't have a stadium court so we have to pay for the cost of seating coming in," Triffitt said.

"All those things were considered when we redeveloped [Lyneham] and the site needs to tick so many different boxes that a stadium wasn't appropriate for everything we need and want to do here.

"There's considerations around AIS Arena and then it's getting down to the cost for the players, the cost for installing the court and those discussions are moving along in the background.

"We've had some very, very preliminary conversations with player management and we're just starting discussions with Tennis Australia and the ACT government about what that may look like."