The next big thing: Kyrgios ready to be a star

Nick Kyrgios's coach, Des Tyson, says his charge will take a leaf out of Bernard Tomic's book and embrace being branded the next big thing of Australian tennis.

The weight of expectation that comes with that tag has crushed the progress of several promising youngsters before him.

But after his 7-6, 6-3 dismantling of friend Thanasi Kokkinakis in Saturday's Australian Open junior final, Tyson insists Kyrgios has the tools to take it in his stride.

The 17-year-old's brash, confident and extroverted personality is similar to Tomic's, and Tyson said it would help him brush off the greater public pressure.

''Nick's got a personality where I think he'll embrace that, he's not a shy boy and I think he'll take that and run with it,'' Tyson said. ''I don't think it will have an effect on him at all.

''He likes the attention, he's a bit of a showman and he definitely thrives on the big occasion.''


Kyrgios proved that emphatically with his straight-sets win over doubles partner Kokkinakis, his first junior grand slam singles title after claiming the French and US Open doubles crowns last year.

Much like Tomic, Kyrgios is renowned for loving the big stage, and saving his best tennis for when it matters most.

Kyrgios with the trophy.
Kyrgios with the trophy. Photo: Reuters

The Canberran saved three set points in the opening set with three booming serves.

He again handled the occasion on break points late in the second set, when Kokkinakis threatened to get back into the match after Kyrgios broke early.

Kyrgios reacts after serving an ace on championship point.
Kyrgios reacts after serving an ace on championship point. Photo: Getty Images

''It's a real strength of Nick to be able to play the big points well, he plays by his instincts and doesn't shy away from the big occasion,'' Tyson said.

''He's a pretty confident young man, he backs himself to play the big points well, and goes out with an aggressive mindset which usually comes off.

''It was a big occasion, and it's a special quality to be able to play your own game and forget what's at stake.''

Tomic won the Australian Open junior title in 2008, but only graduated to being a serious ATP Tour player this summer.

The 20-year-old won his first tour title two weeks ago at Sydney, and his Australian Open campaign ended in the third round at the hands of Roger Federer.

Tyson warned Kyrgios the ascent from junior star to the professional ranks is massive, and not to be discouraged if the transition takes longer than he'd like.

He said winning a junior grand slam title doesn't mean senior success will be handed to him on a platter.

''You only have to go back through the honour roll of the past Australian junior champions, some have gone on to have great careers but some you don't hear of too much,'' he said.

''It's a good start and a good step, but there's a lot of work to be done yet.

''The competition is fierce, there's only room for about 50 guys to make a living out of tennis in the world, it's so competitive.

''It's not going to happen overnight, it could take maybe four or five years to make that transition.''

Tyson said Kyrgio's major focus would be on the remaining three grand slams this year.