Tiley: Young Aussies can be future stars

Saturday, December 14, 2013 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley says that even though his country only has one player currently in the Top 50 — world No. 18 Samantha Stosur — that the tide will soon change, especially on the men’s side.

Tiley points to 21-year-old Bernard Tomic (No. 51), the highest ranked male player in the world under the age of 22; Nick Kyrgios, the 18-year-old former world No. 1 junior, who won the Australian Open boys' title in 2013 and qualified for the U.S. Open main draw; and 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was the runner up at two junior Grand Slams in 2013 and the world’s No. 10 ranked junior.

"Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are the two best players under the age of 20 in the world,'' Tiley told the Courier Mail. "I say that for a number of reasons, including the respect I have for the comments of people like Pat Rafter, John McEnroe, Brad Gilbert and Paul Annacone about them.

Nick's coach, Simon Rea, has done a magnificent job with him. He has jumped like 600 places this year. They are both tall, very athletic, love playing tennis, want to compete and have each other to compete against. There are other Australian players who are pushing them as well. Everyone is in place. They may make big jumps early. They have to be healthy, keep improving, keep having a good attitude.That's up to them, but based on where they are, they are tracking to be future stars of the sport if they do the hard work.''

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