Controversial tennis star Nick Kyrgios is eligible for the Newcombe Medal for the first time in three years but it could be the one year he hasn’t done enough to win it.
Suspension ruled Canberra product Kyrgios out of the last two Newcombe Medals, but he’s one of five nominations for this year’s gong.
Tennis announced Kyrgios, Ashleigh Barty, Daria Gavrilova, John Peers and Jordan Thompson are all in the running for n tennis’ highest honour.
Kyrgios would have been a strong chance of winning the coveted award in each of the past two years if not for suspension and he will do well to knock Barty off her perch this time around.
Kyrgios made the final of the Cincinnati Masters and played a huge role in the n Davis Cup team’s run to the semi-final.
But Barty enjoyed a meteoric rise that took her from outside the world’s top 200 to a career-high ranking of 17 – comfortably ‘s best.
Kyrgios won the Newcombe Medal in 2014 and declared in November he wants to become the best in the world, with the world No. 21 giving himself five years to do it.
It would be a massive turnaround for the fiery 22-year-old, who was rubbed out of Newcombe Medal contention last year as he was serving an eight-week suspension for tanking at the Shanghai Masters.
It was the second time in as many years he was ruled ineligible, having ended 2015 on a suspended ban.
Barty’s stunning rise up the rankings is one even she wouldn’t have been expecting having only returned to tennis last year following an 18-month break.
The 21-year-old started the year ranked outside the top 200 but she soared to a career-high ranking to take the mantle of ‘s No. 1 player.
Barty clinched her first WTA singles title in Malaysia in March and knocked over four top 10 seeds on her way to the final of September’s Wuhan Open.
“I am proud to be part of the n tennis family,” Ashleigh Barty said.
“Being nominated for the Newcombe Medal is a huge honour for me and something I didn’t think possible in my first year back.”
A swathe of Canberra products are in the running for medals, with Frank Calabria nominated for the coaching excellence club category.
Giralang Primary School has been nominated for most outstanding school, with the ACT Claycourt Invitational a finalist for most outstanding professional tournament.
ACT Walk of Fame inductee Ros Balodis has been nominated for the most outstanding tennis senior gong.
The Newcombe Medal headlines a list of 15 awards to be presented at the n Tennis Awards at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium on November 27.