Next Kyrgios could be playing in Wollongong in November

Nick Kyrgios is set to break into the world's top 50. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Nick Kyrgios is set to break into the world's top 50. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

TENNIS

Australia's next Nick Kyrgios could use Wollongong as a stepping stone to the pro circuit when the country's best young talent flocks to the city in November.

Beaton Park will host more than 100 up-and-coming stars when the venue holds two rounds of the renowned Futures tournament later this year.

The tournament is considered a testing ground for Australia's brightest tennis prospects.

Canberra product Kyrgios won the Futures title last year before going on to reach the second round of the Australian Open, the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the third round of the US Open.

He is also set to become Australia's highest-ranked player when he jumps into the top 50 next week, having come from outside 800 just 18 months ago.

The rapid rise of Kyrgios proves the importance of the Futures tournament.

Beaton Park's head professional Stu O'Shannessy believes it will be the biggest competition ever played in Wollongong.

"I've been here since the year 2000 and the first few years we had satellite-level tournaments and a couple of these Futures tournaments," O'Shannessy said.

"But this is a level above that again, so this would be the highest level tournament we've had in Wollongong.

"They call them pro-tour events, so they're a lead-up event to the Australian Open series which starts in November.

"We hope to get a really high calibre of players here."

The competitors who line up during the Futures tournaments will potentially be playing for spots at the Australian Open in January.

Beaton Park will host the F9 Futures on November 10-16 and the F10 Futures on November 17-23.

The two tournaments highlight a busy summer schedule on the Wollongong tennis scene.

"We've got a really full schedule actually," O'Shannessy said.

A mixed doubles tournament will be held in mid-October which will act as a qualifying round for the Australian Open.

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