Sam Stosur, Casey Dellacqua, Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios have been announced as the four nominees for the Newcombe Medal.
Nick Kyrgios’ rise to the top of Australian tennis could extend into awards season with the teenager nominated for his first Newcombe Medal for most outstanding player of the year.
Tennis Australia has handed nominations to the top two male and female ranked players for the award, to be announced on November 24.
Joining Kyrgios (ranked 54) on the shortlist is Lleyton Hewitt (52), Sam Stosur (21) and Casey Dellacqua (29).
The 19-year-old tyro won three second-tier Challenger tournaments in a year memorably capped with his sparkling run past world No.1 Rafael Nadal to Wimbledon’s last eight.
But the selectors will have a tough job deciding the prize, with each of the four nominees having a strong claim to the award.
Despite blooming a decade later in her career, 29-year-old Dellacqua has enjoyed her own boom season.
The West Australian’s year has included appearances in the second week at Melbourne Park and Flushing Meadows – improving her ranking 100 places in a season.
Stosur, who won three straight medals from 2010, won in Osaka earlier this month and has a sprinkling of wins against top ten players through the year.
And the evergreen Hewitt, who won his first medal last year, has enjoyed his most prolific season in a decade with two ATP tournament wins.
Beginning with an upset final win over Roger Federer in Brisbane, Hewitt also won in Newport to show his appetite to succeed remains strong.
Kyrgios said he was honoured to be in such fine company.
“I’m really excited to be nominated for the Newcombe Medal, it’s been a huge year for me and this really caps it off,” he said.
“I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve this year and I’m already looking forward to 2015 and hopefully another big season ahead.”
Kyrgios won last year’s junior male player of the year, which this year will be contested by junior US Open winner Omar Jasika, Alex de Minaur and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
The three nominees for junior female player are Destanee Aiava, Kimberly Birrell and Seone Mendez.