Australian Davis Cup coach Josh Eagle says Canberra young gun Nick Kyrgios' Sarasota Open win in the US on Monday has helped his chances of getting a French Open wildcard, but he still has two more Challenger Tour events on green clay to prove he deserves it.
Eagle said Kyrgios needed to string a few tournaments together to show his body was ready to cope with the rigours of the tour.
Kyrgios dropped just one set on his way to the Sarasota title, beating Serbia's Filip Krajinovic in straight sets in the final, 7-6 (12-10), 6-4.
Eagle wasn't surprised by the win, saying Kyrgios had already shown what he was capable of on a much bigger stage having won through to the second round of both the French and Australian opens.
He played his way into Australia's hearts with his second-round loss at Melbourne Park in January after he was cruelly cut down by cramps within sight of victory.
Kyrgios has been hampered by a niggling elbow injury since playing in Australia's Davis Cup campaign later that month.
Sarasota was his first tournament back since being forced to pull out of several US tournaments in February.
Tennis Australia has a French Open wildcard it can give to an Australian and Eagle said Kyrgios was now in the mix to get it along with James Duckworth and Sam Groth, who were also playing well.
Kyrgios got that wildcard last year, which he used to beat Radek Stepanek in the first round.
"Still with about a month to go I think it's more a wait-and-see proposition because we obviously want to see how Nick goes the next two weeks on clay ... but absolutely that really helps his chances by winning that tournament on clay in Sarasota," Eagle said.
"I would really like to see Nick go on and do well in these next two Challengers and really prove that he deserves that wildcard and starts really having an impact in the men's game."
Kyrgios has been injury-prone as he grows, but Eagle was confident he was now over his latest problem.
He said the 18-year-old had been extra cautious in his comeback to ensure the elbow injury wouldn't reoccur.
Eagle said a fit Kyrgios would again be in the mix for Australia's Davis Cup world group play-off against Uzbekistan in September.
"He'd be as frustrated as anybody at not being able to play regularly on the tour," he said.
"If you speak to him he'll say once he gets his body right and gets fitter and stronger he can compete with the rest of them.
"He has to show that he can do that and his body is ready for it."
Kyrgios now heads to the Savannah Challenger, which starts on Tuesday, before going to the Tallahassee Challenger.
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