Tomic and Kyrgios set for Mexican showdown
TENNIS: Bernard Tomic's hopes of arresting a depressing slump could hinge on an intriguing possible clash with Nick Kyrgios in Mexico this week.
Mired in a miserable form rut with after three successive losses, Tomic will seek to return to the winner's list when he tackles American Donald Young in Acapulco.
If the Queenslander overcomes Young and Kyrgios dispatches Israeli Dudi Sela, the pair will clash for the first time at professional level.
Aussie bad boys Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios could meet on the court at a pro event for the first time. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Close friends off-court, Australia's two highest-ranked men - Kyrgios is No.17, while Tomic has provisionally slipped to No.41 - are going through contrasting phases.
While Tomic has lost three successive matches since reaching the third round of the Australian Open, Kyrgios excelled in Davis Cup before advancing to the Marseilles semi-finals.
If the Acapulco clash eventuates, the winner of the match is slated to receive a dubious reward - a probable quarter-final appointment with top seed and world No.2 Novak Djokovic or US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro.
The possibility of Kyrgios and Tomic crossing swords comes as Lleyton Hewitt continues preparations for Australia's Davis Cup quarter-final with the US in Brisbane next month.
At this stage, Tomic remains unavailable despite building an enviable 17-4 Cup record.
Tellingly, Kyrgios and Tomic are not teaming in doubles in Mexico.
Kyrgios will partner American Jack Sock, one of the men he will face in Brisbane next month, as Tomic combines with Italy's Paolo Lorenzi.
Kyrgios' failure to defend the Marseilles title - he lost a tight three-setter to eventual winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - saw him slip one place in the rankings to world No.17.
The Canberran has opted to bypass Dubai this week for Acapulco, where his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic will play Canadian Eugenie Bouchard after overcoming a string of injuries.
Tomic has plummeted out of grand slam seeding range, after being as high as No.16 last season before slipping to No.32, with his first-round by Steve Darcis in Delray Beach.
In the new rankings, Victorian Omar Jasika has climbed to a career-high No.249.
Australian Open champion Roger Federer will this weekplay his first event since triumphing at Melbourne Park at the Dubai Duty Free Championships.
The Swiss faces Frenchman Benoit Paire and is provisionally scheduled to play world No.1 Andy Murray in the semi-finals.