Ben Mitchell scores Brisbane wildcard
Gold Coast local Ben Mitchell has been awarded a wildcard into the Brisbane International.
Wimbledon 2010 junior finalist and Gold Coast local Ben Mitchell has been awarded a wildcard into the Brisbane International.
Mitchell said he is looking forward to starting his year in front of a home crowd and playing his first main draw at an ATP event.
“Obviously it means a lot to get a wildcard into the Brisbane International,” Mitchell said.
“It is my home town tournament, being from the Gold Coast, I train in Brisbane at the Queensland Tennis Centre all the time and to have my first ATP event in my home state on these courts is pretty special.
“I have all types of emotions and nerves going on at the moment but I know I have been given a wildcard into the event because selectors think I can win some matches so I am ready to go.
“I can’t wait to get out on court and play in front of all my family and friends next week. It is a dream come true.
“I just wanted to thank everyone who has given me this opportunity.”
Tournament Director Cameron Pearson is happy to have another Queenslander in the draw.
“Ben has had a terrific 12 months and really deserves this opportunity,” Pearson said.
“I am happy that selectors have given this wildcard to another Queenslander and it will be great to see him in the main draw alongside fellow Australians Bernard Tomic, Matt Ebden and Marinko Matosevic.”
Mitchell’s wildcard announcement coincides with Ebden’s elevation to the main draw today. This leaves one men’s wildcard still to be announced.
Ebden moves into the main draw following the withdrawal of James Blake, Donald Young and Kevin Anderson.
Mitchell is a member of the AIS Pro Tour Program and is an Australian Open wildcard recipient.
He has been spending time in Brisbane hitting with Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter and finished 2011with solid results and ranking improvements. The 19-year-old slashed almost 400 places from his ranking, moving up from 609 to 227.
Mitchell has been a stand-out player on the Australian Pro-Tour this year, reaching seven finals – Berri, Alice Springs, Cairns, Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Traralgon and Bendigo. He won three and also won an event in Spain and was runner-up in the UK.
Brisbane International 2012 series packages and single sessions are on sale now.
Tickets start from as little as $14.90 for ground passes and can be purchased online at www.ticketek.com.au/brisbaneinternational or call 1300 888 104.