Brisbane, Qld, 30 December 2011 | Tennis Australia

Outstanding young New South Wales talent James Duckworth will make his ATP debut  in Brisbane next week.

The 19-year-old has been awarded the last men’s wildcard into the main draw of the Brisbane International.

Duckworth, a leading member of the AIS Pro Tour Squad,  is part of a quality group of teenagers developing quickly under the tutelage of AIS Head Coach Brent Larkham.

“James has made major strides in the last 12 months in what effectively has been his transition year from junior ranks into the seniors,” Larkham explained.

“We are very excited about the maturity he is developing in his game. He, along with Ben Mitchell, Jason Kubler and Luke Saville are part of a group of very talented young Australian players who have a lot of potential. But they all still have a lot of hard work ahead of them. One of the very special things about James though, is his enormous appetite for hard work, “ he said.

Duckworth has made an impressive six Futures finals, winning four titles (in Poland and Italy) slashing his ranking from 755 at the start of the year to be sitting at 275.

Last year he was granted a wildcard into quallies and lost first round to a very tough Russian opponent, Dmitry Tursunov.  The young New South Welshman has played 18 tournaments this year for a 40-14 win loss record.

He brought his good overseas form home with him, playing his way into the final of the Australian Open Play-off at Melbourne Park earlier this month.

“This is a terrific opportunity to play at a great venue in a world class event. I want to thank the tournament and the selectors and I plan to make the most of it.  It is a step up for me, but I believe I am ready for that step, thanks to a lot of hard work and preparation with our AIS team and support crew, particularly with our Davis Cup physio, strength and conditioning coach Ian Prangley.

Duckworth joins fellow Australians Bernard Tomic, Matt Ebden, Ben Mitchell and Marinko Matosevic in the main draw of the Brisbane International.