Melbourne, 16 May 2012 | Tennis Australia

Lleyton Hewitt and Ashleigh Barty have been awarded wildcards into the main draw of the French Open.

Hewitt, who had foot surgery in February, has made a speedier than expected recovery and has been training well on clay.

“I’m looking forward to playing the French Open especially after missing it last year due to injury,” Hewitt said.

Rising star Ashleigh Barty, 16, is also looking forward to another Grand Slam challenge.

“I’m thrilled to compete in the main draw of the French Open for the first time and test my game against the world’s best.  Thank you to Tennis Australia for believing in me enough to give me this opportunity and I will do my best to make everyone proud,” Barty said.

With a WTA ranking of 327, Barty, a member of the AIS Pro Tour program, is one of only two 16-year-olds in the top 330.

The 2011 Wimbledon Junior champion has reached the final of three Pro Tour events so far this year, winning in Sydney and Mildura and finishing as runner up in Ipswich. She is currently competing in Europe

“It’s great to see Lleyton back from injury and we are very pleased to be able to reward his efforts with this wildcard,” Tennis Australia’s Director of Tennis Craig Tiley said today.

“We are also delighted to give another Grand Slam opportunity to Ash whose commitment, work ethic and professionalism have seen her rise rapidly through the pro ranks. She is continuing to improve and deserves to test herself against the world’s best,” Tiley continued.

Hewitt and Barty will join [5] Samantha Stosur, [69] Jarmila Gajdosova, [96] Casey Dellacqua, [106] Anastasia Rodionova, [32]Bernard Tomic and [69] Matt Ebden in the main draw at Roland Garros.

Aussies at Roland Garros

As we count down to French Open 2012, will feature some of the best Australian achievements at Roland Garros. The highlights will be revealed in chronological order and when all 20 have been named, you get the chance to vote for your No.1 achievement.

> View Aussies at Roland Garros