French Open wildcards announced
Aussies John Millman and Ash Barty have received wildcards into the French Open main draw, while Nick Nick Kyrgios has been handed a qualifying wildcard.
Australians John Millman and Ash Barty have been awarded wildcards into the main draw of the French Open, beginning 26 May.
Their compatriot Nick Kyrgios has also been handed a wildcard into the qualifying draw at Roland Garros.
The wildcards come thanks to a reciprocal arrangement between Tennis Australia and the French Tennis Federation, in which one Aussie male and female player are awarded a French Open main draw wildcard, and two French players are given the same privilege at the Australian Open.
Millman, currently ranked No.141, has shown his mettle on the red dirt in 2013, recently winning three matches to qualify for the main draw of the ATP event in Munich, Germany.
In addition, his run to the second round at the ATP Brisbane International as a qualifier and Challenger titles in Burnie and Kyoto have helped the Queenslander slash his ranking by around 60 places after beginning the year ranked No.199.
Tennis Australia’s head of professional tennis Todd Woodbridge said Millman’s achievements in 2013 made him a worthy wildcard choice.
“John’s had his best ever year on the circuit so far and has achieved a career-high ranking. He fully deserves an opportunity on one of the game’s biggest stages,” he said.
Barty, who in her fledgeling career has so far shown a preference for fast surfaces, has begun to harness her talent on clay in 2013.
The 17-year-old reached the semifinals of the ITF claycourt event in Pelham, United States in April before flying to Switzerland, where she made a stunning Fed Cup singles debut for Australia on the clay of Chiasso by beating top-60 talent Stefanie Voegele in straight sets.
These results were preceded by a run to the quarterfinals in Kuala Lumpur, Barty’s best-ever result at WTA level.
“On the back of her crucial match win in Fed Cup, Ash looks primed for Grand Slam success in the near future,” Woodbridge noted.
“I think that Fed Cup win on clay against (then world No.56) Voegele gave her great confidence and belief that she can perform with the world’s best. The experiences that she’s had in the past 12 months, such as taking out former French Open champ Francesca Schiavone at the Hopman Cup, have highlighted her talent.”
Kyrgios’ selection for a wildcard comes as reward for his stellar 2013 season, during which he has been one of Australia’s best-performed players.
The 18-year-old from Canberra has enjoyed a simply stunning transition to senior level after claiming the Australian Open junior crown in January, winning the ATP Challenger title in Sydney and also a ITF Futures trophy in China.
By winning 22 of 27 matches since his appearance at Melbourne Park, Kyrgios has improved his ranking by almost 600 places; he currently sits at world No.262.
“Nick has had an extraordinary start to the year and is full of confidence, so it’s the perfect opportunity for him to make his senior debut at Roland Garros,” Woodbridge said.
The French Open will be staged on the red clay courts of Roland Garros, Paris from 26 May to 9 June.