Melbourne VIC, Australia, 17 February 2014 | tennis.com.au
Aussie rising star Thanasi Kokkinakis will continue his transition to the professional ranks thanks to a wildcard into the main draw of the ATP Open 13 in Marseille, France.
It will be the 17-year-old’s fourth tour-level event of 2013 after he qualified for the Brisbane International, received a wildcard into the Australian Open and contested qualifying at the ATP Rotterdam event.
Last week in Rotterdam, the South Australian was forced to withdraw from his first match due to a neck injury.
But he appears healthy again, tweeting: “In Marseille for the ATP 250. First match is tomorrow night #allez.”
In that match on Monday night, Kokkinakis, currently ranked No.395, will take on Slovene Blaz Kavcic on Marseille’s Court Centrale.
The winner takes on top seed Richard Gasquet, who receives a bye into the second round.
Across the Atlantic, Kokkinakis’ compatriots Lleyton Hewitt, Marinko Matosevic and Matt Ebden are entered in the main draw at the ATP 250 event in Delray Beach, Florida.
Hewitt is the tournament’s eighth seed and will take on American Bradley Klahn, the recent winner of the Australian Pro Tour event in West Lakes, Adelaide.
Awaiting in the next round could be Matosevic, provided the Victorian survives his opening round match against Belgium’s David Goffin.
Ebden battles Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili, with the winner earning a likely second-round stoush with third seed Kei Nishikori of Japan.
Fellow Aussie Sam Groth will attempt to the join the trio in the main draw by way of qualifying.
On the women’s side, Sam Stosur will fly the Aussie flag at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a tournament featuring seven of the world’s top 10.
Coming off a disappointing second-round loss in Doha last week, Stosur will attempt to right the ship at the WTA Premier event when she takes on a qualifier in the first round match.
Awaiting in the second round would be the winner of the match between No.8 seed Caroline Wozniacki and 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki.