Saville, Rodionova to lead Play-off fields
South Australian Luke Saville and Victoria's Anastasia Rodionova are expected to head the men's and women's fields at the Australian Open 2015 Play-off.
South Australian Luke Saville and Victoria’s Anastasia Rodionova are expected to head the men’s and women’s fields at the Australian Open 2015 Play-off.
The event, staged on 15-21 December and the centrepiece of the December Showdown, gives the next generation of Australian players the chance to compete for a coveted wildcard into the first Grand Slam of the year.
Each year the December Showdown gathers the country’s best players at Melbourne Park to compete in the 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s national championships across 16 days of sizzling tennis action, featuring more than 1500 matches.
The 20-year-old Saville currently sits at a career high ranking of No.158 after qualifying for Wimbledon and scoring a first round win over promising top-40 player Dominic Thiem (AUT).
Townsville’s John-Patrick Smith (Qld) will be back to fight it out as will 2014 Australian Open play-off winner Jordan Thompson (NSW), alongside Alex Bolt (SA), Matt Ebden (WA) and Matt Reid (NSW).
Joining 187th-ranked Rodionova in the women’s field is Daria Gavrilova (Vic), Storm Sanders (WA) and Arina Rodionova (Vic), along with Jessica Moore (WA) and Alexandra Nancarrow (ACT) who have both enjoyed rankings rises following successful Australian Pro Tour seasons.
Tournament director Francis Soyer said he was anticipating a competitive couple of weeks of play at Melbourne Park.
“December Showdown is a fantastic experience for some of Australia’s emerging talent to get a feel for match conditions and what it takes to become a professional tennis player,” he said.
“The Australian Open Play-off continues to draw some of Australia’s best male and female players to play-off for the ultimate prize – direct entry into their home Grand Slam.
“The calibre of the 2014 field is strong and we wish the players the best of luck on their pursuit for tennis glory.”
|Women’s field||Men’s field|
|WTA rank||ATP rank|
|188||Anastasia Rodionova (Vic)||158||Luke Saville (SA)|
|232||Daria Gavrilova (Vic)||200||John-Patrick Smith (Qld)|
|263||Arina Rodionova (Vic)||201||Alex Bolt (SA)|
|344||Jessica Moore (WA)||236||Matthew Ebden (WA)|
|348||Storm Sanders (WA)||265||Matt Reid (NSW)|
|402||Alexandra Nancarrow (ACT)||268||Benjamin Mitchell (Qld)|
|489||Alison Bai (ACT)||274||Jordan Thompson (NSW)|
|572||Abbie Myers (NSW)||321||Dane Propoggia (NSW)|
|702||Naiktha Bains (Qld)||345||Maverick Banes (Qld)|
|747||Priscilla Hon (Qld)||447||Gavin Van Peperzeel (Qld)|
|804||Maddison Inglis (WA)||463||Andrew Whittington (Vic)|
|958||Kimberly Birrell (Qld)||571||Blake Mott (NSW)|
|959||Olivia Tjandramulia (Qld)||684*||Greg Jones (NSW)|
|1168||Sara Tomic (Qld)||1043||Mark Polmans (Vic)|
|37 (ITF junior)||Seone Mendez (NSW)||1425||Akira Santillan (Qld)|
|18s singles winner||18s singles winner|
* indicates protected ranking
During the two-week period the December Showdown will also feature a number of new initiatives: