Young guns battle for Australian Open wildcards
The "generation next" of Australian tennis will be showcased at the Australian Open Play-off this week, as one of the youngest fields ever competes for a prized Australian Open main draw wildcard.
The “generation next” of Australian tennis will be showcased at the Australian Open Play-off this week, as one of the youngest fields ever competes for a prized Australian Open main draw wildcard.
The men’s event commences tomorrow, Monday 15 December, with the women starting on Tuesday.
Fed Cup captain and former world No. 8 Alicia Molik welcomed the 32 players to the official draw at Melbourne Park this morning.
“This is a great opportunity for you all – there’s an Australian Open maindraw wildcard up for grabs,” Molik said.
“As a Grand Slam nation you are all incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to play an event like this, and the potential to win that Australian Open wildcard. You’ll be playing in full Grand Slam match conditions, with live scoring, umpires, linesmen and ballkids, all great experience for you as we head into the summer.
“Performances from this event will help us determine wildcards into all the events over the summer, not just the Australian Open. So great results, great attitude on court and great tennis will all go towards increasing your chances for more opportunities over the coming weeks.”
Former Australian Open and Wimbledon Junior Champion Luke Saville (SA) headline’s the men’s draw, facing 20-year-old Sydneysider Chris O’Connell in the first round, with No.2 seed JP Smith (Qld) up against 19-year-old Jacob Grills (NSW).
Jordan Thompson (NSW) showed his class at the AO Play-off last year, winning a thrilling five-setter over Ben Mitchell to clinch the AO 2014 wildcard, and pushed world No.20 Jerzy Janowicz (POL) to five sets in the first round at the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old will meet in-form Tasmanian Harry Bourchier, a late addition into the event after winning the 18/u Australian Championships at Melbourne Park on Saturday.
Top seed in the women’s event, Olivia Rogowska (Vic) faces the youngest player in the draw, 15-year-old Seone Mendez (NSW).
Another talented teen, 16-year-old Naiktha Bains (Qld) meets No.2 seed Anastasia Rodionova, and third seed Daria Gavrilova (Vic) will take on 16-year-old Lizette Cabrera (Qld).
Winner of the 18/u Australian Championships girls’ event, Olivia Tjandramulia (Qld), will face No.5 seed Jessica Moore (WA).
The Australian Open 2015 Play-off will be live streamed from 10.00am on Monday 15 December.
You can join the conversation on Twitter using #AOPlayoff.
|Men’s draw||Women’s draw|
|ATP rank||WTA rank|
|164||Luke Saville (SA)||128||Olivia Rogowska (Vic)|
|200||John-Patrick Smith (Qld)||187||Anastasia Rodionova (Vic)|
|202||Alex Bolt (SA)||233||Daria Gavrilova (Vic)|
|265||Ben Mitchell (Qld)||264||Arina Rodionova (Vic)|
|274||Jordan Thompson (NSW)||345||Jessica Moore (WA)|
|320||Dane Propoggia (NSW)||350||Storm Sanders (WA)|
|348||Maverick Banes (Qld)||401||Alexandra Nancarrow (ACT)|
|482||Gavin van Peperzeel (Qld)||490||Alison Bai (ACT)|
|485||Christopher O’Connell (NSW)||510||Isabella Holland|
|519||Andrew Whittington (Vic)||572||Abbie Myers|
|574||Blake Mott (NSW)||699||Naiktha Bains|
|773||Jacob Grills (Vic)||807||Maddison Inglis (WA)|
|815 (40 ITF junior)||Harry Bourchier (Tas)||961||Olivia Tjandramulia (Qld)|
|1046||Marc Polmans (Vic)||1173||Sara Tomic (Qld)|
|1314||Mitchell Robins (Qld)||34 (ITF junior)||Seone Mendez (NSW)|
|1426||Akira Santillan (Qld)||194 (ITF junior)||Lizette Cabrera (Qld)|