More wildcards announced for Australian Open 2021
Thanasi Kokkinakis is among five more Australians to receive a main draw singles wildcard at Australian Open 2021.
Another five Australian players have received main draw singles wildcards for Australian Open 2021.
Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA), Alex Bolt (SA) and Aleksandar Vukic (NSW) are among the latest recipients, along with Arina Rodionova (Vic) and Destanee Aiava (Vic).
Kokkinakis is on the comeback trail, with the former world No.69 set to take part in his fifth main draw at Melbourne Park after missing the 2020 event due to glandular fever.
“I’m super happy and thankful to have gotten a wildcard into the AO,” said Kokkinakis.
“Shattered I couldn’t play this year due to illness, but I’m feeling great now and can’t wait to get out in front of the home crowd and have some fun.”
The South Australian, currently ranked No.260, has not played an officially-sanctioned match since September 2019. However, he did win a pair of UTR Pro Tennis Series events at Melbourne Park last month – a sign he is rounding into form at just the right time.
Higher up the rankings are Bolt and Vukic, top-200 players who have both been rewarded for their impressive performances on tour in 2020.
Bolt, who stretched eventual finalist Dominic Thiem to five sets in the second round at AO 2020, reached the Launceston Challenger final a month before professional tennis was suspended due to COVID-19.
Vukic, a Monterrey Challenger finalist in early March, was impressive when tennis resumed in August, winning nine of his 14 matches – including three to qualify for the main draw at Roland Garros.
Aiava was another impressive performer in 2020, going 13-6 in the first two months of the year and continuing an impressive run across the UTR Pro Tennis Series.
Rodionova, a former world No.116, returns to the main draw of the Australian Open for the second year running after winning the AO Wildcard Play-off at Melbourne Park last December.
“It’s been a difficult year in so many ways, all our players have had a truncated season and we’ve not had the usual flow of results and changes in rankings we’d usually see,” said Tennis Australia Director of Performance Wally Masur.
“We’ve been lucky to run UTR events for our players across most of the year so they’ve had the opportunity to compete, and have a body of matches under their belt. And many of these players have fronted up, competed professionally and achieved good results.
“In terms of making what are always difficult decisions on wildcards, we’ve stuck a little closer to the rankings than we may have done in the past. We had a lot of players who were just outside the cut-off, and as they were on the cusp, they deserve a wildcard and a guaranteed spot in the draw to enable them to plan their preparation.
“For a lot of these players the circuit is pretty arduous and complex even without the challenges they’ve faced this year. They’ve all been through a longer than usual pre-season and generally not had nearly as many matches as they would have normally. This will be the case with almost all the players coming into the AO and it’s going to be fascinating to see what unfolds. Those with strong minds, and who can be ultra-professional, will be the ones in the best position to take advantage of the opportunity.
“We wish all our players the very best of luck and look forward to seeing some great tennis.”
Five-time Australian Open finalist and former world No.1 Andy Murray has also received a wildcard, while India’s Sumit Nagal and China’s Wang Xiyu receive the Asia-Pacific wildcards.
|AO 2021 wildcards – Singles main draw|
|Christopher O’Connell (NSW, AUS)||Daria Gavrilova (Vic, AUS)|
|Marc Polmans (Vic, AUS)||Astra Sharma (WA, AUS)|
|Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA, AUS)||Maddison Inglis (WA, AUS)|
|Alex Bolt (SA, AUS)||Lizette Cabrera (Qld, AUS)|
|Aleksandar Vukic (NSW, AUS)||Arina Rodionova (Vic, AUS)|
|Andy Murray (GBR)||Destanee Aiava (Vic, AUS)|
|Sumit Nagal (IND)||Wang Xiyu (CHN)|
Fourteen Australian players have received a wildcard into Australian Open 2021 qualifying, which will be held offshore between 10-13 January. Women will compete in Dubai and the men in Doha.
Australian Open 2020 junior champions Harold Mayot of France and Andorra’s Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva have also been handed qualifying wildcards.
|AO 2021 wildcards – Singles qualifying draw|
|Max Purcell (NSW, AUS)||Seone Mendez (NSW, AUS)|
|Blake Mott (NSW, AUS)||Abbie Myers (NSW, AUS)|
|Jason Kubler (Qld, AUS)||Storm Sanders (WA, AUS)|
|Akira Santillan (Qld. AUS)||Ivana Popovic (NSW, AUS)|
|Tristan Schoolkate (WA, AUS)||Olivia Gadecki (Qld, AUS)|
|Rinky Hijikata (NSW, AUS)||Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (SA, AUS)|
|Dane Sweeny (Qld, AUS)||Alexandra Bozovic (NSW, AUS)|
|Harold Mayot (FRA)||Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva (AND)|
Australian Open 2021 tickets are on sale via ticketmaster.com.au.