30 December 2006
French youngsters Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Youlia Fedossova
are the latest recipients of main draw wildcards to Australian Open 2007 under a reciprocal arrangement with the French Tennis Federation.
Tsonga is no stranger to the courts at Melbourne Park having reached the semifinals here in the Junior Championship in 2002 (lost to countryman and eventual champion Clement Morel) and 2003 (lost to eventual champion Marcos Baghdatis) on his way to finishing 2003 as the world No.2 junior.
The 21-year-old right hander with a booming serve made an impressive debut in his first ATP event in 2004 where he defeated Carlos Moya in the opening round.
In 2006 he has won a Challenger in Rennes and was a finalist in Lanzarote, and won four Futures events – two in France and two in the UK.
He reached as career-high ranking of 133 in 2005 but had his season disrupted by injury which has seen his current ranking slip back to 212.
Eighteen-year old Fedossa has had some promising results in 2006.
She reached the quarterfinals at the Japan Open in Tokyo and the second round on her debut at the US Open where, as a qualifier, she defeated No.25 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues in the first round. She ended the year ranked 149 in the world.
Tokyo is also where the youngster made her Sony Ericsson Tour main draw debut back in 2004. As a lowly ranked qualifier (448) she reached the quarterfinals defeating Meghann Shaughnessy (ranked 46) and Akiko Morigami (74) along the way before losing to the top seed and eventual champion Maria Sharapova.
The Australian Open awards 8 men’s and 8 women’s main draw wildcards to the forthcoming tournament.