Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia
WILDCARDS for Moorilla International
Samantha Stosur and Christina Wheeler, the two Australian players that played off for the Australian Open Wildcard last weekend have been announced as the two wildcard recipients into the main draw of the 2004 Moorilla International to be played at the Domain Tennis Centre in Hobart between January 9th-16th, 2004.
Stosur (19 years old) defeated Wheeler in the final play-off for the Australian Open Wildcard in a tough battle, 7-6(6), 6-3. Ranked 162 in the world at the end of 2003, Stosur will be looking to kick-start her 2004 Australian Open campaign with some good wins here in Hobart. Stosur achieved her career best grand slam result so far when she reached the third round at the 2003 Australian Open (defeating former Wimbledon Champion, Conchita Martinez in the first round).
"Stosur has shown more potential than what Alicia Molik did at her age and I believe that she will mature into a much better player in the future", said Australian Open Chief Executive, Paul McNamee at the 2004 Moorilla International launch earlier this month.
Wheeler (19 years old) played at the Moorilla International in 2002 and was a finalist in the doubles. Ranked just below Stosur at 166 in the world, Wheeler will have a good opportunity to put together a few surprise performances.
"Despite some intense competition from tournaments in Sydney and Canberra, we are extremely pleased that we have been able to secure two of the top womenís players in Australia for Hobart", said tournament director, Mike Burke.
In the qualifying event, four Australian junior players have been given wildcards. Four players from qualifying will go through to the main draw starting on Sunday 11th January 2004. Australian players, Lauren Breadmore from Victoria (ranked 268 in the world), South Australian pair Adriana Szili (ranked 781 in the world) and Olivia Lukaszewicz (ranked 924 in the world) and Lara Giltinan (ranked 909 in the world) will compete with twenty-eight other players for spots in the main draw.
Lukaszewicz is a player of the future and at only 15 years of age is currently the fourth best junior player in Australia. Giltinan is the daughter of former Australian Davis Cup player, Bob Giltinan and at only 17 years of age is currently second on the Australian junior rankings behind West Australian, Casey Dellacqua.
"Having Stosur and Wheeler playing here in Hobart, it will give the Hobart public a good chance to cheer on the Aussies as they attempt to keep the Moorilla International title in Australian hands", said tournament director, Mike Burke.
"It will also be good for the Hobart public to come along and watch the Australian junior players in qualifying, as these are the players that will be on the way up in the future."
The wildcard announcement finalises the list of players for the tournament, with the field being the best ever in the tournamentís eleven-year history. The lowest player in the 2004 field is ranked No. 84 in the world (not including the wildcard players).