MELBOURNE, Dec 30 AAP - Junior Wimbledon finalist Chris Guccione was one of four locals to be given wildcards today to next month's Australian Open.
The big-hitting teenager beat seasoned pros Stefano Pescosolido and Cecil Mamiit in US tournaments this year.
Guccione suffered a surprise first-round loss to countryman Andrew Derer in the Open training camp playoff at Melbourne Park earlier this month.
The automatic wildcard on offer there went to overall winner Todd Reid.
But Open organisers decided today that Guccione's promise was also deserving of a berth in the main draw at the Open, where he will make his grand slam debut.
As expected, Davis Cup hero Wayne Arthurs was also handed a wildcard today.
Evie Dominikovic was rewarded for her efforts in advancing to the third round at Melbourne Park in 2003 by getting a women's wildcard, along with Casey Dellacqua. (What hyprocrites TA are, just proves how discriminatory they were last year against Cindy Watson)
Open organisers are still to allocate two more men's and women's wildcards for the Open which starts on January 19.
AO 2004 Wildcards
Todd Reid (Australian Open Training Camp Play-Off)
Alun Jones (Uncle Tobys Wildcard)
Nicolas Escude (French wildcard)
Vadim Kutsenko (UZB) - Asian Wildcard)
Samantha Stosur (Australian Open Training Camp Play-Off)
Trudi Musgrave (Uncle Tobys Wildcard)
Tatiana Golovin (French wildcard)
Chuang Chia Jung of Chinese Taipei ( Asian Wildcard)