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AUSBOY
Jan 8th, 2004, 09:45 AM
Fight on for last five Classic spots
By Peter Fitzgerald Tennis
Thursday, 8 January 2004

The stage is set for the fourth annual Canberra Women's Classic with qualifying rounds beginning tomorrow and tournament preparations finalised yesterday.

It will be the first time the competition will be played without a Canberran in the final draw, with all but five positions now guaranteed for the championships, beginning Sunday.

Tomorrow, 32 hopefuls will fight it out in the two-day qualifying stage in order to gain a spot in the main draw of 32.

Four Australians - Sophie Ferguson, Lauren Chung, Natalie Tanevska and Daniella Dominikovic - will take to the court tomorrow and Saturday in order to crack it into the final draw in the hope of joining fellow countrywomen Monique Adamczack and Evie Dominikovic for the chance at tournament glory.

The final "gold/silver exempt" available position won't be finalised until Saturday.

It will be filled preferably by a leading player who gets knocked out early in another competition taking place this week and who would like another tournament in the lead-up to the Australian Open. Or, if there are no takers, the next in line after the qualifying rounds will be elevated into the final field.

Gerard Corradini, general manager for Tennis ACT, said those selected at the qualifying rounds generally have an advantage heading into the beginning of the competition.

"It's a bizarre thing but many of those trying to qualify come from countries with very cold climates and to have a few decent hit-outs before the real deal can be of huge benefit," he said.

"What that means is that in some way, qualifiers are in a better condition to endure the tournament.

"We would obviously love to have a Canberra girl playing but unfortunately, that wasn't possible this year because the reality is, selection is made on rankings."

AUSBOY
Jan 8th, 2004, 09:58 AM
Obviously this article was written a few days ago by someone who knew nothing about tennis!

The writer must have looked at Amanda Grahame's real rank and not injury rank as she has gained direct entry into the qualifying draw.

The gold/silver exempt wildcard has me stumped. If no player requests it will another Aussie get a chance?????? Or will they make it 5 qualifiers?

If its up to the tournaments discretion Lisa McShea should get a qualifying wildcard since she is ranked top 320 and playing doubles there anyway and then move Ferguson into the main draw!

I know last year in Hobart the Silver/Gold Exempt wasnt used so Welford got her qualifying wildcard upgraded to main draw at the last minute and then someone else got a qualifying wildcard.

Actually for memory it happened at Canberra last year too when Sewell suddenly found herself in the qualifying draw

AUSBOY
Jan 9th, 2004, 05:00 AM
Anyone know anything about the Gold/Silver Exempt Wildcard? If not used does that automatically mean 5 qualifiers?