Australia's women players have been advised of a change to Tennis Australia's Australian Open wildcard program this year. Previously, two main draw (singles) wildcards were awarded to the best performed Australian on the QLD and SA Challenger circuits at the end of the year. This year only one AO main draw (singles) wildcard will go to the best performed Australian in singles over the combined QLD and SA Challengers.
The second wildcard will be go the winner of a Playoff to be conducted during the AO Training Camp at Melbourne Park, 8-20th Dec 2003. The playoff will consist of 16 players (accepted on ranking, plus wildcards but excluding those directly into the AO singles Main Draw).
What do you think?
May 14th, 2003, 09:37 AM
Good idea, bcos the it will be based on recent form ;)
May 14th, 2003, 09:46 AM
i always thought the winner of the 'aussie assault' training prgram in December should get a main draw wildcard.
The last two years vying for qualifying wildcards was a waste of tmie and hardly any of the players ranked inside the top 300 bothered coming. At least this way more is up for grabs and should reap a better turn up.
I dont see why the have reduce it from 2 to 1 for the challenger wildcard though.
The way I see it the have creditable ways to award 3 wildcards into the main draw. Now they only have two.
This will let mistakes like 'Szili' this year happen when they have no real means to award wildcards!
May 14th, 2003, 01:01 PM
Anytime there is a proper system for awarding wildcards then I'm for it.
Therefore 16 girl knock-out with a wildcard up for grabs at least judges on merit and form. Plus with 16 girls it gives the chance those sitting low in the ranks a chance to cause an upset and snatch that elusive w/c.
It also gives the selection committee some else to judge on, a player doing well on the Nov-Dec challengers and then performs well in the Playoff could merit a wildcard too I suppose. Instead guessing the last couple of places which i reckon they've done in the past.
May 14th, 2003, 03:20 PM
Yep Im for it :)
It's much closer to the AO start time, and thus a better indicator of form...also, it will attract more players to the training camp.
I think one of the reasons they may have combined the QLD/SA wildcard is that they are shedding a MD spot for an Aussie, and giving it to another Asian perhaps? After all they have been promoting it as the Asian slam lately...
Anyway, I don't mind that only 1 person will get the challenger circuit WC, usually it always goes to the usual suspects (hello Evie and Rachel), so I guess it will make the play off all the more exciting :) Oh, and I will get to see it so I'm happy about that too!
May 14th, 2003, 03:21 PM
BTW...I wonder if they will still have a Qualifying WC play off? I guess not...as most players will be in the MD tournament.
May 14th, 2003, 07:51 PM
I think it is a good idea as it might make a few of them try a bit harder to win matches that they seem to let slip from their grasp. The points accumulated during the Qld/SA challengers last year were pathetic, and not really deserving of a wildcard.