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TheBoiledEgg
Dec 11th, 2003, 04:24 AM
LTA in wild-card overhaul

By Jonathan Overend
BBC Sport tennis commentator

Tough new restrictions on Wimbledon wild-cards have been announced by the Lawn Tennis Association.


Any British man who has received three in his career will not get another unless he hauls his ranking inside the world's top 150.
That affects players such as Arvind Parmar and Jamie Delgado, who will be forced to climb the rankings or win a play-off competition if they are to play on the famous grass courts again.

The wild-card system has been criticised in the past for gifting players big prizes, even if they lose.

Those defeated in the first round of the men's singles last summer received the best part of £7,000.

"We're raising the bar once more," says Lawn Tennis Association performance director David Felgate.

"I do think, at that time of year, players have sat back and thought of their Wimbledon wild-card. They won't be able to do that anymore."

Automatic wild-cards will still go to British players but only if their ranking is inside the top 300 for men or 250 for women.

Special allowance will be made for players just out of the junior ranks.


If you don't get inside that ranking you don't get nominated
LTA performance director
David Felgate
The only other way into the All England championships will be through a play-off system which will double as pre-qualifying.

The play-offs, in hindsight introduced too swiftly last year, will be significantly altered for 2004.

The winner will be guaranteed a place in the Wimbledon main draw, there will be nominal prize money and, importantly, umpires and linesman will officiate.

After a sometimes chaotic and often confusing process six months ago, Felgate has made the new system clear in a letter, seen by the BBC, sent to every player's home.

"The players know where they stand today," he says.

"They've had the letter and it's crystal clear. If you don't get inside that ranking you don't get nominated. If you're outside of it, go and play the play-offs."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/3308947.stm

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:eek: if it affects the women too, no wonder Julie, Lucie retired.
anyone counted back how many WC's the current players have received in past ??

TheBoiledEgg
Dec 11th, 2003, 11:17 AM
women have to be Top 250 :o some incentive :rolleyes:

paul_masterton
Dec 11th, 2003, 04:39 PM
hehe, reason womens cuit off is 250 and mens in 300 is coz there arent enough men in top 300.

I take it the no more than 3 doesnt count for women? if so Baltacha and Keothavong would be illegeible :eek:

Lol, this could totally backfire if our top men and women get injuries,. we could only have 3 or 4 in total who could meet the criteria!

lol, i dont think this was the reason lucie and julie retired!!

paul_masterton
Dec 11th, 2003, 05:10 PM
i reckon the wc's will go to:

Anne
Jane
Elena
Amanda
Emily
Karen
Sarah

Palicot
Dec 12th, 2003, 01:30 PM
The LTA site has the news also, slightly different.

http://www.lta.org.uk/News/BritishNews/031211ParmarWildcard.htm

The Lawn Tennis Association have announced that the allocation process for wildcard entry into the 2004 Wimbledon Championships will be tightened in a review of the play-off system introduced in 2003.

In agreement with the All England Club, the wildcard playoffs and pre-qualifying will be amalgamated into one event to be played from Wednesday to Friday during the first week of June.

Additionally, only men in the world’s top 300 and women in the top 250 will be eligible for nomination for a main draw wildcard, unless under the age of 20 for men and 19 for women.

The men’s and women’s events will be played out over three days with the winners guaranteed a main draw wildcard.

It has also been announced that no player will receive any more than three direct wild cards, unless ranked in the world’s top 150, or returning from serious injury in the past year.

The LTA Performance Director David Felgate said:

“We are determined to improve the standards of performance tennis in this country further and these changes to the wildcard system are designed to ensure that the bar continues to be raised. Wimbledon wildcards are not a right, they have to be earned, and those players who step out onto the Wimbledon courts next summer will know that they deserve to be playing in a Grand Slam.”

Players who receive a wildcard direct will be notified after the wildcard meeting to be held on 7 June 2004. All other British players will be eligible to play in the play offs to win a wildcard for Main Draw or Qualifying.

Other wildcards will be allocated by the All England Club for Main Draw and Qualifying thereafter.