OMG its true, Baltacha and Anne K get Aust Open Wildcards, Might be a One off Though! - TennisForum.com
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 09:23 AM   #1
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OMG its true, Baltacha and Anne K get Aust Open Wildcards, Might be a One off Though!

BRITISH DUO GET GRAND SLAM CHANCE

Two British players have been awarded wildcard places at the Australian Open, the first grand slam of the year.

The places have been given by organisers in return for two spots for Australian women at Wimbledon.

The players put forward by the Lawn Tennis Association are British number one Elena Baltacha for the main draw wildcard and British number four Anne Keothavong for the qualifiers.

Baltacha, world ranked 157, reached the third round at Wimbledon this year by defeating South African Amanda Coetzer.

The powerful right-hander, whose father Sergei played football for Ipswich and Dynamo Kiev, also clocked the third fastest serve (118 mph) on her Wimbledon debut in 2001 with only the Williams sisters recording faster during the tournament.

Keothavong, ranked 236 in the world, was a girls singles semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2001.

In this year's main draw, she lost to France's Virgine Razzano in the first round.

Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee said: "These wildcards will be a great early Christmas present for the British players to know that they will be on the plane to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open in January.

"Both Wimbledon and the Australian Open can be tough tournaments to get into solely on world rankings so it's a real developmental benefit for both Tennis Australia and the LTA that this exchange between the two grand slams has been established for 2003."
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 09:27 AM   #2
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Sounds like a one off exchange for this year which isnt a bad idea!

Anne K and Elena B are the biggest hopes for British tennis in years!!

Australia doesnt have any juniors that are quite ready yet for Aust Open wildcards e.g Olivia L, D. Dominikovic etc.

Hopefully by July 2003 players like Christina H, Casey D and B Sekulowski will be ready to take the challenge up
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 09:41 AM   #3
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Thumbs up GOOD LUCK, BALTACHA!

It is good to know Baltacha got WC for MD! I hope she can reach at least 2nd R...In her junior years, she lost twice to Angelique Widjaja...First, in R2 of Japan Open 2000 - Angie defeated her 63 63...then in SF of Junior Wimbledon 2001 in 3 sets...Angie who eventually grabbed the title - won vs Baltacha 57 76(2) 62! It will be great to see another match between the two again in a grand slam! I bet, Angie will come out as the winner!!!
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 10:50 AM   #4
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Christina H and Samantha S are pretty good on the grass, I'd give one of the WC's for Wimby to one of either of these.
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 01:18 PM   #5
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 02:16 PM   #6
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Good to hear the british girls get wildcards outside of the UK
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 02:28 PM   #7
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This is strange. Not one but two Brits got wildcards. That makes four foreigners out of eight! What about the Aussie players?
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 02:42 PM   #8
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Experi...Anne K only got a qualifying WC
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 06:11 PM   #9
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I'd expect Stosur (MD) and Horiatopoulos(qualies) to egt teh Wimby WC's as Eggy said.
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 08:55 PM   #10
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It sounds like a good move.

I wish all of the majors would think outside the box in handing out WC's...maybe something like, if you win the juniors you automatically get into next year's main draw or something...

Of course the only nation who doesn't do anything like this is the States
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 09:07 PM   #11
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lol, and they are the ones with the most players in teh main draw directly!!
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 09:16 PM   #12
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Hurley, prior to this arrangement, what other Slam was generous with their WC's lay off the US. No one else gives our players WC's so why should we be expected to give up ours.

I do agree that the winner of the Junior tournament should get a WC into the Qualie draw the following year.
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Old Dec 19th, 2002, 12:29 AM   #13
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And duh, if we had a reciprocal deal, people would. That's how these are going. That's what "reciprocal" means.

Prior to this arrangement, AO and FO had been exchanging slots for 2-3 years, and AO has been giving up a spot for an Asian for 6-7 years.
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Old Dec 20th, 2002, 11:39 AM   #14
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Lawn Tennis Association officials have pointed out that the mutual arrangement with Tennis Australia for them to give one British player (Elena Baltacha) a wild card into the main draw and one (Anne Keothavong) into the qualifying, with a reciprocal arrangement for Australian players at Wimbledon, will not necessarily be a permanent policy.
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Old Dec 21st, 2002, 01:48 AM   #15
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A few years back the US did actually have a reciprocal arrangement with Tennis Aust. Only for one year. Nicole Bradtke who coming back from marriage/time off was awarded a w/c into the US Open, I think Anne Miller got the other into Aus Open, a few months later.
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