Five of the eight wild cards for the 2012 Australian Open Women’s Draw have been decided. Players who gain access to Grand Slam tournaments as wild cards are often times fodder for the first round but every once in awhile a wildcard has a breakout tournament. The most famous wild card has to be Goran Ivanisevic who was ranked125th in the world and had to get a wild card to play Wimbledon. He ended up beating Patrick Rafter in the finals 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7 to win the event. It didn’t only happen at Wimbledon and it didn’t only happen with the men. In 2009, Kim Clijsters needed a wildcard to play in the U.S.Open. Wildcard or not, she won the tournament. In last year’s tournament wildcard Jelena Dokic won her first round match against Zuzana Ondraskova 6-4, 6-0; while Caroline Garcia topped Varvara Lepchenko of the Unitted States in the first round by a score – 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Alicia Molik beat Roberta Vinci 1-6, 6-3, 8-6. Will any wildcard get past the second round this year? We shall see. Unitl then, here is some background on this years wildcards so far.
First a little background into how the wild cards are selected from On Court Advantage (CLICK HERE).
The eight wild cards are distributed in the following way: two are reciprocal of which one each is determined at the discretion of the French Tennis Federation (*FFT) and the other is awarded to the winner of the American women-only wild card play-off winner run by the United States Tennis Association. Tennis Australia (TA) awards one as an Asian wild card as a symbol of being the Grand Slam of Asia Pacific, one to the winner of the Australian women-only play-off plus a further four at it’s discretion.
*FFT stands for Federation Francaise de Tennis or in English, the French Tennis Federation.
Reciprocal Wild Cards:
Three of the four Grand Slam tournaments have arranged a 3-way reciprocal arrangement whereby they all allocate a wild card to each other to use at their discretion. This means that all three of TA, FFT and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) set aside two Wild Cards for their home Grand Slam in order to acquire two Wild Cards for their own use at these two other Grand Slam tournaments.
Here are the 2012 Wild Cards so far:
1) Ashleigh BARTY won the Austrailians only wild card playoffs. Ashleigh is #2 in the world in the juniors and she is only 15 years old. “She is like me – when tennis gets too much, she goes fishing,” said Evonne Goolagong-Cawley. “I’ve met her several times. She is a woman after my own heart.”
Australian Fed Cup captain David Taylor, who also coaches Stosur, is equally impressed and believes the youngster could make the most precociously stunning impression on the women’s game since Martina Hingis.
“She’s the real deal,” said Taylor who once coached the Swiss former world no.1. “She’s a complete tennis player, an updated and better version of Hingis. She already serves better. I haven’t seen anyone with this much potential before. (10sballs.com)
Barty’s a step ahead of Hingis, says coach – CLICK HERE
Her ITF page – CLICK HERE
2) Casey DELLACQUA – TA discretionary WC on 14 December 2011. Christmas has come early for former world No.39 Casey Dellacqua with confirmation today of wildcards into the Australian Open main draw, as well as lead-in events Brisbane International and Moorilla Hobart International.
Dellacqua, sidelined for most of 2009 and 2010 due to shoulder and foot injuries – both of which necessitated surgery – started her return to the game earlier this year and quickly collected a Grand Slam title, taking out the mixed doubles championships at Roland Garros in June.
Since September Dellacqua has swept through the Pro Tour, enjoying a 30-match winning streak with wins in Cairns, Darwin, Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Traralgon and Bendigo. Her uninterrupted run broke a nine-year record for consecutive wins on the ITF Pro Circuit. (http://www.caseydellacqua.com.au/)
Casey Dellacqua Home Page – CLICK HERE
Her WTA page – CLICK HERE
3) Madison KEYS – US Open or USTA Reciprocal Wild Card on 19 December 2011. Keys played in the Main Draw of the U.S.Open.
All in all, 16-year-old Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla., thought her Grand Slam debut was “awesome.” As well she should. After all, Keys became the youngest player since 2005 to win a match at the U.S. Open by beating 37-year-old Jill Craybas 6-2, 6-4 on Monday. (USA Today)
Madison Keys Home Page – CLICK HERE
Her WTA page – CLICK HERE
4) Olivia ROGOWSKA – TA discretionary WC on 20 December 2011. Lost in the first round in singles and doubles in the Australian Open (2009, 2010, 2011). Got to the 2nd round of the French Open in 2009 – singles. Highest singles ranking was 138th – December 7, 2009.
Rogowska’s WTA page – CLICK HERE
5) Aravane REZAI – Roland Garros or FFT Reciprocal Wild Card. Aravane is a professional French tennis player of Iranian background. She is the current French No. 5 in women’s tennis. Rezaï took up tennis aftere a childhood stint as her older brother’s ball girl. She has defeated many top players on the WTA circuit, such as Jelena Janković, Justine Henin, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Dinara Safina, Francesca Schiavone, Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli, Victoria Azarenka, Flavia Pennetta, and Ai Sugiyama. Her career high rank was No. 15, achieved on 11 October 2010. (Wikipedia)
Aravane Rezai Home Page – CLICK HERE
- Chardy, Rezai given Australian Open wild cards (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- You: Aussie duo added to wildcard list (sportsviews.com)
- Aussie tennis ace could surpass Hingis (news.smh.com.au)
- On Court Advantage – Australian Open Women’s Qualifiers (www.oncourtagevantage.com)