A look at the Australian Open Men’s Wildcards

Last week we did an article on the Australian Open Women’s Wild cards.  Now for the Men.  Six of the eight wild cards for the 2012 Australian Open Men’s Draw have been decided.

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)    Lleyton Hewitt was given a wild card by Tennis Australia.   Former U.S. Open and Wimbledon Champion and two time Tennis Masters Cup winner.  Tennis Magazine listed Lleyton Hewitt at #34 in their list of te greatest players since 1965. He also won the U.S. Open doubles in 2000.  Hewitt is 13th on the all time career earnings list.  Hewitt is currently #186 in the world. (various sources)

Hewitt’s Homepage – CLICK HERE


 2)    Marinko MATOSEVIC – Australian only wild card playoff singles champion.  The #3 ranked player in Australia, 144th in the world.  (ATP Tennis)

Matosevic’s Homepage – CLICK HERE


3)    James DUCKWORTH – Another Tennis Australia discretionary wild card.  Duckworth is ranked 275th in the world.  This 19 year old reached a career high 7th in the world in the juniors on July 5th of 2010.  He is a right hander with a two handed backhand who has been playing tennis since he was  7 years old.

Duckworth triumphs in first final appearance

Unseeded 19-year old James Duckworth from Sydney, Australia claimed his first ITF Pro Circuit singles title with victory over Poland’s Grzegorz Panfil in the former Polish capital of Krakow.

The 2008 Australian Junior Davis Cup player triumphed in what was also his first appearance in an ITF Pro Circuit singles final defeating his seeded opponent, the third seeded player in succession he had faced, in straight sets and celebrated by giving the court a kiss!  (ITF Tennis.com)


4)    Jesse LEVINE – (born October 15, 1987) is a Canadian-born American professional tennis player. He achieved his career-high singles rank of No. 94 on November 3, 2008.

As a 13-year-old, in 2001 Levine won the U.S. Clay Court 14 Nationals singles championship, and as a 15-year-old he won the USTA boys’ 16s doubles championship with his doubles partner. As a 17-year-old, he won the 2005 Wimbledon boys’ doubles championship with his doubles partner. Playing one year of No. 1 singles as a freshman for the University of Florida in 2007, he lost only one match, finishing his career with a 24–1 record.

In June 2009 he scored his most significant victory to date, defeating world # 24 (and former world # 1) Marat Safin at Wimbledon. The following month he defeated the second top-50 player of his career, world # 48 Philipp Petzschner. His most significant achievement in doubles, was when he made the finals eventually although eventually losing to the Bryan brothers, in the 2009 U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships. (Wikipedia)

 Jesse Levine on Twitter – CLICK HERE


5)    Benjamin MITCHELL – Made it to the finals at Wimbledon (Boys Singles) before losing to Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-4.  Had 4 tournament wins in 2011 in Futures Series tournaments (Berri, Melilla, Esperance, Traralgon).   (Wikipedia)


6)    Jeremy CHARDY – Roland Garros or FFT Reciprocal Wild Card.  ranked #103 in the world (singles) and #137 in the world (doubles).  Career highs – 31st in singles and 57th in doubles.  Idol growing up was Pete Sampras…Considers serve as best shot…Would like to be an actor after his tennis career…Captured Wimbledon junior Championships (d. Young in SF, Haase in F) and finished runner-up at US Open juniors in 2005 (l. to Ryan Sweeting)…Finished No. 4 in world junior rankings in ’05…In 2004, won Eddie Herr International in Florida and SF at Wimbledon juniors (l. to Monfils)…In doubles, reached Roland Garros juniors final in 2005 (w/Bubka)  (ATP Tennis)


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