2014/07/14

Nick Kyrgios and Ashleigh Barty Awarded French Open Wildcards

Nick Kyrgios from Australian open twitter feed

(May 13, 2014) Nick Kyrgios and Ashleigh Barty have been given wildcards into the French Open main draw. Roland Garros begins on May 25 in Paris.

Nineteen-year-old Kyrgios won back-to-back ATP Challenger events in the United States in April. At world No.159, Kyrgios is currently the only teenager ranked inside the men’s top 200.

The Canberra local will hope to use his wildcard entry to emulate a memorable main draw debut at Roland Garros last year, when he defeated world No.52 Radek Stepanek in the first round.

Davis Cup captain and men’s wildcard selector Pat Rafter said Kyrgios was a deserving recipient of a French Open berth.

“Nick has shown over the past 12 months that he can compete at Grand Slam level and also handle the pressure of big occasions like Davis Cup competition,” Rafter said.

“Nick really deserves this opportunity after being sidelined by injury and then returning to win back-to-back Challenger titles on clay.”

After celebrating her 18th birthday last month Ashleigh Barty will enter the French Open eligible to compete unrestricted on the WTA tour for the first time.

With a world ranking of 182 Barty’s focus for the year so far has been to contest the qualifyingrounds of high-level ITF events.

In February she joined the Australian Fed Cup team in Hobart, winning the doubles rubber against Russia to help the Aussie side to victory. She was then named in the team to take on Germany in last month’s semifinal tie, teaming with Casey Dellacqua to win the doubles rubber against a powerhouse German pair.

Barty will head to her third French Open looking to build on her maiden Grand Slam victory in the first round of the tournament last year.

“It’s really exciting to be awarded a wildcard into the French Open,” she said.

“I’ve obviously played at Roland Garros a few times now, including when I was a junior, so I’m familiar with the site and there’s just no better clay than at Roland Garros. It’s pretty special when you get there.

“I’ll give it a real go, you never know what’s going to happen. I’ve just got to go out there, keep my chin up and see how I go on the day.”

A reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation allows Tennis Australia to select two Australian players to receive wildcard entries into Roland Garros each year. Rafter and Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik head the team of wildcard selectors.

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Oz and Ends – Day One at the 2013 Australian Open

Melbourne park grounds

Oz and ends  and bits of news from the Australian Open for January 14, 2013

 

Bagels and breadsticks

Maria Sharapova won her first match of the Australian Open 6-0, 6-0 in 55 minutes over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova. It was her third career “double bagel” in a major tournament. She only needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete a “double bagel slam.”

Three women have completed the “double bagel slam” – they are Hall of Famers Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Venus Williams added to the bagel set count with a 6-1, 6-0 demolishing of Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva.

 

Win streak continues

Agnieszka Radwanska has extended her 2013 win streak to 10 by defeating Australian wild card entry Bojana Bobusic of 7-5, 6-0 on Monday.
Twitter News

Maria Sharapova has officially joined twitterverse. Follow her at @MariaSharapova

[tweet https://twitter.com/MariaSharapova/status/290778598774829058]

 

Tweets of the day

 

 

Lucky Loser is a winner
Tim Smyczek is lucky loser was a winner on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Ivo Karlovic. The American it into the draw thanks to housemate John Isner who pulled out of the tournament with a right knee injury.

 

Tough day for Aussies

Matthew Ebden, Ashleigh Barty, Olivia Rogowska, Sasha Jones,  John Millman, Lleyton, Hewitt and Casey Dellacqua all exited on day one of Australian Open. Sam Stosur was the only victorious Australian on Monday.

 

Two seeds falls

The 11th seed Juan Monaco was the only seeded played not to win on Monday. The Argentine who withdrew from last week’s Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament with a hand injury was clearly stuggling clearly struggling on the court in his straight set loss to Alex Kuznentsov, was applauded by spectators for not retiring from the match.

Monaco told Reuters: “My leg tightened up at the start of the second set and it was very tough for me,” pointing to his right leg.

On the women’s side Ksenia Pervak  stopped 32nd seed Mona Barthel 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

Federer out of Davis Cup

Roger Federer will not participate in Switzerland’s first round Davis Cup tie versus the reigning champions, the Czech Republic

 

Five set marathons

[22] Fernando Verdasco def. David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
[10] Nicolas Almagro def Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
Edouard Rogers-Vasselin def. Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 11-9
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Lukasz Kubot 6-7, 6-4, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
[23] Mikhail Youzhny def. Matt Ebden 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3
[28] Marcos Baghdatis def. Albert Ramos 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Roberto Bautista Agut def. Fabio Fognini 6-0, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
[31] Radek Stepanek def. Viktor Troicki 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5;
Brian Baker def. Alex Bogomolov 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Tomic Keeps Australia in Hunt for Hopman Cup

tomic

(January 3, 2012) Bernard Tomic and Ashleigh Barty secured a 2-1 victory over Hopman Cup No.3 seeds Italy on Thursday night, keeping themselves in contention for a finals berth at the ITF’s official mixed teams competition.

Tomic began with a 6-3 7-5 win over Andreas Seppi.  He’s now a perfect 3-0 in singles play also upsetting Novak Djokovic and Tommy Haas.

“It was very difficult to bounce back and focus on tonight’s match but I think I did it extremely well and woke up and did everything on time,” said Tomic after the match. “I feel like I played a very good match today. I’m improving and I couldn’t be more satisfied from the last three matches I’ve won here.

“The confidence I’ve got from this week is going to allow myself a big chance in Sydney and if I keep everything up, I can do well there as well as the summer in Melbourne.”

Australian teenager Barty claimed the biggest win of her career with a 6-0 6-3 demolition of 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in Thursday night’s second rubber.

“It’s amazing coming to Perth and I’ve been given this opportunity to play for Australia and it’s been unbelievable,” said Barty post-match. “I’ve had a great week with Bernie (Tomic), I’m happy I can contribute and get a win.

“Coming out here and paying in front of this many people is unbelievable. Last night was so much fun and to play as well as I did is just amazing.”

Barty’s win gave Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead over Italy heading into the mixed doubles rubber which was won by the Italians 2-6 6-4 [10-3].

Earlier in the day Spain was handed a walkover by the USA after John Isner withdrew from the tie with a right knee injury.

In the singles Fernando Verdasco defeated Isner’s replacement, 16-year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6(4) 6-3 before Venus Williams beat Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3 6-4.

In the mixed, the Spanish duo were clearly too good for Kokkinakis and Williams who met for the first time just minutes before playing. The experienced Spaniards, who had won both of their previous mixed doubles matches this week, completed a hat trick of mixed wins, 6-1 6-3, over the scratch USA pairing.

The victory secured Spain’s place in Saturday’s final with Serbia and Australia both in contention for the second finals berth depending on the outcome of Serbia’s match against Germany on Friday night.

Should Germany upset top seed Serbia, Australia would reach the final.

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Hewitt and Barty Receive Wildcards for French Open

Lleyton Hewitt and Ashleigh Barty have been awarded wildcards into the main draw of the French Open from Tennis Australia.

 

Hewitt, who had foot surgery in February, has made a speedier than expected recovery and has been training well on clay.

 

“I’m looking forward to playing the French Open especially after missing it last year due to injury,” Hewitt said.

 

Ashleigh Barty, 16, is also looking forward to another Grand Slam challenge.

 

“I’m thrilled to compete in the main draw of the French Open for the first time and test my game against the world’s best.  Thank you to Tennis Australia for believing in me enough to give me this opportunity and I will do my best to make everyone proud,” Barty said.

 

With a WTA ranking of 327, Barty, a member of the AIS Pro Tour program, is one of only two 16-year-olds in the top 330.

 

The 2011 Wimbledon Junior champion has reached the final of three Pro Tour events so far this year, winning in Sydney and Mildura and finishing as runner up in Ipswich. She is currently competing in Europe

 

“It’s great to see Lleyton back from injury and we are very pleased to be able to reward his efforts with this wildcard,” Tennis Australia’s Director of Tennis Craig Tiley said today.

 

“We are also delighted to give another Grand Slam opportunity to Ash whose commitment, work ethic and professionalism have seen her rise rapidly through the pro ranks. She is continuing to improve and deserves to test herself against the world’s best,” Tiley continued.

 

Hewitt and Barty will join [5] Samantha Stosur, [69] Jarmila Gajdosova, [96] Casey Dellacqua, [106] Anastasia Rodionova, [32] Bernard Tomic and [69] Matt Ebden in the main draw at Roland Garros.

 

A reciprocal agreement between the French Tennis Federation and Tennis Australia allows the latter to select two Australian players for the French Open, which starts at Roland Garros on 22 May.

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Barty and Matosevic Win Australian Open Wildcards

Ashleigh Barty of Australia holds the winners trophy after defeating Irina Khromacheva of Russia in their Junior Girl’s final match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London July 3, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

 

 

 

Ashleigh Barty and Marinko Matosevic will join tennis’ elite for the first Grand Slam of the year after winning the Australian Open Play-off at Melbourne Park.

Fifteen-year-old Barty is likely to be the youngest player at next year’s tournament after she defeated defending champion and second seed Olivia Rogowska.

After being down early in the first set, clawed her way back to take the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6(6) before running away with the second set 6-2.

Barty was elated with her win when she spoke after the match.

“I can’t describe how I’m feeling right now. I’m pleased with what I’ve done and I’ve played some really good tennis this week,” said Barty.

When asked about playing in her first Grand Slam tournament Barty replied, “ I don’t really want to think about it yet… I’ll probably go out there and play some horrendous tennis and be really nervous, but I’ll just go out there and have some fun.”

Barty came into the play-off as a wildcard after winning the Optus 18s Australian Championship last week and swept through the Australian Open Play-off without dropping a set, despite encountering players with years more experience.

Marinko Matosevic also has a main draw Australian Open berth following a straight sets victory over fifth seed James Duckworth (Gordon, NSW) 6-4 6-1 6-2 this afternoon.

“It’s a great opportunity, an honour and a privilege to get into a Grand Slam tournament by winning this,” said Matosevic, who will make his third Australian Open appearance.

Matosevic reached a career-high ranking of 131 in March and had some solid results throughout the year reaching the quarterfinals at Challenger events in Dallas and Nottingham.

Australian Open 2012 will take place at Melbourne Park from 16 to 29 January.

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Barty and Saville Claim Wimbledon Junior Titles for Australia

Ashleigh Barty of Australia holds the winners trophy after defeating Irina Khromacheva of Russia in their Junior Girl’s final match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London July 3, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

 

Ashleigh Barty delivered an historic double to Australia joining South Australia’s Luke Saville at the Wimbledon Junior Championships. This is the first time Australia has won both the boys’ and girls’ singles titles in the same year.

 

Barty started slowly in her match against 16-year-old Russian No.3 seed Irina Kromacheva, trailing 4-1 in the first set before regaining her customary composure to fight back and win the match 7-5 7-6(3).

 

“I think I was just able to stick in there. I was never going to give up. It’s the final of Junior Wimbledon. I keep trying my guts out for every point. I was able to get a few good points in a row and upset her a little bit,” Barty said.

 

Barty is also the first indigenous Australian to claim a Wimbledon title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley, and is in regular contact with the former champion. “It’s pretty special. As I say, I talk to Evonne quite a bit. It’s great to share that experience with her, even at the junior level.”

 

Barty was supported in the stands by her AIS coach Nicole Pratt, AIS Pro Tour squad members – fellow Wimbledon champion Luke Saville, Andrew Whittington and Sean Berman, Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood and a host of former Australian players, coaches and support staff.

 

“It was good,” Barty said of her cheer squad. “All us Aussies are pretty close. It was good to get support from them today.

 

“I didn’t put any expectations on myself coming to the tournament. I just wanted to come here and gain some experience. I was happy to get past the first round, let alone win it. So I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved this week,” Barty continued.

 

Luke Saville hoisted the boys’ singles trophy on Saturday, the first Australian to do so since Todd Reid in 2003, although fellow AIS scholar Ben Mitchell reached the final in 2010.

 

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Saville said after winning in three sets over England’s local hope Liam Broady on a packed Court One.

 

“After putting the disappointment of the Australian Open loss behind me, to win the final, looking kind of bleak there for a little bit, down a set and a break, but to fight back and win in the third set was nice.

 

“You know, words can’t describe the feeling. It’s unbelievable. I’m playing a couple of Futures next week in England. I’m hoping to bring this form that I’ve produced here onto the men’s Futures circuit.

 

“I remember Todd Woodbridge speaking to me. He said the morale of the story is ‘don’t tank, keep fighting to that last point. Even if you lose, give your fellow competitors a message that you’re going to keep on fighting till the last point. Have that never-say-die attitude.’

 

“I think it’s great. I think Australian junior tennis, although Bernard is not a junior anymore, he made the semis maybe last year or the year before, so I think we’re going in the right direction.

 

“I think we have a good environment in Australian tennis right now,” Saville said.

 

“This is a great effort by Ash and Luke,” Tennis Australia’s Director of Tennis, Craig Tiley said.

 

“Playing in a Junior Grand Slam final is a significant accomplishment and both should be very proud of their success. These younger players continue to make us excited about the future of Australian tennis. Congratulations to them and our coaching staff on a very successful Wimbledon championships.”

 

All Australians competing at the Junior Championships are members of the AIS Pro Tour program supporting the transition of junior players into senior ranks. Athletes are given world class coaching, physical and medical support.

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