Somdev gets Australian Open wildcardBy IANS
Thursday, January 6, 2011
MELBOURNE - India’s Somdev Devvarman has been given a wildcard in the 2011 Australian Open, starting Jan 17, and he will make his maiden appearance at the Melbourne Park.
Kai-chen Chang of Chinese Taipei is the other Asian player to be handed a wildcard, in the women’s singles, Tennis Australia announced Thursday.
Somdev, 25, is currently ranked 108, just outside the Australian Open cut-off of 105. He was the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medallist last year besides winning a Challenger in Turkey in September. He also reached the semifinals in Aptos in July and qualified for both the Cincinnati Masters and the French Open. It was only last year that India’s No.1 broke into top 100.
Nineteen-year-old Chang, ranked 117, reached a career-high of 82 in 2010 following a second-round appearance at Wimbledon and the US Open. In New York, she was beaten by the finalist and current world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki.
This will be Chang’s second Australian Open main draw appearance.
There are two more discretionary wildcards to be awarded in both the men’s and women’s draw.
Australian Open wildcards have been allocated as follows:
Reciprocal US: Ryan Harrison (US), Lauren Davies (US)
Reciprocal French: Benoit Paire (France), Virginie Razzano (France)
Asia: Somdev Devvarman (India), Kai-chen Chang (Chinese Taipei)
Australian Open play-off winners: Marinko Matosevic and Olivia Rogowska
Discretionary: Peter Luczak, Jelena Dokic, Matt Ebden, Alicia Molik.