A growing group of exciting young talent is behind Tennis Australia’s wildcard snub of Bernard Tomic ahead of this year’s grand slam, Craig Tiley says.
Tennis Australia’s chief executive has opened up after the governing body handed out 12 wildcards to male players, some for the main draw and others for the qualifiers, but overlooked Tomic.
Australian wildcards are often reserved for young players who are climbing up the tennis ladder and considered to have a bright future.
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But they are also dealt to veterans as a reward for past feats, as well as players who have made a significant jump up the rankings.
Tomic is a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist and has recently leapt 362 places up the rankings in the last year.
Tennis Australia’s rejection of the controversial Queenslander left some wondering if politics played a part.
“It’s our performance team that look at the decision of wildcards,” Tiley said.
“What it goes into is the player coming in, or the strength of their play, how they’ve been playing, what events they’ve been playing, how much they’ve been playing. Are they the younger part of our future generation, the younger players?
“There’s many factors that go into it and it’s not a quick decision they go through. One thing that’s great — we’ve got a new problem, and we’ve got a lot more Australian players than we’ve had before to choose from, and that’s a great, great problem to have.”
Jason Kubler, Alexei Popyrin and Rinky Hajikata scored wildcards into the Australian Open main draw, while qualifying wildcards went to Dane Sweeny, Tristan Schoolkate, James McCabe, Adam Walton, Philip Sekulic, Bruno Kuzuhara, Edward Winter, Jeremy Jin and Derek Pham.
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