The 2012 Australian Open Men’s singles main draw is made up of 104 direct acceptances, 16 qualifiers and 8 wild cards. In this post OnCourt Advantage will explain how these wild cards are awarded plus keep you up-to-date with who receives the men’s wild cards into the men’s singles draw for the 2012 Australian Open.
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 men-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 men-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.
In 2011 the Australians allocated their wild card to Bernard TOMIC for Roland Garros and to Marinko MATOSEVIC for the US Open. Tomic and Matthew EBDEN will not need a wild card into the 2012 Australian Open because they both earned automatic entry as a direct acceptance by being ranked in the Top 104 in the world at the Monday 5 December 2011 entry ranking cut-off date. The 19-year-old Tomic who made the 2011 Wimbledon men’s singles quarter finals is currently ranked No.42 and the 24-year-old Ebden is ranked No.86.
TA announces a team that will be the Davis Cup squad for 2012 to represent Australia in December or early January. Any player who is selected in the Australian Davis Cup squad and has not already gained entry into the Australian Open is always a very good chance of receiving a discretionary wild card.
The USTA holds an 8-player knockout draw play-off with the winner of the Men’s Singles Final, which is a best of 5-set match earning the USTA’s wild card into the Australian Open. The eight players are chosen by the USTA and are not selected according to rankings. Ryan Harrison has won the USTA play-off for the past two years but will not need a wild card as he is now ranked No.79 and will be joined by an additional eight American men as direct acceptances into the main draw.
TA also holds a knockout play-off with the winner of the Men’s Singles Final earning a wild card into the Australian Open. There are 24 players in the play-off draw and the Top 8 players according to ranking are seeded, which gives them all a bye into the round of 16. Matosevic won the 2011 Australian men-only play-off by defeating Peter LUCZAK in the men’s singles final in 5 sets. The No.2 seeded MATOSEVIC is in the men’s singles final match again on Sunday 11 December against No.5 seed James DUCKWORTH.
Discretionary Wild Cards:
As soon as each of the wild cards are selected at the discretion of TA OnCourt Advantage will added their names to the list below. All of the main draw wild cards will be determined on or before Tuesday 12 January at the latest because that is the day that the men’s qualifying singles event is drawn.
Pictured above is 32-year-old Australian Peter LUCZAK in the midst of his service action during the 2011 Australian Open. The 1.83m Victorian is retiring at the 2012 Australian Open after achieving a career-high ranking of No.64 on 12 October 2009. The current World No.271 achieved his best Grand Slam singles result in his very first Grand Slam tournament, the 2003 Australian Open.
Luczak equalled his personal best at the Australian Open in 2006. Australia has a strong history of awarding a wild card to retiring players to give them the opportunity to end their career after competing in the main draw one last time. Therefore, Luczak has a pretty good chance of receiving a wild card if he is fit to play by mid January next year.
In order of when they were announced the 8 wild cards for the 2012 Australian Open Men’s singles main draw tournament are:
- Lleyton HEWITT – TA discretionary WC on 1 December 2011
- Marinko MATOSEVIC – Australians-only wild card play-off singles champion on 11 December 2011
- James DUCKWORTH – TA discretionary WC on 14 December 2011
- Jesse LEVINE – US Open or USTA Reciprocal Wild Card
- Benjamin MITCHELL – TA discretionary WC on 20 December 2011
- Jeremy CHARDY – Roland Garros or FFT Reciprocal Wild Card
- Tatsuma ITO – Asian wild card scheme – on 6 January 2012
- Greg JONES – TA discretionary WC – on 10 January 2012
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photo credit: n.hewson