The Australian Open men’s singles main draw will contain eight wildcard entrants into the men’s singles draw for the 2013 Australian Open. The remainder of the 128-player draw consists of 104 direct acceptances and the 16 players who win through the qualifying singles event. In this post OnCourt Advantage will explain how these wild cards are awarded and continually update you when another men’s singles wildcard is awarded.
The eight wild cards are allocated at the discretion of Tennis Australia (TA) although four of the eight wildcards have a set procedure for how they are selected/earned. TA is part of a 3-way reciprocal wildcard arrangement with two of the other three Grand Slam tournaments, which means two of the eight wildcards are called Reciprocal Wildcards.
I encourage you to “Follow” Tennis Australia on Twitter like I do, the official handle is @TennisAustralia. Please “Like” the official Tennis Australia Facebook page just as I do by pasting http://www.facebook.com/TennisAustralia into your address bar then click “Like” once you are there.
TA reserves one wildcard for the greater good of tennis in Asia-Pacific in a generous act and in line with being the Grand Slam of Asia Pacific as opposed to awarding that extra wildcard to an Australian player. TA holds an Australian men only knockout play-off with the winner of the final guaranteed a wildcard and did the same for the first time this year for the Asia-Pacific wildcard. The remaining four wildcards are awarded purely at the TA’s discretion.
TA announces the 2013 Davis Cup squad before the Australian Open. This squad consists of the men who will represent Australian in Davis Cup throughout 2013. Any Davis Cup squad player NOT already directly accepted into the Australian Open singles main draw is a high chance of receiving a wildcard. By doing this, TA gives that Davis Cup squad player the opportunity to gain invaluable 5-set match experience against potential Davis Cup opponents and a positive start to the tennis year.
All Australian players have a great incentive to perform well throughout the Australian Open Series of tournaments in January to make their case for receiving a discretionary wildcard.
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, French Tennis Federation (FFT) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) set aside two wildcards into their home Grand Slam in order to acquire two wildcards for their own use at two other Grand Slam events.
The FFT elects to choose at its discretion. The USTA holds an 8-player knockout draw play-off with the winner of the final best-of-5 set match earning the wildcard. The eight players are chosen by the USTA and are not selected according to rankings.
Discretionary Wild Cards:
As soon as each of the discretionary wildcards are announced OnCourt Advantage will added their names to the list below. All of the main draw wildcards will have to be determined on or before Tuesday 8 January at the latest because that is the day that the men’s qualifying singles event is drawn.
Pictured above is 20-year-old Australian Bernard TOMIC just after making contact with the ball for the forehand groundstroke during a practice session at the 2012 Indian Wells Open. The 1.96m Tomic achieved his career-high ranking to date of No.27 on 11 June 2012. The current World No.52 achieved his best Grand Slam singles result at Wimbledon in 2011 by making the quarter finals and his best result at the Australian Open in 2012 by making the round of 16.
The 8 wild cards into the 2013 Australian Open Men’s singles main draw are:
- WU Di – Asia-Pacific players-only wild card play-off singles champion 21 Oct, 2012
- Benjamin MITCHELL – Australian players-only wild card play-off singles champion 16 Dec, 2012
- Rhyne WILLIAMS – American players-only wild card play-off singles champion 17 Dec , 2012
- Nicolas MAHUT – Roland Garros reciprocal FFT discretionary 21 Dec, 2012
- John MILLMAN – TA discretionary 1 Jan, 2013
- Luke SAVILLE – TA discretionary 3 Jan, 2013
- James DUCKWORTH – TA discretionary 5 Jan, 2013
- John-Patrick SMITH – TA discretionary 5 Jan, 2013
Photo credit: mbevis