Tomic lands Brisbane wildcard
Bernard Tomic has been given the last wildcard into the Brisbane International, which starts Sunday.
The Gold Coast 17-year-old joins fellow wildcard recipients John Millman, 20, of Brisbane and Australian Davis Cup player Carsten Ball in the men’s main draw of the first ATP World Tour event of the 2010 season.
National selector and Davis Cup coach Todd Woodbridge said Tomic’s form in the Australian Open Wildcard Play-off at Melbourne Park earlier this month warranted the wildcard.
“Bernard made the final after some tough matches during the week<” Woodbridge said. “He continues to grow and is working on his movement and other aspects of his game. I think he will make the most of this opportunity in what is effectively his home tournament.”
Brisbane International Tournament Director Steve Ayles believes Tomic’s inclusion will add to the pulling power of the event.
“I think a lot of Queensland tennis fans will be keen to see how Bernard has developed in the last year. Many have been following his progress throughout his junior career and will be interested in his performances at the Queensland Tennis Centre against some of the best tennis players in the world.”
Tomic made his ATP World Tour debut at the inaugural Brisbane International in January showing maturity beyond his years in a 6-4 6-2 loss to world No.15 and eventual Australian Open semifinalist Fernando Verdasco from Spain.
He then went on to win his opening round match at the Australian Open in four sets against Italian world No.73 Potito Starace before losing a four-set match against the big serving Gilles Muller from Luxemburg.
In February he won a Challenger event in Melbourne and has lifted his ranking from 764 at the start of the year to a career high of 284 in November. He is currently ranked 286.
His credits during the year included a second Grand Slam boys’ title, the US Open (he won the Australian Open boys crown in 2008).
The men’s wildcards will join world No.6 Andy Roddick , reigning champion Radek Stepanek, fellow Czech Tomas Berdych, Frenchmen Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet, and crowd favourites James Blake and Marcos Baghdatis in the men’s draw.
Brisbane International 2010 series packages and single sessions are on sale now. Ground passes remain $9.90 with the qualifying event on Friday 1–2 January 2010 remaining free.