Tomic lands French Open wildcard
Bernard Tomic has been awarded a wildcard into the main draw of the year’s second Grand Slam – the French Open.
Sixteen-year-old Tomic, the 2008 Australian Open Junior Champion, started 2009 in style with a first-round Australian Open win over Italy’s Potito Starace.
He went on to push rising French star Gilles Muller to four sets in an enthralling night match at Rod Laver Arena.
Tomic came into the Australian Open with impressive performances in Futures events during the second half of 2008, reaching a quarterfinal and final in Indonesia in August, and the quarters at Happy Valley in South Australia in October.
In February 2009 he again replaced Grand Slam glamour with the slog of the Tennis Pro Circuit, winning the Maccabi Challenger with convincing performances over older and more experienced players including Joe Sirianni, Marinko Matosevic, Brydan Klein and Japan’s Junn Mitsuhashi.
Tomic is currently ranked 378, having slashed his ranking more than 400 places since January.
For the past six weeks he has been in a training block on the Gold Coast, with a focus on strength and conditioning.
This week he is heading to Florida, with his coach, father John Tomic, and Sopko, and will make his base at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy due to it’s proximity to major international tournaments.
A recipricol agreement between the French Tennis Federation and Tennis Australia allows the latter to select two Australian players for the French Open, which starts at Roland Garros on May 24.
In the past players have competed in a play-off to ‘win’ the French Open wildcards. Due to late confirmation of this agreement for 2009 from the French Federation, the wildcards were awarded to Tomic and 17-year-old Olivia Rogowska based on recent form and results.
“Tennis Australia is delighted to award French Open wildcards to Bernard and Olivia based on their most promising results over the past 12 months,” Tennis Australia’s Director of Tennis, Craig Tiley said today.
“Although we have traditionally held a play-off, with our players competing to ‘win’ these wildcards, we decided to focus on long-standing youth policy and award these wildcards to the best performing younger players.
“After his impressive performances during the Australian Open, his recent Futures win and rapid rise in rankings, Bernard was an obvious choice.”
“The opportunity to compete at the French Open will be another step in the development of both these promising players and we wish them well,” Tiley said.