Novak Djokovic was thrown a lifeline to continue his preparations for his Australian Open defence after he was knocked out of ATP Brisbane.
The world number three was facing the prospect of going into the first grand slam of 2009, starting in Melbourne on January 19, with only one match under his belt this year following his shock 6-4 6-4 first round loss to his former training partner, Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.
However, organisers of the Sydney International, starting on Sunday, granted the Serbian a wildcard entry. It will allow him to get some vital practice matches in before the Open.
"I'm very grateful to receive the wildcard to Sydney," Djokovic said.
"It was disappointing to lose in Brisbane but I now have another chance for more high quality matches in Sydney."
Sydney International tournament director Craig Watson said he had no hesitation in extending help to Djokovic.
"We certainly understand that he will be looking for matches leading up to the Open and with that we are happy to be in a position to provide Novak with a wildcard," Watson said.
Re: Djokovic given wildcard for Sydney International
Nice decision there. Good for everyone, for Novak, for the fans and for the tournament.
JUAN CARLOS FERRERO
Juan Monaco, Tommy Robredo, Fernando Gonzalez, Juan Martin Del Potro, David Ferrer, Guillermo Garcia Lopez, Juan Ignatio Chela, Fernando Verdasco, Carlos Moya, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Lucas Arnold Ker, Nicolas Lapentti
If Guccione doesn't get the last wildcard, i might just go and move countries.
You might want to give England a miss, the weather's pants!
As much as I can understand Dok wanting to play here it's a shame when the local faves don't get their chance to play. For them and the home crowd.
“The goal, when I took my break of six months, was doing this for the next couple years, not just for one tournament, I understand people who say, ‘Oh, this would be a perfect moment to go.’ But I feel like I’ve put in so much work, and I love it so much, and I still have so much in the tank.”