AO wildcards for Ball and Moore
Australia’s newest Davis Cup player and Australian Open 2008 Junior finalist, Carsten Ball and Jessica Moore, have been awarded main draw wildcards into Australian Open 2009.
Ranked world No.200, the highlight of 2008 for Ball was his Davis Cup debut in Chile when he teamed with Chris Guccione to win the doubles rubber over highly-fancied Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu in an epic five-set match.
“I am very happy,” Ball said. “I have worked hard this year and had a great Davis Cup and I look forward to trying to do well for Australia again. I feel lucky to get a chance to play against the top 100 guys in the world in our sport, hopefully I can hold my own.”
Ball is currently playing doubles (with Guccione) at the Brisbane International, yesterday defeating top seeds, Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram 6-4 6-4. In the semis today they meet Fernando Verdasco and Mischa Zverev.
In a year spent working on the often-difficult transition from juniors to the women’s tour, 18-year-old Jessica Moore improved her senior ranking more than 230 places to a current world ranking of 140.
Moore’s 2008 achievements include a first round win in her Australian Open main draw debut, a second round showing at the US Open, and winning the French Open Junior doubles title.
“I’m very fortunate, and pretty lucky to be given this opportunity again from Tennis Australia,” Moore said.
“I won a round last year but instead of focusing on wins, I want to work on developing my game because this is the level I need to consistently perform at.”
Moore heads to Hobart today for the Moorilla Hobart International where she also holds a main draw wildcard.
The final Australian Open discretionary wildcards (three men and three women) will be announced within the next week.
Current Australian Open wildcards:
Men: Colin Ebelthite (Play-off winner), Carsten Ball (discretionary), John Isner (USTA), Adrian Mannarino (French), Denis Istomin (Asia),.
Women: Jelena Dokic (Play-off winner), Jessica Moore (discretionary), Christina McHale (USTA), Kristina Mladenovic (French), Yuan Meng (Asia).
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