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I think it would be a bit unfair to give it to Ball on the basis of one Challenger result. Smeets has been steadily improving his ranking for 3 years. Having said that, it's hard to see any of them taking full advantage of it any winning any matches. On that basis, I think TA will go for the highest ranked non-qualifier or a real youngster like Klein, Jones or Tomic. But they may as well give it to Todd Reid!
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I think it would be a bit unfair to give it to Ball on the basis of one Challenger result. Smeets has been steadily improving his ranking for 3 years. Having said that, it's hard to see any of them taking full advantage of it any winning any matches. On that basis, I think TA will go for the highest ranked non-qualifier or a real youngster like Klein, Jones or Tomic. But they may as well give it to Todd Reid!
On closer inspection there are only three aussies in Europe at the moment Luczak, Smeets, Sirianni. Now I'm thinking they are going to give it to Smeets because he is in regular form and is in Europe, French Open qualies start next week... Sirianni has entered the Quali list so I doubt hes going to get it. Robert Smeets is going to the French Open main draw Im 99% sure now.
 

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On closer inspection there are only three aussies in Europe at the moment Luczak, Smeets, Sirianni. Now I'm thinking they are going to give it to Smeets because he is in regular form and is in Europe, French Open qualies start next week... Sirianni has entered the Quali list so I doubt hes going to get it. Robert Smeets is going to the French Open main draw Im 99% sure now.
After losing first round in Morocco!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Smeets and Stosur to play French Open

Melbourne,14 May 2008
Tennis Australia

Robert Smeets and Sam Stosur have received wildcards into the French Open main draw.

Getty Images

Queenslanders Robert Smeets and Sam Stosur have been granted wildcards into the French Open.

A reciprocal agreement between the French Tennis Federation and Tennis Australia allows the latter to pick two locals for the French Open, which starts at Roland Garros on 26 May. In return, France receives two wildcard selections for the Australian Open.

Both players are members of Tennis Australia’s elite AIS Pro Tour Program.

The news is heartening for Stosur, who only returned to the circuit at the end of April after an illness-enforced absence of nearly a year.

“Sam has fought her way back with typical determination. She has been working extremely hard to prepare for her comeback and has already beaten two top-100 players on her return,” Tennis Australia Director of Tennis Craig Tiley said.

“This is probably one of the easiest wildcard choices we have ever had to make. Sam is a former world number one doubles player and top 30 singles player who, with some matches under her belt, will quickly ascend the rankings. I know she will make the most of this opportunity,” he said.

Stosur made the third round at Roland Garros last year and, before her illness, reached a career-high ranking of 27 for eight weeks. She is now ranked 145, having made the semifinal and quarterfinal of two ITF events in the United States. She is due to play Venus Williams in the second round on clay at Rome overnight having comfortably beaten Michaella Krajicek (42) 6-3 6-2 in the first round.

The 22-year-old Smeets will make his Roland Garros debut having earned the right with a successful past twelve months lifting his ranking more than 100 places. Currently ranked 161, Smeets reached a career-high 149 in January.

“Robert continues to do the heard work and is reaping the rewards. I have no doubt his goal is to make the top 100 and if he continues on his path, he will achieve it,” Tiley said.

Speaking from Europe today, AIS Pro Tour Program head coach Brent Larkham said he was confident both players would make the most of the opportunity.

“Sam is growing in strength and match fitness and will be a dangerous opponent at Roland Garros. Robert continues to grow in confidence and develop his game and will really benefit from this opportunity,” Larkham said.
Well Smeets did end up getting it, but Stosur could have used her protected ranking and we could have given it to Alicia or Jelena...
 

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Fair enough choices. Stosur has played quite well this week, and Alicia has been terrible this year. Smeets isn't in ideal form, but he would've felt justifiably hard done by if someone else had gotten it. Disappointing lack of Aussies in the qualifying though. Only Joe is having a go. It says a lot about a players ambition (or lack of) if they pass up a chance to qualify for one of the four biggest tournaments of the year. Jones has opted to play a challenger in India instead. Don't know if anyone else would've made it.
 

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I think Jones wouldn't win a match in the qualies in his current form...it's not a lack of ambition, just reasonable decision...
 

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He probably wouldn't, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't try. The majors are, afterall, the pinnacle of the sport and competing in them at any level should be the aim of all players. The same can't be said of a challenger event in India. But he's within his rights to play wherever he likes.
 

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I also think he and clay are not best friends. There were six clay challengers, RG qualies and he's chosen the only event played on hard...don't know, I think he hasn't got too much ambitions on clay, I don't think it's the question of Grand Slams, that's just another clay court tournament for him, and I guess he'll be happy when the clay court season's over... I agree with you, it's his decision.
 
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