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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm curious about what people think the criteria TA will use for allocating its wildcards. I haven't followed this process in the past, so interested in perspectives. But on the face of it..

I saw someone suggest Tomic, and he will obviously want it, and I suppose good results over the next few weeks could make his case. But equally, he had the chances to be main draw and blew them, and could have gone to Newport to get his ranking back, but didn't...So why not make him go through qualifying and show he has his head back in the right place?

And wouldn't TA be more interested in using it to help a player who is developing rather than one who has had his chances?

In which case Luke Savile would surely be top contender, given strong Wimbledon performance getting through qualifying, and steadily improving ranking (currently sits at 8 in under 21 group, immediately after Tomic!)?

But also presumably JP Smith and Duckworth (higher ranking but slower progress? in the mix?

And is there a qualifying wc on offer?
 

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Duckworth arguably deserves it (he keeps qualifying for the slams) but needs more results. Tomic will probably get it though.
 

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I agree with Chris.
Tomic is a DC player, and has come off surgery on his hips. Deserves a chance to get back to his previous playing level, regain his confidence.
 

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The other issue with Tomic though is he comes with so much negative publicity brought on by himself or family. Even allowing for the surgery he shouldn't have fallen that far. Its time for his antics and drama to go unrewarded and for Tomic to demonstrate he's prepared to graft and to do some tough things. If he can do that for the Hard Court season he can have one for the AO.

I've said elsewhere right now Saville is a genuine mover in the rankings and making a bit of an impact and ready to push toward the top 100 now and should be the player looked at for the USO spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tomic is a DC player, and has come off surgery on his hips. Deserves a chance to get back to his previous playing level, regain his confidence.
Wouldn't playing through qualies (which should be a breeze for him if he really interested in getting back). And more than bad publicity - consistent misjudgment about when and how to play!

Also, its a big payday, Tomic surely doesn't need it (getting the sack from IMG notwithstanding!).
 

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Tough to see Tomic not getting it IMO. Good chance he will be top 100 by the time it comes to announce the wildcard so you may as well give the wildcard to the guy who would have made the cut had the entry list been made at that time. They could make a big statement and force him to go through Qualies but now is the critical time when you should be supporting him and giving him a wildcard. A lot of players need wake up calls and this may be it for Tomic so we should give him the opportunity to rebuild. Taking the WC in Bogota is a very positive sign. If he is still in this position next year then it becomes a different story but for now he should receive the wildcard. Why invest a ton of resources into a guy if your going to abandon him when he goes through a lean period but still has potential?
 

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Luke isn't quite ready yet. He has a poor overseas challenger record. If Tomic doesn't produce any results I would say Luke would be a chance but he would have to at least win one of the challenger tournaments he is playing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm still not sure I understand the criteria TA are using or you think they should be using to allocate it. Is it mainly about player development, spreading around the largesse, rewarding good performance, or other factors?

If it was your own tournament, I guess you'd consider giving a wc to a player who had dropped down the ranks due to injury so didn't get entry at the time, or had some name recognition so ticket sales. But do exactly the same considerations apply to the reciprocal wcs?

Why invest a ton of resources into a guy if your going to abandon him when he goes through a lean period but still has potential?
There is an economic concept called sunk costs, viz you can't keep throwing away good money away after bad. Injury or not, he has had several pretty disgraceful performances on court this year, can't see why Australia would want to give him anything until there is a clear demonstration that it won't happen again (dumping his coach would be a good start). And its not as if he has a lot of points to defend from last year's USO.

Moreover, seems to me a bit hard to know how much Tomic's current performance reflects his injury recovery, and how much just lack of effort/interest - his numbers do reflect the kind of level he was at last yr too on the face of it, a long way down from his peak in 2012.

Chris - Take your point on Saville, though Wimbledon performance surely a bit of a turnaround on that front?
 

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Not sure anybody understands the criteria TA use in selecting Wild Cards. Been that way for a long time... they flip-flop a lot from player development, to player reward, to just giving it to some-one.
 

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I personnaly think the USA do it so much better, by setting criteria for the awarding of the WC to French Open, or USA or Oz Open, in that they measure player's performances over a set No. of preceding tournaments, and the best performer (in accumulation of ATP points) gets the WC. It is a bit flawed in that it is sometimes draw dependant (good/bad) and that it can dictate which tournaments players have to play. Also, the US says a heap more tournaments in their home country (unlike in OZ).
But at least it is a transparent process
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Agreed. I hadn't realised until I read this piece in The Conversation how much TA's Govt funding is dependent on someone(s) winning a slam:

http://theconversation.com/in-picking-winners-sport-funding-rules-can-fail-people-with-disabilities-29101

Basically argues that overall, Government funding for sport is overly focused on creating world champions, potentially at the expense of building a broader field of players. The example in the article is the impact on parasoccer, but equally relevant to skewing of funding within a sport like tennis.

Basically, each sport is assessed against targets of potential gold, silver and bronze medals, translated for tennis into slams. Currently tennis is assessed as "progressing", or a score of 2/possible 5 (excelling), and funded accordingly.

So incentive is perhaps to give all the dollars to those likely to make the top soon (even if they are a bit of a bad risk!), rather than recognise the field of players who can potentially make a living out of the sport?
 

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As much as I'd like to see one of Duckworth/Saville/Kokkinakis get it, Tomic is an absolute lock for the WC after winning Bogota. Kokkinakis to get the QWC, Thompson to get it if Kokkinakis gets into qualies directly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm sure you are right - politically hard to say no without making relationships with the atomic camp much worse than they need to be. Still, if he wasn't from Oz would he get one organisers on the basis of this limited bout of improved performance? I suspect not. Those whose scores are down due to injury is one thing, just don't give a stuff quite another. Which brings us back to the question of what the reciprocal wcs are really for!
 

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Recovering from surgery has contributed to Tomic's ranking drop out of the top 100. Attitude may also have played a strong contributing role, but the timing matches his surgery recovery so it is harsh to not give the benefit of the doubt that perhaps without the surgery he would have made the cut.
You could be right that it was all attitude, but a harsh call in the circumstances to allow for no contribution from time recovering from double hip surgery. Tomic does invite some harsh calls with his attitude, but I do not think the decision makers will feel justified in making such a call.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
His surgery was back in January; he was playing again by March. Now that particular unfortunate March outing (Miami, gone in 28 minutes) could be judged an unfortunate misjudgment in coming back too soon.

But he kept on doing it, with several crappy runs from May onwards. No doubt pain and psychological effects of surgery could have contributed to his attitude. But to me it seems that if he was recovering, he should have just taken the time off to do it properly; as it is, it looks more like something else (as a number of senior TA people closer to the action suggested at the time...).
 

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Kateoz - I also believe Tomic's ranking drop, which I see as starting back in June 2012, not from January 2014, is due to attitude.

The decision makers on the wild card may also see it that way, but that Tomic just won a tournament and he did make the final in a tournament immediately before 'injury/surgery' means he has a case to argue even if those hearing the case are not actually convinced.

I am not convinced either, but having won just now I would understand them giving him the chance.
 
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