The Australian Open 2021 kick starts the Grand Slam tennis for 2021 on the 8th of February. But with the stringent restrictions in place, players are already getting ready to fly to Australia to serve their quarantine in a few weeks. Thus the player list has been announced and more importantly the wildcards have also been announced. Headlining the wildcards list is Andy Murray and former World No.20, Daria Gavrilova.
Andy Murray and others that have been given a wildcard at Australian Open 2021
Murray makes a return to Melbourne Park after his tough spell in the 2019 edition. In 2019, Murray was close to retirement because of his hip struggles, but now he has fought through and continued playing. The Brit is a five-time runner-up at the Australian Open, and although he is unlikely to challenge for the title, his stature in the game is still high.
“We welcome Andy back to Melbourne with open arms. His retirement was an emotional moment and seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and built himself back up to get onto the tour again, will be a highlight of AO 2021. We wish him all the best and look forward to seeing him in 2021,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
Further, five other Australian players have received the wildcard. Christopher O’Connell is ranked 120th in the world and will make his third Australian Open appearance. Marc Polmans is 124th ranked, and even he will make his third at the event.
Thanasi Kokkinakis is a former World No.69, who will play his first Grand Slam match since 2019. Alex Bolt and Aleksandar Vukic did extremely well in 2020 and thus were rewarded with the wildcard.
Sumit Nagal received the Asia Pacific wildcard. The Indian reached the second round of US Open 2020, thus becoming the first Indian to win a singles match at a Major since 2012.
Women Singles wildcard entrants in the upcoming Aus Open
Among the women’s wildcard entrants we have the former World no.20, Daria Gavrilova. Astra Sharma is a former World No.85 but has dropped down to 134th.
Maddison Inglis is the next Australian to receive the wildcard and she will be making her main draw return at Melbourne since the last playing in 2016. Lizette Cabrera is next and she will be making a second consecutive main draw appearance at the Australian Open.
Destanee Aiava has made three Grand Slam appearances, all in the Australian Open. She will now be making a fourth Aussie Open.
31-year-old Arina Rodionova reached the second round of the Aussie Open last year and now has the wildcard to repeated or better her showing from her previous appearance.
Wang Xiyu received the Asia Pacific wildcard. The 19-year-old Chinese player will make her Australian Open debut.
There is one more wildcard to be handed in each of the men’s and women’s singles categories. Those are allotted to the Asia Pacific players and are generally given through a playoff, but that won’t happen this year because of COVID-19. Tennis Australia will announce the last wildcard entrants shortly.