Baghdatis amongst Wimbledon wildcards
Originally published on 11/06/14
The Cypriot, ranked No.118 in the world, won his first title since 2010 with victory in the Aegon Classic at Nottingham last week. He will be joined in the draw at SW19 by British hopes Dan Cox, Kyle Edmund, Dan Evans, Dan Smethurst and James Ward, with two wildcards yet to be announced. Evans is the highest ranked British wild card at 139 while promising teenager Edmund is No.297.
“It’s very special to play the most prestigious tournament in the world and I can’t wait to get out there,” said Edmund. “I remember last year really well. I was nervous and I played a really good player in [Jerzy] Janowicz but it taught me that you need to learn to play in that kind of atmosphere. It’s a very different type of feeling playing at Wimbledon.
“I’ve got Greg [Rusedski] in my corner this year which will add a new dimension to my preparation. I’ve really enjoyed working with him over the last few weeks. He’s been giving me some really good things to work on and with his experience of playing at Wimbledon he’ll really be able to help me get ready for the occasion.”
Cox and Smethurst, ranked No.214 and No.243 respectively, were both delighted to be given wildcards to the tournament.
“I’m absolutely overwhelmed by this,” said Cox. “I’m so happy to play at the All England Club again and can’t thank them and the LTA enough for their support. The important thing is to make the most of it and learn from it. It really pushes you on to do better and you want to show them that you can play at that level.”
Smethurst, 23, said: “This is just unreal. I’m more excited than I could ever have imagined. It’s such unknown territory for me and I’m just so grateful for this opportunity. It’s been a long year and I just kept my head down and got on with improving my ranking, and now after getting the call, it’s really tough to put it into words. It’s my first Wimbledon. I really don’t know what to expect so it’s important that I do my homework.”
In the ladies' singles, British trio Naomi Broady, Tara Moore and Samantha Murray have been awarded wildcards along with Czech Kristyna Pliskova. There are still four more wildcards to be confirmed, one of which could go to American Taylor Townsend, who was runner-up in the girls' final last year and reached the third round at Roland Garros. British duo Heather Watson and Johanna Konta qualify automatically through their rankings as does last year's girls' winner, Belinda Bencic.
Five qualifying wildcard places have gone to Edward Corrie, Oliver Golding, David Rice, Alexander Ward and Marcus Ward, with a further two to be announced and two to be decided by a play-off. The ladies' qualifying places have been award to Katie Boulter, Katy Dunne and Jade Windley, with five more up for grabs.
In the doubles, the confirmed wildcards have gone to Evans and James Ward, Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, Ken and Neal Skupski, Broady and Eleni Danilidou, Martina Hingis and Vera Zvonareva, Konta and Tara Moore, Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith.