The first major grand slam tournament of the 2014 season still almost a month away.
However, professional tennis fans in Gwinnett County and throughout the metro Atlanta area will have a chance to some of the nation’s up-and-coming players compete for a spot in that tournament this weekend.
Life Time Athletic at Peachtree Corners will host the 2013 Australian Open Wild Card Playoff beginning today and running through Sunday at its facility in Peachtree Corners.
One wild card entry each to the men’s and women’s singles draw for the 2014 Australian Open next month in Melbourne, Australia, will be on the line for this weekend’s tournament, which features eight players in each draw.
The United States Tennis Association secured this opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with its counterpart in Australia, as the two organizations exchanged wild card for this past year’s U.S. Open and the upcoming Australian Open.
Among the players scheduled to compete in the women’s draw are Lawrenceville resident and 2011 U.S. Open junior champion Grace Min, as well as 17-year-old breakout star of the 2013 U.S. Open Victoria Duval.
On the men’s side, College Park native Jarmere Jenkins, who nearly won the NCAA’s triple crown as a senior at the University of Virginia last spring, and 21-year-old Denis Kudla will headline the draw.
Eighteen-year-old Madison Keys, currently the youngest player ranked in the WTA’s Top 40 at No. 38, won the last two women’s Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, and used last year’s appearance in Melbourne, in which she reached the third round, to kick start a strong 2013 season.
Other top names to have won this event in the past include former University of Georgia standout and 2013 Atlanta Tennis Championships champion John Isner, Ryan Harrison, Lauren Davis, Christina McHale and CoCo Vanderweghe.
To help kick off the event, brothers and 1993 French Open doubles champions Luke and Murphy Jensen will play doubles against five local teams in the “Battle of Georgia” exhibition on Saturday. They will also host a women’s tennis clinic at Life Time Athletic at Peachtree Corners this morning.
Tickets for all three events can be purchased by visiting www.australianwildcard.com, with single-day tickets and full-weekend packages available for dults and kids, as well as VIP table reservations by the day or for the full weekend.