Smith And Rodionova Win Australian Open Wild Cards

MELBOURNE, December 15, 2019 (Tennis Australia Press Release)

Victorian Arina Rodionova (Melbourne) and John-Patrick Smith (Townsville, Qld) have been awarded Australian Open 2020 wildcards after winning the AO Play-off finals presented by Kia in Melbourne on Sunday.

Rodionova defeated Storm Sanders (WA) 6-4 7-5 while John-Patrick Smith (Qld) overcame third seed Max Purcell (NSW) 6-3 6-4 6-1.

After three times finishing a runner-up in the Australian Open Play-off — in 2013 to Casey Dellacqua, 2014 to Daria Gavrilova and 2015 to Maddison Inglis — victory was sweet for Arina Rodionova, especially given it came on her 30th birthday.

“I couldn’t dream of a present like this. It’s something amazing. I really was afraid to even think this might happen,” Rodionova said.

“I just didn’t want to get myself too excited, and now I can just finally relax and enjoy the moment. Great day all around for me (smiling).

“I think this was a really high-quality final. I think we both deserve to play main draw Australian Open, but unfortunately there’s only one spot. But I’m sure Storm will make it, because she’s playing great tennis right now,” the world No.205 said.

World No. 311 John-Patrick Smith, was also relieved to take out the title, after previously reaching the final two times in the past.

“Everyone was saying, third time’s a charm. And obviously I try and ignore it. But it worked pretty well today — third time is a charm in this case.”

Smith will now turn his sights to the first Grand Slam of the year, where he will play his second ever singles main draw, “The ultimate goal [for Australian Open 2020] would be to play a couple of rounds here, which would be great. This [AO Play-off] is really going to be the best preparation for it, obviously getting used to the courts, getting out here, getting into the environment, getting the whole atmosphere under my belt’s been really good.”

A women’s doubles wildcard was also up for grabs at the AO Play-off, and was won by Amber Marshall (SA) and Alexandra Bozovic (NSW).

AO Play-off 2020 day 7 results – Men’s and Women’s singles finals

[4] Arina Rodionova (Vic)

d

Storm Sanders (WA)

6-4 7-5

[6] John-Patrick Smith (Qld)

d

[3] Max Purcell (NSW)

6-3 6-4 6-1

Women’s main draw wildcards (as at 15 December 2019)

US reciprocal:

CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)

French reciprocal:

TBD

Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off:

Na-Lae Han (KOR)

AO 2020 Play-off:

Arina Rodionova (AUS)

Discretionary x 4: 

TBD

Men’s main draw wildcards (as at 15 December 2019)

US reciprocal:

Marcos Giron (USA)

French reciprocal:

TBD

Asia-Pacific Play-off:

Tatsuma Ito (JPN)

AO 2020 Play-off:

John-Patrick Smith (AUS)

Discretionary x 4: 

TBD