2010 Queens Club – Wildcards Annouced

Queens Club 2010Great Britain’s Davis Cup players Jamie Baker and James Ward have both been given wild-cards for the AEGON Championships at Queens Club.

Perhaps surprisingly 3 other wildcards were awarded to non-UK players – 3 talented teenagers and perhaps the future of the men’s game were the recipient of these. 17-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic, 18-year-old American Ryan Harrison and the former Wimbledon boys’ champion, 19-year-old Grigor Dimitrov.

Baker has made a stirring comeback from a life-threatening illness over the past year. The Scot had fallen as low as No.982 in July of last year because of the illness-enforced lay-off, but has shot up more than 700 places to No.257. Meanwhile Ward qualified for the ATP event in Chennai at the start of the year, and won a set against former World No.1 Marat Safin at The Queen’s Club in 2008.

Tournament Director, Chris Kermode spoke to the press,

We always try to use our wild cards to give an opportunity to British players, young international prospects, or established players who are returning from illness or injury. We had initially given a wild card to Mario Ancic, who has been out of the game for a long time through illness, but unfortunately he has sustained a back injury and had to pull out. Jamie Baker and James Ward have both performed well since returning from illness themselves, and the teenage trio of Bernard Tomic, Ryan Harrison and Grigor Dimitrov have all got enormous potential. We look forward to seeing how they perform against a world-class field here at the AEGON Championships.

This years Queen’s Club field is one of the strongest in recent memory, with defending champion Andy Murray, the 2008 winner Rafael Nadal (currently world number 2, though could be number 1 this Monday should he win at Roland Garros), four-time Queens Club winner Andy Roddick and the current World No.3 Novak Djokovic.

Other big names who will be playing are Marin Cilic, Gael Monfils, Sam Querry and Richard Gasguet. Unfortunately Fernando Verdasco, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Ernests Gulbis have withdrawn due injury and will be replaced by American duo Robby Ginepri and Taylor Dent, and Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

You can watch Queens Club Live on the BBC and Eurosport and the tournament will begin on Monday, with draw likely to be made later today.