Wildcard Rogowska returns to Aussie Open main draw
OLIVIA Rogowska has been rewarded for a string of strong performances with a wildcard into January’s Australian Open.
Rogowska, 186th in the world, earned the invitation to the Grand Slam by winning Canberra and reaching the Bendigo semi-finals.
“It’s incredible to get this opportunity. When I was competing I wasn’t really thinking about the wildcard - I knew that the chance was there, but I really just wanted to try and focus on myself, fight really hard and become a better tennis player,” Rogowska said.
“I really wanted to make sure I was being as positive as possible, fight as hard as I could and not dwell too much on results.
“With that kind of mental mindset I think I played myself into some really good form and now I’m just feeling really confident. My self-belief is really high at the moment, it’s been a really great couple of months, I’m over the moon.
“It’s already been an amazing couple of months - getting the wildcard is a great reward for all my hard work and knowing that I’m going to be in the Australian Open main draw is just incredible.
“I’ve learnt a lot and I’m going to take everything I can and bring that into January. I can’t wait.”
Rogowska won the titles in Penrith and Cairns in September, racking up 22 victories in 22 matches and improving her ranking nearly 100 places.
Kimberly Birrell has been given a qualifying wildcard.
The 19-year-old missed much of 2016 because of elbow surgery but returned to win Brisbane and advanced to the Penrith semis.
“Earning a wildcard was a big goal of mine for the Pro Tour,” she said.
“But I was trying not to think about it too much when I was playing and just wanted to focus on one match at a time, getting my ranking up and trying to get as many matches as possible under my belt.
“I haven’t had much time to think about my goals for the Australian Open, it hasn’t really sunk in that I’ll be playing.
“Hopefully I can make the most of this opportunity and qualify for the main draw.”
Tennis Australia still has several wildcards to distribute either side of the wildcard playoffs next month.