The organizers of the first Grand Slam of the season in Melbourne have announced the remaining three players who received the wild card for the upcoming Australian Open that will kick off on January 14. After James Duckworth, Jason Kubler, Jack Sock, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Zhe Li who grabbed the first five invitations, the remaining three have been awarded to the Australian trio of Alexei Popyrin, Marc Polmans and Alex Bolt.
The 19-year-old from Sydney, Alexei Popyrin has made great progress in the past 12 months, entering 2018 from outside the top-600 and finishing it inside the top-150 after winning his first ATP match in Basel as a qualifier and the Challenger title in Jinan in August, having to qualify for the main draw after being ranked outside the top-300.
A former junior Roland Garros champion had no Challenger wins before 2018 and he added 22 to his tally in the season behind us, also with a chance to make his Australian Open debut, losing to Tim Smyczek in four sets. The hard-hitting youngster has lost in the opening round at home in Sydney on Sunday morning after a great battle with Martin Klizan and he will now travel to Melbourne Park to prepare for his second Grand Slam in a career, hoping for a good draw and the opportunity to show his full potential, being of the most aggressive NextGen stars on the Tour.
Junior doubles Australian Open champion from four years ago Marc Polmans will compete in Melbourne for the first time on the pro level, standing as another youngster who made quite a progress in 2018 after winning 26 Challenger matches and two titles from three finals, adding three Futures crowns from four finals as well, winning 19 out of 20 matches on the lowest level of competition in five weeks.
The Melbourne resident has made big progress through the ranking list in 2018 and he has got the opportunity to prove himself on the biggest tennis stage and seek his first ATP win at the of 21. The 26-year-old Alex Bolt grabbed his first ATP win in s-Hertogenbosch in 2018 and despite missing some tournament due to an injury he secured a career-high ranking in October, qualifying for the main draw at Wimbledon, s-Hertogenbosch, Newport, Atlanta and Washington.
Bolt also won the Challenger title in Zhuhai, playing in another final in Fairfield later in the season. Alex played at the Australian Open in 2017 and 2018, losing in the opening round to Yoshihito Nishioka and Kyle Edmund.