Alexei Popyrin and Jordan Thompson earn Adelaide wild cards



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Alexei Popyrin and Jordan Thompson earn Adelaide wild cards

Brand-new Memorial Drive Tennis Centre will host some of the world's finest players between January 12-18, with many ATP and WTA stars heading to Adelaide for the last preparation ahead of Melbourne. The organizers did a fantastic job, signing world no.

2 Novak Djokovic who rarely enters the tournaments in the week ahead of the Major, returning to the event where he claimed his third ATP title back in 2007 before it moved to Brisbane two years later. Alex de Minaur, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Lucas Pouille, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz should fight with Novak for that crown and the spectators will have the opportunity to watch more home players in action, with Alexei Popyrin and Jordan Thompson who earned the main draw wild cards.

The 20-year-old Popyrin had entered the season with one ATP win under his belt (from Basel 2018), adding 12 to his tally in 2019 to gain some 50 positions on the ATP ranking list and wrap up the year in the top-100 for the first time.

The Sydney native with a powerful and explosive game kicked off the season with three invitations in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, scoring two victories at the Australian Open before delivering his first Davis Cup victory against Bosnia & Herzegovina in Adelaide.

Alexei managed to qualify for the main draw in New York, Acapulco, Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Estoril, Stuttgart, Wimbledon, Chengdu, Tokyo, Stockholm and Basel, gathering experience and securing the place in the top-100 after the quarter-final run in Atlanta and the third round at the US Open, losing to Matteo Berrettini in four tight sets.

World no. 63 Jordan Thompson barely missed a direct entry and the organizers secured the second wild card for him after a rock-solid season with 26 victories. In 2019, Jordan was the quarter-finalist in Sydney, New York and Houston, advancing into the fourth round in Miami and the final in s-Hertogenbosch, followed by the semi-final in Antalya.

Cracking the top-50, Jordan couldn't stay on the same course by the end of the season, winning just five matches after Antalya and hoping for a fresh start of 2020 in Doha. "I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to play at the first Adelaide International," Popyrin said.

"I had a wonderful experience in Adelaide earlier this year, so I am really looking forward to playing there again. Being a brand new tournament, I am sure that the atmosphere will be amazing and I am really appreciative of this opportunity."