French tennis federation announced the players that will receive the wild cards for the upcoming first Grand Slam of 2018 season in Melbourne, and they chose Corentin Moutet and Jessika Ponchet. An 18-year-old Moutet is currently ranked 156th and he is one of the most promising young players in France, being ranked in the Top 10 of ITF junior rankings list in 2017.
The left-hander from Neuilly Sur Seine lost in the final of the European Junior Championships in both 2016 and 2017 and he was also the semi-finalist at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. This will his first appearance on the greatest tennis stage, and also his ATP debut, and he will be one of the youngest players in the main draw, together with his coeval Denis Shapovalov.
Corentin started 2017 season ranked outside the Top 500 but he found his place inside the Top 200 after winning 3 Futures titles and also his first Challenger crown at home in Brest, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the title match.
He became the 4th player born in 1999 with a Challenger title, after Denis Shapovalov, Yibing Wu and Miomir Kecmanovic, and he will have a chance to open 2018 season on a high note in Melbourne, seeking his first ATP win.
That nice run he had in the junior draw in 2017 will help him to gain the confidence and we could expect a solid performance from him with a favorable draw. 21-year-old Jessika Ponchet will also make her Grand Slam debut, never entering the Top 250 on the WTA rankings list. She won just 3 small $10,000 ITF events, back in 2016, and she should consider herself lucky for getting this opportunity, with 5 better-ranked French players in front of her, that also didn't make a direct entry list.
Jessika kicked off her 2017 season only in March but she managed to reach 4 ITF semi-finals, including 3 in Canadian $60,000 events. ALSO READ: ATP ANALYSIS: Roger Federer fires 55 winners to edge Prinosil in Halle 2001