Melbourne, Dec 11: Fifteen-year-old Ashleigh Barty and Marinko Matosevic earned spots in the 2012 Australian Open main draws with victories in Sunday's finals of a wild-card playoff among Australian players.
The Wimbledon junior champion Barty rallied from an opening break of serve to beat Olivia Rogowska 7-6 (6), 6-2 and finish the tournament without dropping a set. She opened with a win over top-seeded Casey Dellacqua.
“I was just hoping to win a set. I'm pleased with what I've done, I played some really good tennis,” Barty said.
Barty, the No. 3-ranked junior in the world, was not expecting too much at the Grand Slam tournament starting Jan. 16 at Melbourne Park.
“I'll probably go out there and play some horrendous tennis and be nervous but I'll go and try to have fun,” Barty said.
“I'll probably just keep to myself in the locker room, just stay in the corner and hide from everyone.”
Matosevic won the men's tournament, beating James Duckworth 6-4, 6-1, 6-2, for the second straight season.
The 26-year-old Matosevic had a mixed year, including first-round exits at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
The top 100 players qualify for an automatic spot at the majors, with the other places going to wild-card entries and players who progress through qualifying tournaments.
At a No. 201 ranking, Matosevic is a long way from qualifying automatically for the majors but is confident he can get there.
“I was hoping not to be here, I was hoping to be in the top 100,” Matosevic said. “I've beaten guys in the top 100 this year and I'm definitely confident of getting a two-digit ranking going further.”