Australia’s prime ranked lady has accused Tennis Australia of ignoring her efforts and treating her with disrespect after she was overwhelmed within the first spherical of qualifying at Melbourne Park.
Arina Rodionova was ignored for a wildcard into the Australian Open primary draw regardless of turning into the nation’s highest ranked participant after a scintillating 2023 during which she received 79 matches and 7 ITF titles to succeed in no. 105 on the earth.
The 34-year-old, who made headlines after she beat former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin within the Brisbane Worldwide final week, was pressured into qualifying as lower-ranked Daria Saville was issued a wildcard together with a trio of younger Australian prospects and a number of other abroad gamers.
Rodionova stated she struggled to “discover her sport” after an emotional week following the choice and misplaced in straight units 3-6, 3-6 to French world no. 145 Leolia Jeanjean on Tuesday.
She double-faulted six occasions and solely landed 55 per cent of her first serves in windy circumstances on Kia Enviornment.
Rodionova detailed a decade’s price of grievances towards Tennis Australia, to whom she switched allegiance in 2014 after relocating to Melbourne from Russia together with her household.
“The one remorse I’ve from right now is I believe I gave Tennis Australia one thing to rejoice … I believe they’re very happy with my consequence right now, and that’s what makes me upset,” she stated.
“I did the whole lot I might to probably deserve (a wildcard) … completely (it feels private). It began years and years in the past, and there have been so many incidents that occurred between myself and other people in cost.
“It is rather clear to me that I’m not preferred, and it’s not simply clear to me, it’s clear to each single Australian tennis participant.”
Fellow singles qualifying entrant John Millman stated he was “baffled” by the choice to disregard Rodionova, who arrived at Melbourne exhausted and misplaced in straight units 3-6, 3-6 to French world no. 145 Leolia Jeanjean on Tuesday.
“You’ll be able to’t be Australia’s prime ranked participant in feminine tennis and be ignored … I’m a bit baffled,” Millman advised the ABC Tennis podcast.
“It got here down in the long run to Arina and Dasha (Saville). I don’t assume it ought to’ve even come right down to that as a result of they need to’ve been the primary two women that got a wildcard.
“ (Rodionova) has gone on the market and proven an unbelievable urge for food for exhausting work and profitable matches, and she or he’s completed it the exhausting manner.”
Rodionova stated she had no exhausting emotions in direction of Saville as she claimed Tennis Australia had recognized months prematurely it will not be issuing her a wildcard however saved the choice secret till final Friday.
“I didn’t actually have a problem with them not giving it to me, I had extra of a problem with (how) they left it for thus lengthy they usually pretended they had been wanting on the leads to Brisbane,” she stated.
“The choice was in all probability made earlier than that they didn’t wish to give it to me, and they need to’ve introduced it manner earlier than as a result of it simply introduced such pointless stress to myself, additionally to Dasha … she was additionally fascinated with it.
“It’s simply disrespectful in direction of gamers as a result of I came upon Friday night and needed to play in two days.”
Rodionova stated she would take a brief break earlier than travelling to Asia as she tries to crack the world prime 100 for the primary time.
She is going to turn into the oldest prime 100 debutant in WTA tour historical past if she will carry her 2023 type onto the first-tier circuit this 12 months.
Event boss Craig Tiley stated the wildcard distributions needed to replicate how the Australian Open was “the grand slam of the Asia Pacific”.
“There’s numerous issues that go into consideration: the age, the shape coming in, what number of matches they’ve performed and what they’ve completed over the past 12 months, who they evaluate to,” Tiley stated on Monday.
“We additionally gave wildcards to a really thrilling younger participant from China in Jerry Shang, who did an awesome job in Hong Kong, beating Frances Tiafoe.
“On the ladies’s aspect, (we’ve) Mai Hontama from Japan, additionally younger, a 24-year-old.
“Then in fact we do an alternate with the US and the French (tennis our bodies), and we’ve bought some younger gamers.”
Queensland teenager Melisa Ercan produced a shocking escape act in her first ever Australian Open qualifying match towards British opponent Yuriko Miyazaki however will enter the second spherical beneath a health cloud.
The Turkish-born 18-year-old collapsed as a result of extreme cramps in her legs through the second set when she held a 6-4, 4-1 lead, and was advised to contemplate forfeiting earlier than she stubbornly performed on.
Ercan struggled to maneuver for the following three video games and Miyazaki introduced the set stage at 4-4, however the Australian Open newcomer pressured her manner again by means of highly effective serving to win a second set tie-break 7-5 and advance to the following spherical.
Australian wildcard Dane Sweeny additionally scored a first-round win as he beat Italian Matteo Gigante in straight units, whereas late bloomer Li Tu misplaced his qualification bid in a good 7-6 (13-11), 7-6 (7-4) loss to Germany’s Joris de Loore.
John Millman and 2023 Newcombe Medal nominee Storm Hunter are among the many Australians who will start their qualifying campaigns on Wednesday after their matches had been delayed as a result of Monday’s moist climate.
Initially printed as Arina Rodionova loses first round qualifier at Australian Open