19 Jun 19
Cameron Norrie was critical of Wimbledon’s wildcards timing (Picture: Getty Images)
British No. 2 Cameron Norrie has launched a remarkable attack on All England Club chiefs after the first set of Wimbledon wildcards were announced on Wednesday.
Norrie, who was knocked out of Queen’s by Kevin Anderson on Monday, has direct entry into the main draw of The Championships so isn’t affected by the decision, but he was critical of the timing for those who were awaiting their fate.
Those who are granted a wildcard into qualifying will begin their campaign in a matter of days, while main draw acceptances will compete at the grass-court Grand Slam in a week-and-a-half.
Norrie, however, called for Wimbledon chiefs to make the decision six weeks in advance.
‘Crazy how the Wimbledon wildcards are only announced today, less than a week before the tournament commences,’ the world No. 49 moaned on Twitter.
Crazy how the Wimbledon wildcards are only announced today, less than a week before the tournament commences. Zero time for players awarded to plan & prepare. This needs to be done more professionally – 6 weeks in advanced.
— Cameron Norrie (@cam_norrie) June 19, 2019
‘Zero time for players awarded to plan and prepare. This needs to be done more professionally – six weeks in advance.’
He later added: ‘I’ve been grateful to get a wildcard into Wimbledon in the past, it’s the best event in the world. No offence meant by previous tweet.’
Hull’s Paul Jubb, who became the first British winner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the USA – following in the shoes of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, was among those to get a main draw singles wildcard, along with compatriots Jay Clarke, James Ward, Harriet Dart, Katie Swan and Heather Watson. Last year’s Wimbledon juniors runner-up Jack Draper had to settle for a spot in qualifying.
Jubb, 19, will be unable to collect his full £45,000 first-round prize money because he is competing at an amateur while he completes his studies at the University of South Carolina, although he is able to put money earned towards accommodation and travel. While he will compete at Wimbledon for the first time, he has been there before and practised with two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka in 2017.
Beyond happy to play my first @Wimbledon and be given this amazing opportunity. Thx to @the_LTA for all the support and everyone else on this journey with me. As a young lad growing up in Hull it was a big dream to get to SW19. #BackTheBrits #GamecockGRIT
— Paul Jubb (@PaulJubb3) June 19, 2019
He has picked up match wins in both Nottingham and Ikley during the grass-court season and expressed his delight at receiving a wildcard, saying: ‘I am so grateful for the opportunity and super-excited.
‘I wasn’t really like banking on it when people were asking me before but people were saying I stood a chance of getting one. If I was anticipating anything, I was anticipating qualifying but that was before I did pretty well in the last two Challengers.
‘I hope to get the most out of it as I can. It is such a great opportunity and it is something I have got to approach with the right mentality because if I don’t approach it with the right mentality, it could work out to be a waste. I am just trying to gain the most experience from this opportunity and just compete really hard and hopefully get a good learning experience.
Paul Jubb has been handed a wildcard (Picture: Getty Images)
‘This is the first time I have played on grass in over two years these past couple of weeks. I am just starting to get properly used to it but the more I play on it, the more comfortable I get on it. Some people have been saying that grass could actually be a good surface for me. My movement has always been pretty good.’
Polish teenager Iga Swiatek will take her place in the women’s singles draw after some impressive recent results but the most curious entry was Cyprus’ Marcos Baghdatis.
Baghdatis, 34, has been operating at Challenger level this year with his career seemingly winding down but he will take his place in the main draw.
Baghdatis was handed a wildcard (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)
The decision didn’t go down well with former British tennis player and Australian Open finalist John Lloyd, who told the BBC: ‘I don’t agree. I wouldn’t have given him a wildcard. What he did in the past was great and hopefully he will do well again. I think he has been around enough now.
‘To me, I don’t think he deserves a Wimbledon wildcard. For me, he is not a big enough draw. He got to the semis a long time ago. I think it is time to move on.
‘I would have given Jack Draper a wild card in the main draw, definitely. He is someone who wants to be a great player and he has the work ethic to do that.’
Johanna Konta, meanwhile, was beaten by former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-4 in Birmingham.
[metro-fact-box title=”Wimbledon wildcards” colour=”orange” icon=”exclamation”]
Marcos BAGHDATIS (CYP)
Jay CLARKE (GBR)
Paul JUBB (GBR)
James WARD (GBR)
Harriet DART (GBR)
Katie SWAN (GBR)
Iga SWIATEK (POL)
Heather WATSON (GBR)
Liam BROADY (GBR) and Scott CLAYTON (GBR)
Jay CLARKE (GBR) and James WARD (GBR)
Daniel EVANS (GBR) and Lloyd GLASSPOOL (GBR)
Lleyton HEWITT (AUS) and Jordan THOMPSON (AUS)
Ken SKUPSKI (GBR) and John-Patrick SMITH (AUS)
Naiktha BAINS (GBR) and Naomi BROADY (GBR)
Freya CHRISTIE (GBR) and Katie SWAN (GBR)
Harriet DART (GBR) and Katy DUNNE (GBR)
Sarah Beth GREY (GBR) and Eden SILVA (GBR)
Qualifying men’s singles
Liam BROADY (GBR)
Jan CHOINSKI (GBR)
Jack DRAPER (GBR)
Evan HOYT (GBR)
Nicolas MAHUT (FRA)
Aidan MCHUGH (GBR)
Chun Hsin TSENG (TPE)
Qualifying women’s singles
Katy DUNNE (GBR)
Cori GAUFF (USA)
Francesca JONES (GBR)
Sabine LISICKI (GER)
Maia LUMSDEN (GBR)
Emma RADUCANU (GBR)
Gabriella TAYLOR (GBR)