Kiwi gets final men's ASB Classic wildcard

New Zealand No1 Finn Tearney has been awarded the final main draw wildcard into the ASB Classic. Photo / Supplied
New Zealand No1 Finn Tearney has been awarded the final main draw wildcard into the ASB Classic. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand No1 Finn Tearney has been awarded the final main draw wildcard into the ASB Classic.

Compatriot Artem Sitak has been given a pass into the singles qualifying tournament, as has - somewhat controversially - former Kiwi turned Brit Cameron Norrie.

Tearney climbed more than 1000 ranking places in 2015, claiming a maiden Futures Tour singles title in the process. It's been a impressive rise, though an ATP level match will still be a massive challenge for the World No363. However tournament organisers felt the 25-year-old deserved the opportunity.

"He has had an astonishing year," said tournament director Karl Budge. "It's nice to be able to reward him for his efforts."

Long time Davis Cup representative Sitak is almost solely focussed on doubles now - and achieved some great results on the ATP tour last year - but remains a solid singles performer and reached the final (beaten by Michael Venus) at the recent national championships.

The final qualifying wildcard has been given to Cameron Norrie, which will raise a few eyebrows in the local tennis community. Norrie grew up in Auckland but now plays under the British flag on the ATP tour. He was able to switch allegiances due to ancestry, and saw greater opportunities with the huge financial resources of the Lawn Tennis Association.

The ASB Classic men's qualifying tournament begins on Saturday with the tournament proper commencing on Monday.

- NZ Herald

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