Sania Mirza fan

Tennis cannot be a perfect meritocracy - the wild card has provided players coming back from injury or talented youngsters way down the pecking order with an opportunity they richly deserve.
Wild cards have proved effective for players of different calibre to represent their talents on a stage which is normally out of reach.
In tennis, a player is given a wild card as a form of entry to a certain tournament where he or she is ineligible to enter directly. It is given at both levels of the main draw and qualifying event of the tournament. The practice is a regular feature in every ATP and WTA tournament including the four annual Grand Slams.

These wild cards are reserved for players who are making a comeback and have been substantial names before their injuries, fresh and promising talent from the home country and big names and potential crowd pullers who entered late into tournaments.
In recent times there have been agreements between the federations of countries holding Slams to allow a certain number of players from each others' countries into the main draw and qualifying tournament of the Slam.
There have been such agreements between the French Federation and the USTA. Similar accord has been signed between Tennis Australia and the Asian Tennis Federation where the annual winners (men and women) of the Asian Championship are awarded wild-card entries into the next year's Australian Open singles draw.
The best feature of this system is that every tournament divides its wild cards on an evenly balanced scale to the young and old alike.
Without a wild card, Alicia Molik would not have made a winning return to professional tennis in smaller tournaments around the world after a career-threatening ear infection. Also, Goran Ivanisevic would not have won Wimbledon in 2001 and talent like Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova would not have been presented to the world of tennis.
That said, I do not believe that wild cards ruin the opportunity for younger talents to have a shot at big time because the governing bodies have a close look at the tournaments when they award the cards. The policy of equality has been maintained everywhere. At a lot of events before a wild card is awarded, a pre-awarding tournament is organised to allow a raft of talented youngsters to have a shot at the precious wild card - this happens in Australia and USA before their annual national championships (read Grand Slam).
It is equally important to allow past players to make a healthy comeback at big tournaments after injury lay-offs. This facilitates their return to their original form without too much trouble. At the same time wild cards have been the launching pad of many talented young players who have used that one award to progress into careers that have been successful.
India's Sania Mirza used that one wild-card opportunity to get stuck into the WTA tour. A lot of young and talented players complain of not getting enough opportunities, but the Federation and Associations do not wish to waste such valuable opportunities on a single player time after time while other talented players are waiting in the wings. This also holds true for players who wish to make a comeback.
It is not true that wild cards do not allow young players a shot at big time. They have been God-sent vehicles for progression to successful careers


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger