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2003 Dec 11 - Wimbledon wildcard revision

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have finally woken up to the fact that tier two British players should earn the right to play at Wimbledon, and not be handed 7,000 on a plate every year for a first round defeat.

Under the new rules a player in the World Top 300 (men) or Top 250 (women) will still automatically be given a wildcard, but the catch is that a player will only be 'handed' three wildcards in their career. After that their world ranking must in the top 150 to qualify for a wildcard. If this isn't achieved then they will need to win a Wimbledon pre-tournament play-off competition.

LTA's David Felgate said:

"We're raising the bar once more.

"I do think, at that time of year, players have sat back and thought of their Wimbledon wildcard.

"They won't be able to do that anymore."

Players who have been riding the gravy train for many years are Arvind Parmar, Jamie Delgado, and the recently retired Barry Cowan.

Essentially, what we're seeing here is British players being asked to work even harder throughout the year to improve their world rankings. Not that they should need any motivation, but at least Mr Felgate has made a much needed rule change which should help improve the standard of British tennis.

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