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16-year-old Keys wins AO wildcard

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Originally published on: 19/12/11 09:13

Rising American junior Madison Keys and former top-100 Jesse Levine have picked up wild cards for January’s Australian Open after winning the US Tennis Association play-off tournament.

A reciprocal agreement between the US, French and Australian tennis associations guarantees two American and two French players wild card spots at the first Grand Slam of the year Down Under, and the American duo both earned their main draw berths in Melbourne in comprehensive fashion.

Keys defeated Gail Brodsky 6-3 6-4 for her place in the women’s draw, while Levine defeated Robby Ginepri 6-0 6-2 6-1 for his spot in the men’s field.

The result means that 16-year-old Keys, who won her first WTA match at the age of just 14 with a win over world No.81 Alla Kudryavtseva, will feature in a main draw for a second consecutive Grand Slam, having beaten Jill Craybas in round one at the US Open in September.

Levine, meanwhile, will contest a Grand Slam main draw match for the eighth time in his career. The 24-year-old attained a career-high ranking of 94 in November 2008 and went on to reach the third round at Wimbledon the following year after beating Marat Safin in his opening match.

The American pair join Australian Open wild card play-off winners 15-year-old Ashleigh Barty and Marinko Matosevic, while two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt, Matthew Ebden and Casey Dellacqua have also been awarded wild cards so far.

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