18 Dec 2015

Erakovic and Ostapenko get wildcards to ASB Classic

11:30 am on 18 December 2015

New Zealand tennis No.1 Marina Erakovic and young Latvian Jelena Ostapenko have been given main draw wildcards for January's ASB Classic in Auckland.

Marina Erakovic (NZL), SEPTEMBER 29, 2008 - Tennis : AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships 2008, Womens Singles at Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Daiju Kitamura/AFLO SPORT)

Marina Erakovic in action in Japan Photo: Photosport

Ostapenko is a former world No.2 junior player.

The 18-year-old (ranked 84 in the world) is the second-youngest player inside the top 100 (second only to injured Auckland regular Ana Konjuh) and has made a promising start in what has been her first year on tour.

After a great year on the ITF circuit (one title, two finals and a semi-final), she became the second youngest (again behind Konjuh) to reach a WTA final in Quebec City.

Her biggest impact however came at Wimbledon. Having been crowned junior champion in 2014, the Latvian was granted a wildcard into the main draw for the grass court Slam.

Repaying the faith shown in her by the All England Club, as a 17-year-old Ostapenko knocked out top-10 player Carla Suarez Navarro in the opening round.

She backed up her Wimbledon shock performance with a second round appearance at the US Open, falling to world No.14 Sara Errani in the second round.

"I'm looking forward to starting my year in Auckland," Ostapenko said. "I've heard so many good things from the other players and can't wait to make my first appearance.

"I want to get my season off to a good start, and this tournament will be a great stepping stone for the Australian Open. My goal is to continue to climb the rankings and make more WTA Finals."

Erakovic, who's plummetted to 135th in the world after injury ended her season at the US Open, has been confirmed to receive the other main draw wildcard. Erakovic is looking forward to a new year and putting her 2015 injury behind her.

The ASB Classic will be played from 4 January at the ASB Tennis Arena in Auckland.