Thursday, September 2, 2010
Last night on Sky's coverage of the US Open, Greg Rusedski explained to a confused Annabelle Croft why French player Virginie Razzano had been granted a wildcard entry into the draw of America's Grand Slam. It turns out that three of the four countries that host Grand Slams (Britain is the exception) swap wildcards for their tournaments, so that middling French players can have a crack at the US Open, Aussies can get into the French Open, and so on. Rusedski emphasised that this is a 'GOOD THING' and urged Britain to join in, instead of hording the Wimbledon wildcards for mediocre British players. Of course, what he means is that it's a good thing from the entirely self-interested point of view of the countries lucky enough to have Grand Slams - given that players can often gain a substantial boost in the world rankings from a wildcard if they go on to win a match or two, I can't believe the rest of the world thinks it's that great a system. Indeed, the fact that France's inbuilt advantage even extends to a tournament beyond its shores simply underscores the unfairness.