Arina Rodionova’s Australian Open qualification bid was halted due to the first day of qualifiers at Melbourne Park being rained out. Monday’s matches were affected by heavy rain, causing multiple delays before ultimately being abandoned. As a result, matches could not be moved to the indoor courts, as they were reserved for practice sessions for already qualified players such as Naomi Osaka.
Rodionova, along with other Australians, will have to wait until Tuesday to start their qualifying campaigns. This list includes John Millman, who is set to play in his final Australian Open before retiring. The tournament officials have left the possibility of switching matches to indoor courts open if bad weather persists.
Despite her impressive form, Rodionova was controversially not given a wildcard entry, missing out to Daria Saville, who was ranked lower than her at the time of the Open main-draw cut-off. However, Rodionova’s ranking has been steadily improving, and she has performed well in recent tournaments.
The decision to overlook Rodionova for a wildcard sparked controversy, with the player expressing her disappointment on social media. She emphasized her determination to earn her own way into the Australian Open main draw and is looking forward to the qualifying matches. Meanwhile, Millman is also expected to play in the qualifying rounds in order to secure his spot in the main draw.
Tournament chief Craig Tiley defended the wildcard awarding process, citing factors such as age, form, and recent performances when making the decisions. Despite this justification, the decision was met with criticism, with some pointing out the inconsistencies in the selection process. Overall, the decision has generated debate within the tennis community.