Millman pulls out of Brisbane International
JOHN Millman's honesty has helped Tennis Australia's contentious wildcard swap policy play out a little better by withdrawing from the Brisbane International.
Millman decided against testing his recovery from hip injuries in tournament conditions at the Queensland Tennis Centre next week, handing back his main draw wildcard for use, presumably, by another Australian.
Sydneysider James Duckworth is next in the Australian rankings to now receive the third and final Brisbane men's wildcard after TA's deal with a management group had Swede Elias Ymer, ranked 57 places worse than Duckworth, receive a main-draw gift.
TA returned to normal service in its allocation of wildcards, putting two Australian teenage women into the main draw of this month's Hobart International.
Queenslander Lizette Cabrera, 19, and Victorian Jaimee Fourlis, 17, were awarded main-draw berths by TA in its Hobart International, played in week two of the circuit.
Cabrera and Fourlis were given wildcards into Brisbane qualifying and today play their first of three matches they need to win in order to qualify.
On Wednesday, world No.4 Stan Wawrinka said that TA had given his partner Donna Vekic, a Croatian, its second and last main-draw women's wildcard to the Brisbane International main draw.
Vekic's entry was part of a wildcard swap deal TA forged with a management company that runs overseas tournaments and also represents Wawrinka.
Millman has form for being mindful of his fellow Australian players, having given up a TA reciprocal wildcard into the 2014 French Open because of a shoulder injury.
The Brisbane right-hander, who dearly wanted to play again in his home-city tournament, told tournament director Geoff Quinlan and Australian selector Lleyton Hewitt he would instead target a return in the qualifying rounds in Sydney, starting next Friday.
"I came really close and the hip is just about ready to go, but I just ran out of time,'' Millman said.
The Australian No.4, who took Andy Murray and Roger Federer to deciding sets in two previous events at the QTC, will hope he comes out of qualifying in good condition to play the Australian Open, from January 16.
Earlier, TA did not respond to a question about whether it or Wawrinka's agent Lawrence Frankopan had suggested the women's wildcard trade, which goes against TA's practice in recent years for Australian Open lead-in tournaments.
Sara Tomic, sister of Bernard Tomic, has a wildcard into a qualifying match today against sixth seed Katernya Kozlova, of Ukraine, after Cabrera got the last direct-entry spot into qualifying.
Cabrera, the fourth-ranked Australian at No.216, plays American Julia Boesrup, ranked 97 places above her, in a bid to play in her first WTA main-draw field.
Fellow Queenslander Naiktha Bains, 18, meets Australian No.3 Arina Rodionova.