The list of wild cards for the 2019 edition of Wimbledon was released on Wednesday, and it features no shortage of recognizable names. Most noteworthy among them is Marcos Baghdatis, who was a semi-finalist at the All-England Club back in 2006. The former top-10 ranked player also reached the quarterfinals in 2007.
Baghdatis’ inclusion in the tournament did raise some eyebrows considering the 34-year-old has not played an ATP Tour-level match since February. Others that have played more recently, including Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, were overlooked in favor of Baghdatis. However, Mahut will still have a chance to qualify for one of the few remaining open spots.
Oddsmakers obviously think little of Baghdatis’ chances of making a real run at Wimbledon at his more advanced age (click here for more info on Wimbledon betting), but his inclusion does bring more name recognition to the field, if nothing else.
The 3 others featured on the men’s wild card list are all British natives. James Ward, Jay Clarke and Paul Jubb made the cut. Jubb, the National Collegiate Athletic Association champion, tweeted that he is honored to be afforded the chance to take part in the prestigious tournament:
Beyond happy to play my first @Wimbledon and be given this amazing opportunity. Thx to @the_LTA for all the support and everyone else on this journey with me. As a young lad growing up in Hull it was a big dream to get to SW19. #BackTheBrits #GamecockGRIT
— Paul Jubb (@PaulJubb3) June 19, 2019
The Hull native plays collegiate tennis in the United States at the University of South Carolina. Jubb claimed the NCAA men’s singles title this past May.
Clarke has won 2 titles on the ATP Challenger Tour over the last year, and he has climbed over 50 spots in the ATP World Rankings as a result of his recent performance. Ward, 32, advanced to the third round of Wimbledon back in 2015 before losing to Jiri Vesely.
There are also 5 doubles teams on the wild card list. Lleyton Hewitt, the former No. 1-ranked player in the world, has made the cut alongside another Aussie in Jordan Thompson. Hewitt won the 2002 men’s singles title at Wimbledon, with his lone other Grand Slam title coming at the U.S. Open a year prior.
The women’s wild card list includes Heather Watson, Katie Swann and Harriet Dart. All 3 hail from the United Kingdom, while Iga Swiatek of Poland also made the cut. Swiatek is the reigning Wimbledon junior champion. Katie Boulter, who is dealing with an injury, could be handed one of the 4 remaining wild card spots if she proves she is fit enough to compete.