Winner Barty heading for Wimbledon
TEEN Ashleigh Barty will play in her third grand slam tournament next week after being given a wildcard into the main draw at Wimbledon.
The 16-year-old from Springfield had been given a wildcard into qualifying just last week, but that was upgraded after she won the ITF $50,000 grasscourt tournament in Nottingham on Sunday.
The world No 317 posted a stunning 6-1 6-1 victory over Germany's Tatjana Malek to claim the biggest win of her short career, and her third ITF title this year after victories in Mildura and Sydney in February.
Barty defeated a series of higher-ranked opponents on her way to the final, including South African Chanel Simmonds and No 3 seed Valeria Savinykh from Russia.
The Aussie also got past Madison Brengle from the US before downing No 2 seed Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic in the semi-finals.
Malek had beaten top seed Anastasia Yakimova from Belarus in the semi-final but the world No 149 had no answers to Barty's all-round game.
The talented teen then made it two-from-two in Nottingham when she teamed up with Victorian Sally Peers to take the doubles title over Reka-Luka Jani and Maria Joao Koehler, 7-6 3-6 10-5.
The singles victory will almost certainly propel Barty, who last year won junior Wimbledon, into the top 300 for the first time.
Barty was also given wildcards into the Australian Open and French Open this year where she lost in the first round both times.
She will be one of five female Australian players in the singles draw at Wimbledon. The others are: Samantha Stosur, Jarmila Gajdosova, Casey Dellacqua and Anastasia Rodionova.
They will be joined by Bernard Tomic, Matthew Ebden, Marinko Matosevic and former winner Lleyton Hewitt who has also been given a wildcard by the All England Club.
Hewitt will fine-tune his preparation at an exhibition event in London this week where he will play world No 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday and 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych on Friday.
Tomic, who reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year, is the fourth seed at a grass court tournament at Eastbourne this week where he will play the winner of a round-one match between Italian Fabio Fagnini or Spaniard Albert Ramos today.
Tomic was forced to retire in the first set of his match against eventual winner Tommy Haas in Halle last week after suffering stomach cramps.
He says he has recovered and good results at Eastbourne could elevate the world No 27 into the top 24 seedings at Wimbledon and give him an easier draw in the first three rounds.