Barty gains main draw start for the French Open
IPSWICH tennis star Ashleigh Barty has been awarded a wildcard into the main draw of the French Open.
The wildcard to the tournament starting at Roland Garros on May 26 comes thanks to a reciprocal arrangement between Tennis Australia and the French Tennis Federation.
It means one Aussie male and female are awarded French Open main draw wildcards, and two French players get the same privilege at the Australian Open.
John Millman is the beneficiary of the men's wildcard birth.
Barty has begun to harness her talent on clay in 2013.
The Springfield-based 17-year-old reached the semi-finals of the ITF claycourt event in Pelham, US, in April before her successful Fed Cup singles debut for Australia on clay in Switzerland.
"On the back of her crucial match win in Fed Cup, Ash looks primed for Grand Slam success in the near future," Tennis Australia's head of professional tennis Todd Woodbridge said.
"I think that Fed Cup win on clay against (Stefanie) Voegele gave her great confidence and belief that she can perform with the world's best. The experiences that she's had in the past 12 months, such as taking out former French Open champ Francesca Schiavone at the Hopman Cup, have highlighted her talent."