Tennis-Wimbledon sprinkles stardust on women’s draw as Osaka, Kerber and Wozniacki handed wild cards

By Thomson Reuters Jun 19, 2024 | 5:49 AM

(Reuters) – A trio of former world number ones in Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka and Caroline Wozniacki have been handed wild cards into the main draw of next month’s Wimbledon championship, the tournament organisers said on Wednesday.

Kerber, down at 224th in the world rankings after 18 months on maternity leave, won the tournament in 2018 and finished runner-up in 2016.

Osaka and Wozniacki, who both also took lengthy breaks from the tour during their pregnancies, have five Grand Slam titles between them.

Japan’s Osaka, who reached the quarter-finals of the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships last week, has progressed to the third round at Wimbledon on two occasions, while Wozniacki has made it to the last 16 six times.

Local hope and former U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu, who was sidelined for eight months last year after undergoing surgery on both wrists and an ankle, was also awarded a wildcard for the grasscourt Grand Slam.

Raducanu is ranked 165th in the world.

Britain’s Fran Jones, Lily Miyazaki, and Heather Watson are the other players to be awarded entry into the women’s singles.

On the men’s side, all the players to receive wild cards were from Britain, with Liam Broady the standout name.

One wild card is yet to be awarded in both the men’s and women’s draws.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)