Teenager Destanee Aiava earns wildcard for next month's Australian Open after beating Tammi Patterson in the playoff final on Sunday.
WTA Staff
December 17, 2017

MELBOURNE, Australia - Destanee Aiava earned a wildcard for January's Australian Open after beating Tammi Patterson in the playoff final on Sunday.

Aiava lost out on a wildcard to Jaimee Fourlis earlier this month after losing the final of the 18's Girls' Australian Championships, but will now join her compatriot in next month's main draw.  

"I just wanted to keep building momentum and keep firing my shots with confidence," said the 17-year-old, who was awarded entry after her comprehensive 6-4, 6-0 victory.

"That worked out well. I was trying not to think about the prize at the end, I just wanted to go for it. After [match] point was done I was so relieved." 

Her appearance will be her second showing at a Grand Slam, having also made the first round at the Australian Open in 2017. That display, in which she was beaten by Mona Barthel, made her the first player, male or female, to feature in the main draw of a Grand Slam having been born in the year 2000 or later.

"I think I'm a lot more confident now," she continued. "When I step out onto the court I'll not feel so overwhelmed. I've been around the world this year playing all four Grand Slams so looking forward to the challenge now."

Aiava joins Kristie Ahn, Jessica Ponchet, Xinyu Wang, Olivia Rogowska, Fourlis and Victoria Azarenka on wildcards for Melbourne Park.

Belinda Woolcock and Astra Sharma won doubles wildcard entry earlier in the week after beating Aiava and Patterson 6-1, 3-6 [10-3] in the final.