A ‘wild card’ is a player included in the draw of a tennis event at the discretion of the tournament’s organising committee or organisation.
Both main draw and qualifying wild cards may be made available at events. A main draw wild card means that a player will be put into the main draw of an event. A qualifying wild card means that a player will be put into the qualifying draw and will need to then progress through the qualifying event to participate in the main draw.
To be eligible for consideration for a wild card, the player must enter the tournament before the entry deadline. Check relevant entry deadline with ITF or Tennis Europe Fact sheets. Tennis Ireland will not issue late entry wild cards to junior competitions. Players must enter tournaments on time in order to be considered for a wild card.
Players should submit a wild card application to Tennis Ireland to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on the Monday the week before the tournament commences (please put ‘Wildcard application’ in the subject line)
When allocating wild cards, Tennis Ireland/Host Club will take into account the following:
(i) Ranking:significant weight will be placed on the ranking most relevant to the circuit and age group of the relevant draw. Consideration will also be given to players who have achieved good rankings in higher age groups or circuits.
(ii) Recent Results: the quality of recent results in other events will be considered, particularly where players have made progress within events close in standard to the event under consideration. This will normally mean ATP/WTA, ITF, Tennis Europe or Grade 1 national events. As a guide, results from the last three months will be the most relevant.
(iii) Commitment to playing international tennis: A player’s demonstration of the highest level of commitment, professionalism and dedication towards their tennis throughout the whole preceding year will be taken into account. This includes competitive performances and a commitment in training to continual improvement.
(iv) Returning to play after injury or illness: Returning from injury: Players who would like to be considered for a wild card because they are returning from injury or illness must provide information and evidence regarding their injury and evidence that they are ready to compete at the requested level.
(v) Development opportunities: consideration will be given as to whether specific players will gain a particular benefit from playing in a higher age-group or standard of competition than can normally be accessed. At times Tennis Ireland may seek to provide such opportunities to junior players or players transitioning from junior to adult tennis as a matter of priority. This might mean that players with a lower ranking or less experience may be awarded a wild card. This decision will normally be based on player assessments and recent results that show success within an existing schedule and readiness to progress.
3. Normally Wild Cards will be given to Irish Players or players that are eligible to represent Ireland
4. Late wild card requests will not be accepted. Players must enter tournaments on time in order to be considered for a wild card.
5. If the Qualifying and Main Draw Wild Card(s) move into the draw on merit, such player(s)’ status will change to Direct Acceptance and replacement Wild Cards may be nominated up until the time the draw is made.
It is always the responsibility of individual players to check the entry/acceptance lists and tournament draws on the relevant website (e.g. the ITF, Tennis Europe, ti.tournamentsoftware.com) to confirm wild card allocations.