Sacha Jones Gets Wildcard
Kiwi No1 Sacha Jones Awarded A Wildcard
New Zealand No1 Sacha Jones has been confirmed as a main draw wildcard for the 2011 ASB Classic featuring the Kia Motors Singles & Doubles.
Despite a tough 2010 where various injuries kept her out of the ASB Classic in January Jones still managed to make an impact in Challenger events and finish the year with a ranking of 253.
Jones has played just a dozen tournaments in the past 12 months with her best results coming via a win at the US$25,000 Challenger at Alice Springs in September and another Challenger in the Western Australian town of Esperance in November. She was also a beaten finalist at Traralgon, a semifinalist at Bendigo and she reached the quarterfinals at Cairns, all US$25,000 tournaments.
In February 2010 she qualified for the US$220,000 WTA event at Pattaya, Thailand before losing in the first round to a much higher ranked opponent.
The 20-year-old reached a career high ranking of 167 in November 2009 and had spent several weeks recently working on her strength and conditioning.
“Sacha has always had promise and talent and it was unfortunate she was unable to play in the 2010 ASB Classic as a result of injury. She has come back and earned her place in the main draw with some solid results in Challenger events. She will have plenty of hometown support in what is an exceptional ASB Classic field,” says ASB Classic tournament director, Richard Palmer.
Previously in her career it was 2009 which proved to be the start of something significant.
She won her first ITF senior title – the US$10,000 Brownsville event in the United States, followed by a semifinal finish at the US$50,000 Grapevine tournament, also in the United States.
The time for a big rankings jump came when she played a series of four US$25,000 Challenger tournament in Australia and a US$50,000 event in the United States.
Jones also won three US$25,000 tournaments in Australia, beating former top-10 player Alicia Molik in all of them. She also won an event of the same prizemoney in the United States and was runner up in another in Phoenix.
Jones always showed plenty of promise as a younger player, whether in juniors or seniors. As a 14-year-old in 2005 she qualified for three US$25,000 tournaments in Australia
Jones made the quarters at the US Open juniors for the second year running in 2007 and was ranked just outside the top 10 juniors in the world. Her brother GD was a professional player as well and member of the New Zealand Davis Cup team.