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  • Wimbledon 2017: No primary draw wildcard for Marcus Willis

    Reporter: Aditya Soni
    Published: Thursday, 22 June 2017
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    Marcus Willis must-try to to fight through qualifying after missing on a Maindraw wildcard for Wimbledon.

    The All England Club announced the first batch of wild cards on Wednesday but there was no room for last year's hero.

    The 26-year-old caused a sensation with his run through pre-qualifying and qualifying before going out in the second round against Roger Federer on Centre Court.

    But Willis, ranked 387, has made limited progress since and was only awarded a free pass into qualifying.

    He will, though, definitely be at Wimbledon in the doubles after he and British teenager Jay Clarke were given a wild card.

    Speaking about his chances of a singles wild card earlier this month, Willis told Press Association Sport: ''I'm not confident but hopeful.

    ''I'd really appreciate that. It was a big story last year, the media attention is going to be big, so they might give me one.

    ''I genuinely think I can win some matches. It would bring back some memories, which would be sweet. If not, I'll try and make my way through qualies again.''

    Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Davis Cup stalwart James Ward are among the players who will be in the main draw.

    Watson has dropped outside the top 100 after a difficult 12 months, while Robson continues to work her way slowly back up the rankings following debilitating wrist problems.

    Naomi Broady and 20-year-old Katie Boulter are the other British women to have been given wild cards along with Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas, who has twice reached the fourth round.

    Ward, who played a key role in Britain's Davis Cup triumph of 2015, has been dogged by knee problems, with his ranking slumping to 1,062.

    Joining the 30-year-old are countrymen Brydan Klein and 21-year-old Cameron Norrie, who has just turned professional after finishing his US college career as the top-ranked player.

    German Tommy Haas, who knocked out Roger Federer in Stuttgart last week, has been granted one last appearance at Wimbledon at the age of 39.

    Last year's junior champion Denis Shapovalov is also in despite the unfortunate headlines he made in February when he struck a ball in anger into an umpire's face during a Davis Cup match between Canada and Great Britain.

    The 18-year-old has soared up the rankings and this week defeated Britain's Kyle Edmund at Queen's Club in a repeat of that infamous clash.

    A host of promising British players have had to settle for wild cards into qualifying, including Jay Clarke, Katie Swan and Gabi Taylor.

    Taylor was forced to retire from her junior quarter-final last year after picking up a bacterial infection that saw her spend five days in intensive care.

    The All England Club could add more wild cards in the build-up to the tournament, which begins on July 3, with three spaces left in both the men's and women's main draws.
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