Alex Bolt receives 2019 Australian Open wild card

Murray Bridge’s Alex Bolt will compete in the main men’s singles draw at the Australian Open tomorrow after being granted a wild card entry to the event.

Bolt will play another wild card recipient, American Jack Sock, in the first round on Tuesday.

The match is scheduled to be played on court seven at Melbourne Park following a women’s singles match which will begin at 10.30am South Australian time.

The Australian is ranked 159 in the world and his opponent 105, though the latter was a top-10 player as recently as two years ago and remains among the world’s best doubles players.

A $105,000 prize will be on offer for the winner of the match, who will face either 29-seed Gilles Simon, of France, or a qualifier in the second round.

The loser will receive $75,000.

In the doubles tournament, Bolt will partner with 21-year-old countryman Marc Polman and face American twins Mark and Bob Bryan, arguably the most successful doubles team of all time, in the first round.

Despite being 40 years of age, the Bryans are the reigning Wimbledon and US Open men’s doubles champions and will enter the tournament as its number-four seeds.

That match had not been scheduled at the time of publication.

Twenty-six-year-old Bolt has had a good year on the ATP Challenger Tour, the international circuit immediately below the World Tour.

He won the Zhuhai Open in China in March, despite having entered as an un-seeded qualifier; and reached the final of the Fairfield Challenger, in San Francisco, in October.

His world ranking reached a career-high of 139 that month.

After three previous attempts, he has never yet made it to the second round of a grand slam tournament in singles.

However, he has played fourth-round matches at the Australian Open twice in the doubles competition, in 2014 and 2017.

His career winnings have totalled more than $850,000.

Eight men’s and women’s wild cards are awarded at the Australian Open each year at the discretion of a selection panel.

Players who do not receive one, such as Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis, must qualify via an elimination tournament.

Note: An earlier version of the story gave an incorrect value for the amount of money up for grabs in the first-round match; and also suggested Bolt’s match would be on Monday, not Tuesday.