John Millman and Jordan Thompson look set to represent Australia in tennis men’s singles at the Rio Olympics, although both must wait for clearance from the sport’s world governing body before discovering whether they can compete.
Neither Millman nor Thompson have won an ATP tour event, but the decision by Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic to skip the Games has opened the door for their lower-ranked countrymen.
Fifty-six direct acceptances to each singles event will be awarded according to the post-French Open world rankings, which were released on Monday.
Millman is at No.66 and Thompson at No.90 in the ATP rankings, but withdrawals by the likes of Kyrgios, Tomic, American No.1 John Isner and Austria’s Dominic Thiem – plus a four-player cap on each nation – mean they should be among those heading to Rio.
Millman has already said he hopes to represent his country, but Tennis Australia must appeal to the ITF for exemptions on behalf of both men because neither has the requisite Davis Cup experience.
Daria Gavrilova’s participation in the women’s singles is also subject to appeal because she only played once in the Fed Cup since receiving her Australian citizenship last year.
It is understood Tennis Australia doesn’t anticipate any problems and expects her to be in Rio alongside Sam Stosur.
The Russian-born Gavrilova was at No.51 in the WTA rankings released on Monday, with Stosur at No.14 after her surprise run to the French Open semifinals.
Tennis Australia has until June 16 to confirm all players’ entry to the ITF, which will meet on June 30 to rule on whether to grant exemptions.