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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 18:06 UK

Bogdanovic faces wildcard threat

Date: 22 June - 5 July
Coverage: Breakfast previews and regular live updates in BBC local radio sport bulletins plus live coverage BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD, Red Button, website streaming (UK only) and text commentary, 5 Live, 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC iPlayer
Tennis on the BBC

By David Ornstein
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Alex Bgdanovic
Bogdanovic is aware he may not receive another Wimbledon wild card

Alex Bogdanovic is unlikely to receive another wildcard for Wimbledon, the Lawn Tennis Association has suggested.

The 25-year-old British number two slumped to an eighth successive first-round defeat at SW19 when he was beaten by 20th seed Tomas Berdych on Tuesday.

And the LTA's Paul Annacone said: "He knows the clock's ticking fast and, for Wimbledon, maybe has stopped for him."

Bogdanovic admitted he does not deserve another wildcard and told BBC Sport he would focus his career on doubles.

"I probably won't get another wildcard and that's fair enough - I've had many chances," said Bogdanovic, who partnered James Ward to victory over David Martin and Jean-Claude Scherrer in round one of the men's doubles.

"I had a lot of fun out there today, and I realised that I can play good doubles. I think I need to work on a few areas but I think I could be a really good doubles player. I think I might start that route."

LTA policy states that any player inside the world's top 250 can be recommended for a Wimbledon wildcard and Bogdanovic, ranked 191, currently meets the criteria.

If you got any of the tennis experts around the world to go and watch Alex hit a ball for an hour, they would agree there are very few people better than him

Paul Annacone, LTA's head of men's tennis

But if the Belgrade-born left-hander is not awarded a wildcard in future then, unless he improves his ranking to reach the tournament by right or comes through qualifying, his Wimbledon singles career is over.

Doubles partner Ward, the British number four in singles, defended Bogdanovic and insisted the focus on Wimbledon results is unfair.

"People do forget that you do play another 50 weeks of the year," said the 22-year-old, who was one of four British men to lose in round one of the singles.

"If you don't do well at Wimbledon, suddenly you're rubbish, and that's not the case. Suppose if Andy (Murray) loses this week, then he'll be slaughtered as well."

Annacone, the LTA's head coach of men's tennis, was full of praise for Bogdanovic, who turned professional in 2002 and reached 108th in the world in June 2007, but is mystified by his lack of success.

"If you got any of the tennis experts around the world to go and watch Alex hit a ball for an hour, they would agree there are very few people better than him," Annacone said.

"So that begs the question, what's the problem? I wish there was a magic pill that he could take or we could give him to address that problem.


"Physically he has no problems striking a tennis ball, it's the combination of physical training and the mental training that has let him down.

"This is the first time in my three years I have seen him do all his physical and mental work."

Brits have to earn wildcards - Henman

Annacone described Bogdanovic as "one of the most puzzling guys I've been around" and also revealed the LTA may stop funding the Londoner if he does not make progress during the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, former British number one Tim Henman believes there should be a review of the allocation of the wildcards in future.

"We want to be giving wildcards to the really young up-and-coming players. We don't want the same people getting the same people getting them over and over again," he insisted.

"We want to have half-a-dozen men, half-a-dozen women who are getting direct acceptance and that's going to make the game a lot healthier."

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see also
Keothavong crashes out of doubles
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Bogdanovic dumped out by Berdych
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray laments British failings
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
British duo go out in Eastbourne
17 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Baltacha wins as Bogdanovic flops
23 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Men's doubles results
27 Jun 07 |  Results
Women's doubles results
27 Jun 07 |  Results
Bogdanovic bows out
25 Jun 02 |  Wimbledon

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