Wild cards restricted for British at Wimbledon

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The Independent Online

The Lawn Tennis Association has confirmed plans to restrict Wimbledon wild card entries for British players. Any man who has received three wild cards in his career will not be given another unless he hauls his ranking inside the world's top 150.

That will affect players like Arvind Parmar and Jamie Delgado, who will either have to battle up the rankings or win a qualifying competition because they have already used up their allocation.

The move is a response to critics who say the wild card system rewards failure, with the first-round losers in the men's competition last summer earning almost £7,000.

"We're raising the bar once more," said the LTA's performance director, David Felgate. "I do think, at that time of year, players have sat back and thought of their Wimbledon wild card. They won't be able to do that any more."

British players will still be handed wild cards but only if they are in the men's top 300 or women's top 250. Those just emerging out of the junior ranks will be given special consideration.

The only other way into the All England Championships will be through a play-off system which will double as pre-qualifying.