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Smith Receives Australian Open Wild Card

Former Vol John-Patrick Smith was given one of the final main draw wild cards to the Australian Open, Tennis Australia announced Saturday. 

Smith will make his Grand Slam singles debut at Melbourne Park, an appearance that will net him at least $27,000, more than half the prize money he made in all of 2012. Currently No. 244 in the ATP World Tour Rankings, Smith is coming off a season in which he captured to singles titles, including his first at the Challenger level.

Smith will join former teammate Rhyne Williams in the Australian Open field of 128. Williams, ranked No. 190, earned the USTA's wild card by winning an eight-man playoff in December. 

Tennys Sandgren is set to play qualifying singles at the Australian Open. The 2011 UT All-American was a semifinalist at the USTA playoff that Williams won.

Both Smith and Williams are currently in the third round of qualifying at the Apia International Sydney, an ATP 250 event. They each won two straight-set matches Saturday. 

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