UT's JP Smith given wildcard into Australian Open

Former University of Tennessee standout JP Smith has been awarded by Tennis Australia one of the final discretionary Australian Open wildcard entries.

The 23-year-old Smith broke into the world's top 300 last year with victory at the ITF Futures event in Florida in April and the ATP Challenger Tour event in Illinois in July.

"It's a great privilege to play in the Australian Open, my favorite grand slam, and something I have grown up dreaming about," said Smith, who is ranked No. 244.

The Australian Open starts next Monday.

It will be Smith's first Grand Slam event in singles. Last year, Smith made his Grand Slam debut in doubles at the Australian Open and lost 6-2, 6-2 in the first round with partner Greg Jones.

Smith will play doubles again, this time with John Peers.

Smith's former UT teammate, Rhyne Williams of Knoxville, previously earned a spot in the singles draw.

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