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Wild cards for Japan players

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Melbourne: Japanís Goichi Motomura and Akiko Morigami have earned the Asian wildcard entries to Januaryís Australian Open, organisers said on Monday.

Motomura, the 189th ranked menís player, and Morigami, the 121st ranked woman, won the wildcards after taking the singles titles at the Asian Championships.

Tennis Australia has offered wildcard entries to two Asian players since 1997 with the aim of promoting tennis across the region.

The 2002 menís wildcard went to Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, who this year has beaten top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt and No. 2 Andre Agassi.

Srichaphan has moved up to to 27th in the ATP Champions Race and is likely to be seeded at the Australian Open that runs from January 13 to 26.

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