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O'Connell gets final Aussie Open wildcard

AAP logoAAP 8/01/2017 Matt Encarnacion

The final wildcard for the Australian Open has been handed to Sydney journeyman Chris O'Connell.

O'Connell, who will make his senior tour debut at the Sydney International after winning his final qualifier on Sunday, is something of a late bloomer.

The 25-year-old won five International Tennis Futures titles in 2016 on his way to slashing his world ranking from No.570 to 172.

He joins Sam Groth, Alex de Minaur, Andrew Whittington and Omar Jasika as wildcard recipients for next week's major tournament, where a first-round loser wins $50,000.

"I'm so pumped to get a wildcard into the Australian Open. It's been my dream for a long, long time, so I can't wait to get down there," O'Connell said.

"I know I could draw a top player but I'll just see what the draw gives me. It's a great opportunity, I'm thankful to Tennis Australia and I'm looking forward to it."

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