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PRESS ASSOCIATION - 12/01/2009

SOUTH HANDED OPEN PLACE

British number two Melanie South has been handed a place in the main draw of the Australian Open.

The 22-year-old Surrey player, ranked number 110 in the world, replaces defending champion Maria Sharapova, who withdrew on Sunday, and will play her first grand slam outside of Wimbledon.

Simon Walsh, South's coach, told the LTA website: "This is really great for both Mel and British women's tennis - she deserves it so much. This is her reward on the back of all the hard work and having made such significant improvements and gains in 2008."



by PRESS ASSOC



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