Receiving one of the eight wild cards is a financial windfall, and they do increase the opportunities for French, American and Australian players at the expense of those from less privileged tennis nations.
I would argue that eight wild cards — more than 6 percent of the draw — is too many unless they are genuinely going to be used to enhance a major’s global appeal or serve some higher purpose. That is rarely how they are deployed.
If the Australians want to use their wild cards on Australians, that seems logical, even if the record shows that most home-nation wild cards are quickly eliminated. But extending that advantage to other Grand Slam nations is nothing more than mutual back scratching.
Better use? Follow the Wimbledon example and be more open to bestowing wild cards on rising players, irrespective of their nationalities, who have proven in recent months that they have great potential. Or on stars, irrespective of their…