Rafter in Salem as wild card

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 April, 1996, 12:00am

Australian Pat Rafter has been awarded the last wild card into the main draw of next week's Salem Open at Victoria Park.

Rafter enjoyed a highly successful run in the Hong Kong tournament two years ago when he reached both the singles and doubles finals, losing the singles title to Michael Chang.

The 23-year-old Australian, who powered his way into the world's top 20 last year before hurting his wrist, is making a comeback following an operation last October.

Rafter has his sights set firmly on reaching the top, although his ranking has slipped to 89 because of the six-month stoppage.

'There are a lot of guys in the top 10 who give you inspiration.

'Someone like Chang is very tough mentally and sets his dreams high,' said Rafter.

'Watching players such as Chang makes me think that reaching the top 10 is not an impossible task.' The tournament kicks off with the qualifiers on Sunday and getting a wild card for the qualifying round is Carl Chang, brother and coach of Hong Kong favourite Michael.