andy roddick receives a wild card into memphis last week... sam querrey gets one in delray beach this week. obviously, either one could have had direct acceptance if they had entered in time. there can't be a significant penalty for a withdrawl before the tourney starts or we wouldn't see all the withdrawls that we do these days. i notice this type of activity more in the players from the usa (andre agassi was the godfather of the practice), but i have seen it happen with other countries where a home country top player asks for and receives a late wild card.
my problem with this is that it is very selfish on the part of these players, unless i am greatly underestimating the atp's penalty for withdrawls. who gets the shaft???? usually a young up and coming player from the home country that would get that wildcard and at the very least a decent payday and some valueable experience. if that particular young player could get a win or two in the main draw, not only would he be able make that payday bigger, but he would gain access to bigger tourneys because of his increased ranking, and possibly kickstart a young career.
i find it disturbing that a rah! rah! rah! american davis cup player like roddick partakes regularly in this practice. also, when you see players like querrey (who is a nice young promising player but really hasn't done anything yet) being able to get a late wildcard, it points to this practice getting a little more common.