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Townsend and Zvonareva handed Wimbledon wildcards

LONDON (Reuters) - Rising American talent Taylor Townsend and former world number two Vera Zvonareva have been handed wildcards into the women's draw at Wimbledon, officials said on Friday.

Eighteen-year-old Townsend has been rewarded for an encouraging run to the third round of the French Open on her grand slam debut last month. Since the start of the year she has climbed more than 150 places in the rankings to 150th.

Russian Zvonareva reached the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2010 but since then she has been plagued by illness and injury, forcing her out of the tour for 18 months.

Now ranked 559th, the 29-year-old made her comeback earlier this year but was knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open.

Wimbledon starts on June 23.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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