From Daily Liberal: http://dubbo.yourguide.com.au/detail...644&y=2003&m=6
Monday, 30 June 2003
TennisIn form Alicia Molik has been left wondering whether she will be picked for the Australian Fed Cup team or if she will have an extra week of rest before beginning the US hard court season.
Tennis Australia has yet to select its Fed Cup team to play Colombia in Wollongong, less than a fortnight before the world group play-offs.
Part of the problem may have been uncertainty of Jelena Dokic, who was in the picture to return to Australia before ruling herself out yesterday.
The selection uncertainty leaves Australia's top women's player, Molik, feeling confused.
Molik, 22, has made huge strides in her game this year, culminating in her narrow 6-4, 6-4 loss to world No 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne in the third round of Wimbledon yesterday.
Ranked 54th in the world, Molik was the only Australian woman to make it past the first round at Wimbledon but she still does not know if she will be playing against Colombia.
"I can't assume I'll be in the team," a clearly puzzled Molik said yesterday.
"I was in the team this time last year but I'll just wait and see. It's less than two weeks away so they're leaving it pretty late.
"I think it's pretty crazy to leave it this late but that's what we have to put up with.
"It's not my decision about when the team's picked, it's Tennis Australia's.
"I don't know why they're leaving it this late . . . people have got plans to make."
Molik's new coach, Mark Woodforde, has been at Wimbledon as part of a commentary team but captain Evonne Cawley and selectors Lesley Hunt and Liz Smylie stayed in Australia.
Henin-Hardenne predicted Molik would continue to improve in coming months, rating her as her toughest opponent in the first three rounds at Wimbledon.
The straight sets win was nowhere near as easy as the scoreline indicated, with Molik taking the French Open champion to break point and saving six break-points, including one match point.
"Playing Alicia Molik was a tough test for me because she was serving so well," Henin-Hardenne said.
"She's improving a lot, especially here at Wimbledon. The grass is probably one of her best surfaces.
"She's serving great, she's tall, she has many things in her game to win these kind of matches.
"I think she's getting more regular in her game and she will still improve in the next few months."
Dokic's decision means she will not be able to play at the Athens Olympics.
Dokic, the world No 12 was angry at International Tennis Federation rules which require her to represent her country at the Fed Cup to be eligible for Athens.
Dokic, a semi-finalist at the Sydney Games in 2000, had been contemplating playing for Australia again despite switching allegiance to her native Yugoslavia in 2001 after a series of spats with Australian tennis officials and the media.
But that would have meant being available for the Fed Cup world group play-offs in Wollongong, something she said would play havoc with her tournament schedule.
"I mean, I would have to play next month. I wouldn't do that, no matter what," Dokic said after her third-round loss to 16-year-old Russian Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon.
"I've played a lot of tournaments. I think everyone needs some time off."
Dokic admitted she did not understand the rules for Olympic eligibility and said they were unfair to the top players.