Re: Casey comeback tornaments
CASEY Dellacqua's long-delayed singles comeback has stalled again. After last week partnering Alicia Molik to reach the doubles semi-finals in Esperance in her first tournament since January, Dellacqua's name has been scratched from this week's Pro Tour event in Kalgoorlie.
Dellacqua, the home-grown darling of the 2008 Australian Open, has pulled out with a foot injury.
Her manager, Paul Kilderry, said Dellacqua was unsure when she would be fit to return, but was still aiming to contest next month's wildcard play-off at Melbourne Park.
The West Australian's left shoulder was reconstructed in February but is now fine. ''Her shoulder's really good, so it's more about getting her foot right,'' Kilderry said yesterday. ''I don't think it's a long-term thing; it's just been a bit frustrating. It's sort of a week-by-week situation at the moment.''
With former Slovak Jarmila Groth, 22, sworn in at a citizenship ceremony in Canberra yesterday and eligible to add immediate depth to local Fed Cup stocks, Melbourne-based Anastasia Rodionova is awaiting the date for her own citizenship test. Both players have been granted exemptions to strict Australian residency rules due to their unavoidable travelling schedules.
''I've been studying for a while now, so I'm ready,'' said Rodionova, who intends to enter qualifying in both Brisbane and Sydney in January. ''I really hope to become an Australian citizen before the Australian tournaments.''
The 27-year-old, who reached the fourth round of this year's US Open and has lived in Melbourne with her Australian partner since the end of 2005, will become the nation's third-highest ranked woman behind Sam Stosur and Jelena Dokic when granted citizenship, having returned to the top-100 after hip surgery last year. Groth peaked at No. 57 in July, but is now recovering from ankle surgery.
Meanwhile, Australia's Commonwealth Games planning is under way for the sport's debut in New Delhi next October. The team will comprise four men and four women, with a maximum of three in each singles draw.
Lleyton Hewitt is reportedly undecided about whether to participate, but Tennis Australia's director of tennis, Craig Tiley, said he remained hopeful that Hewitt's long-time willingness to represent his country would extend beyond Davis Cup and Olympic competition.
''Lleyton will be invited to play, as will all our top players,'' Tiley said. ''This is a new event on the calendar, obviously, and how many players and which players will make themselves available is yet to be seen. If Lleyton makes himself available, that would be great.''
Tiley said the rankings-based selection criteria would be finalised in the new year, and that TA had no security concerns ''at this point'' despite its boycott of this year's Davis Cup tie in India because it was not confident the safety of its players could be guaranteed.
And Serena Williams' Australian Open fate is expected to be decided later this week when the International Tennis Federation's grand slam committee meets in London. Williams faces a potential ban as a result of her tirade at the US Open against a line judge. Recent comments from ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti suggest that disqualification is unlikely.