Julia follows dad's lead
September 19th, 2009
BLOSSOMING Australian tennis starlet Julia Moriarty has returned to her spiritual home of the Top End in search of valuable world tennis ranking points.
Moriarty, 20, is daughter of famous Borroloola soccer player John who became the first indigenous player to represent Australia in the sport.
Like her father before her, Julia is also breaking the mould as the first indigenous Australian tennis player since the great Evonne Goolagong Cawley to have a WTA ranking.
Fittingly Moriarty is clawing her way up the standing with the help of coach Kim Warwick, who partnered Goolagong to win the mixed-doubles French Open in 1972.
Coming into the second pro international to be held at the Gardens Tennis Complex in as many weeks, Moriarty sits at 758 in the world and 26 in Australia.
Her campaign starts in earnest, hitting the court tomorrow as she tries to qualify for the main draw starting Monday.
Getting a glimpse of former world No.8 Alicia Molik ease past Indonesia's Ayu-Fani Damauanti in straight sets, 6-2 6-2, on centre court yesterday was just a sneak peak of what the right-hander hopes to encounter this week.
"It's a pretty tough competition so I know I'll have to play my best just to get into the main draw,'' Moriarty said.
But there is no place in Australia she would back herself more than Gardens where she has both enjoyed junior success and feels right at home.
"I jumped at the chance to start the Australia season in Darwin, at a place where I feel so comfortable,'' she said.
"Even though I wasn't born here I feel like it's a part of who I am and definitely connect strongly to my background and relatives here.''