Hmm, a little bit of a surprise. I chatted to Sacha and her brother GD the other day. They were in Auckland training, and I knew GD from the juniors, we were in the same training squad. I guess if you have the eligibility to become Australian it's reasonable, although disappointing as a Kiwi. That's the problem with tennis in NZ, we just don't have the resources and we also don't have enough tournaments of any level in NZ, including futures- hardly any. The situation is actually becoming worse. We used to have maybe 3 ITF futures? I think we now have no mens' ITF futures in NZ and one womens' one. Awful. We had maybe 7 money tournaments (not enough) and now we have 2, maybe 3 a year. How can you develop players without tournaments? And it's not like in Europe, where they can easily play tournaments in neighbouring countries.
So I can't hold it against her. She's been struggling in the last year or two a bit and probably feels this is necessary to give herself the best chance to make it.
There are a lot of good Aussie players so if she would get anything, I suppose it would be an AO Qualy WC.
As you've outlined this is much more than a AO MD WC and more about NZ Tennis!!
Sacha understandably feels that she is treading water and needs to make a change. Im sure TA did not lure her with a carrot of $$$$, but more like Sacha looking to enter a system that has some sort of support structure for their top players. NZ unfortunately does not have such a system.
Pity because they have had enough talent the last couple of years to have a top 200 tour presence - Vano, Barry, Hollands etc... and one hopes that Westbury and Fanning don't travel the same path as these players. They dont seem to have a federation that is prepared to put together funds and support for their players. Pulling out Fed Cup teams and denying their top 60 player a chance to play the Olympics shows a lack of committment.
Or maybe Tennis NZ aren't concerned and are wishing Sacha well
Or maybe if the sport isnt netball or rugby its no big deal