Lonely Molik looks to doubles
August 30, 2005 - 4:24PM
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Alicia Molik says the WTA Tour can be a lonely place and she is happy to have an ally in doubles partner Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Kuznetsova became the first woman in history to lose in the first round of the US Open as defending champion when she fell 6-3 6-2 to fellow Russian Ekaterina Bychkova.
Molik, the 14th seed, also bowed out with a 6-4 6-4 upset loss to American wildcard Shenay Perry and said she could empathise with Kuznetsova's plight.
"I watched Sveta's game and it's always tough coming back as defending champion. No doubt that was running through her mind," said the Australian No.1.
"I'm sure she'll be upbeat and I'll make every effort to ensure she's positive and enjoying herself in the next couple of weeks because I imagine and I hope we're going to do pretty well in doubles.
"I know she had an injury two weeks ago but I hope she'll make an effort to stay positive, forget about it. It's very easy to say 'there's always next week, there's always another tournament'.
Advertisement"But sometimes if you let those feelings get to you, if you let them drag you down, if you let them preoccupy your mind, you can almost go mad.
"No-one wins every single week and I think it's a huge learning curve for her. But knowing her, I think she'll bounce back. No doubt. She's got the game."
Kuznetsova partnered Molik to her first grand slam title when they won the women's doubles at this year's Australian Open and the South Australian is grateful to have her on side.
"We're very good friends. The time that I was home for four or five months (with an ear infection this year), Svetlana would be one of the players, one of my friends who would ring every week," Molik said.
"I think it's great to be in a competitive environment and have someone that you could rely on and who you can trust because there's not too many players out there (like that).
"You could probably count a handful of players who you would probably do a couple of favours for and be friends with, want to go to go out to dinner with. There's not many out there.
"It's difficult to get to know players from different countries. Everyone sticks to themselves or does their own thing, and that's the nature of the sport.
"The fact that we're very good friends is great. We both had first-round losses today, we both have a lot in common. We've both got to step out on the doubles court together so I think we'll be going through the same emotions so we can relate in that way."
Molik said she was extra motivated to perform well in the doubles at Flushing Meadows by the prospect of her and Kuznetsova qualifying for the season-ending championships in Los Angeles in November.