Molik Into Olympics
Molik receives Beijing wildcard
From Valkerie Mangnall in London, England
July 01, 2008 ATHENS bronze medallist Alicia Molik has received a wildcard entry to the women's singles at this year's Olympics in Beijing.
The South Australian was among 12 women and men awarded wildcards by the International Tennis Federation.
Molik said it had always been her childhood dream to compete at the Olympic Games and now she is heading to her third, after debuting in Sydney as a 19-year-old in 2000.
"This is probably the best news I've had since 2004,'' Molik said.
"I have played in two Olympics and I have to say they're the absolute highlight of my career. Nothing comes close to playing in the Olympics, representing your country. It is the most amazing experience any individual can have.''
Molik's singles ranking has continued to drop after a terrible run of illness and injury, most recently an ongoing elbow problem.
Her ranking peaked at No.8 in 2005, but she lost in the first round of singles qualifying at the French Open and Wimbledon this year, and has not won a main-draw match since January.
She remains in the mixed doubles draw at Wimbledon with Swede Jonas Bjorkman, who has also received a wildcard to Beijing.
"It was my goal to make the Olympics this year, which is my last as a professional player,'' Bjorkman said.
"It will be my third participation after Atlanta and Athens and it's my dream to end my career with an Olympic medal for Sweden.''
ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said each player awarded a wildcard brought "special qualities'' to the field for the Olympics.
"Some are young competitors from under-represented parts of the world, while others are former medallists or long-standing participants in their country's Davis Cup and Fed Cup efforts,'' he said.
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