Anna plays on despite burglary
Heading for Sydney ... world No. 6 Anna Chakvetadze
By Nikki Tugwell
December 21, 2007 12:00am
ORGANISERS of the Medibank International say shaken-up Russian world No. 6 Anna Chakvetadze intends travelling to Sydney in the next fortnight, despite her harrowing ordeal in which she and her family were tied up and burgled.
The US Open semi-finalist and her family were bound, threatened and robbed of $234,000 by six hooded thieves in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Moscow.
The attractive 20-year-old escaped unharmed but her father was beaten and struck in the head by a pistol butt.
Medibank International tournament director Craig Watson confirmed she was still coming to Sydney in the next two weeks, and will help promote the event.
"Absolutely she is coming," Watson said.
"She would obviously be shaken up but if she is unharmed, I can't see that it would alter her plans.
"The only communication I've had with her management (which was before the incident) is to see whether she'd do the draw for us, and they've come back and said she would be happy to do that. But nobody has been in contact with me to say, 'no she isn't coming to Australia'."
Chakvetadze has enjoyed a breakthrough year on the WTA circuit and has won $1.75 million.
A quarter-finalist at the 2007 Australian and French Open, she made her professional debut at the age of 14 and has won six tournaments in total.
Her father Jamal appeared on Russian TV showing bruises on his scalp, cheek and forehead.
It was the latest in a series of violent crimes against high-profile sports figures in Russia and other former Soviet republics.
Former world top 10 player Andrei Chesnokov was seriously wounded in a shooting in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk in November 2005.
Police released a statement claiming: "Five to six unknown people wearing masks climbed over the fence of the country house at about 4am Moscow time, then broke into the house and tied her parents up. They took money and valuables worth some five million roubles ($234,000)."
Watson was also confident world No. 8 Richard Gasquet will compete at the Medibank International. The Frenchman withdrew from the Adelaide International on Wednesday due to a knee injury.