Molik awarded Hobart WC
Alicia Molik is set to return to the tournament where she won her first WTA Tour title back in 2003 following the announcement today of a wildcard for the 2007 Moorilla Hobart International.
The US$170,000 Moorilla Hobart International, which is part of the Australian Open Series, will be staged from Friday 5 – Friday 12 January 2007 at the Domain Tennis Centre, Hobart.
Molik became the first Australian woman in eight years to secure a WTA Tour title when she defeated Amy Frazier of the USA 6-2 4-6 6-4 in the 2003 final.
This was the first stage of Molik’s rise up the rankings which saw her win singles titles in Stockholm, Zurich and Luxembourg in 2004, and Sydney in 2005, an Olympic bronze in Athens in 2004 and the Australian Open women’s doubles in 2005 partnering Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Molik reached a career high ranking of world No.8 in February 2005 before an inner ear infection interrupted her playing career.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Alicia said, “It’s great to be returning to this tournament and to Hobart. When I won my first WTA title here in 2003 it was the starting point for a memorable two-year run.
“Hopefully the Moorilla Hobart International in January will be a springboard to an equally successful year in 2007.”
Still only 25 years old, Molik’s inclusion further strengthens the tournament’s field which already boasts 17 of the world’s top 50 players, and seven-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.
The impressive player list includes: world No.13 Anna Chakvetadze; world no.27 Anabel Medina Garrigues; world No.28 Flavia Pennetta; Russian glamour girl and world No.30 Maria Kirilenko; Alona Bondarenko (ranked 32); defending champion Michaella Krajicek (35) and 2005 champion Jie Zheng (33); rising Russian star Olga Poutchkova (39); Severine Bremond (40); and Russian former top 15 player Elena Likhovtseva.
Tournament Director Michael Roberts said, “The announcement of Alicia is the icing on the cake for what is shaping up to be a fantastic tournament.
“Every Tournament Director loves to have a local favourite and Alicia is hugely popular here in Tasmania.
“However, if she is to be in with any chance of repeating her success of 2003 she’s going to have to be at the top of her game from day one because as a non-seeded player, and given the strength of the field, she’s going to face really tough competition in every round.”
The strong player field is attracting attention from all over the world with a number of international broadcasters expressing interest in the event. While Southern Cross Television will broadcast the final, IEC In Sports have already secured international coverage in the Asia/Pacific region and Russia.
Six of the world’s current top 11 players have previously competed at the Moorilla Hobart International and the tournament’s honour roll boasts names such as Kim Clijsters (2000), and 2006 winner, world No.35 Michaella Krajicek.
Tickets for the 2007 Moorilla Hobart International are currently on sale through Tennis Tasmania on 1300 858 836.