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spiceboy
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:01 PM
Molik to hunt for new recruits
By LEO SCHLINK
05jan06



ALICIA Molik will join Tennis Australia's biggest recruiting drive in a generation as the sport's administrators attempt to revive the sport.

Sidelined with an inner ear virus, the former world No. 8 will join TA's hunt to find Australia's best young athletes.

The target group is six to 11-year-olds.

"There are a lot of kids out there who are good at sports but who may not have had much exposure to tennis," Molik said. "These kids could have the potential to become great tennis players, but don't yet know it.
"This day is about finding good athletes with an aptitude for tennis."

Molik, who is uncertain of when she will return to competitive ranks, will offer a private hitting session with one of the participants.


The SA right-hander said one of her goals during her sabbatical was to help develop Australian tennis.

TA will target and identify athletes from a non-tennis background as the sport attempts to win back potential champions from cricket, AFL, soccer and swimming.

The idea is the brainchild of TA director of player development Craig Tiley and TA's head of talent and identification Troy Ayres, who has secured Molik's support for the talent drive.

TA already has tennis-based identification programs in place, but the latest initiative signals the beginning of a major push for greater numbers.

The meagre number of Australians with single or double-digit rankings - Lleyton Hewitt, Molik, Sam Stosur and Wayne Arthurs - is indicative of a withered talent base.

Molik wants to help tennis in its plan to challenge Australia's other leading summer sports.

TA will stage its first talent search day on January 20 - in the first week of the showpiece Australian Open - at the Boroondara Tennis Centre, North Balwyn.

Interested athletes can register with TA. The deadline closes at 5pm Monday.

More information can be found at www.tennisaustralia.com.au/talentsearch.

Meanwhile, injury concerns remain over a trio of Australian Open stars, led by defending champion Marat Safin, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal.

Safin (knee), Agassi (ankle) and Nadal (foot)are still to declare their fitness ahead of the January 16-29 grand slam. Russian Safin is considered doubtful, while Agassi continues to optimistically train in the U.S. and Nadal is expected in Sydney over the next 48 hours.

tenn_ace
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Alicia :bounce: good for you for keeping busy and helping kids, but we miss you on the tour :kiss:

AsGoodAsNew
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:27 PM
Poor Alicia. When down and out, turn to charidee. They all do. Better than getting a job I suppose.

Wannabeknowitall
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:38 PM
Honestly I don't miss her. With the inner ear virus, she was still one of best doubles players around. In the end it was her choice to entirely leave the tour.
The person I feel bad for is Kuznetsova. Molik was someone she looked up to. Kuznetsova did have a slump last year but I would think seeing Molik trying her best to be out there on the court as her doubles partner would really have helped her to play her best as well.
It's so hard to get back to the top as an older player especially when it took Molik 5 years to get to where she was pretty much satisfied with her career. I doubt Molik will be coming back. She is likely to coach an up-and-coming Aussie in the years to come. I hope she enjoys working alongside the TA.

creep
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:39 PM
She's not looking hard enough.

Lindsayfan32
Jan 4th, 2006, 09:26 PM
I for one miss Alicia just when I found an aussie or two to cheer for it becomes one again. I really like alicia for her good sportmanship and hreat personaility. Iam looking forward to see what she has to say in the paper during the oz open.

Gowza
Jan 5th, 2006, 12:05 AM
i'm glad she's doing this, maybe she'll actually find some talent which we seem to be lacking atm. that or the coaches aren't looking hard enough.