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go hingis
Dec 12th, 2006, 01:52 AM
LINK: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20910782-2722,00.html


Molik prepares to qualify for home Grand Slam

Margie McDonald
December 12, 2006

THE new season cannot start soon enough for Alicia Molik. In fact it is three more sleeps.


She is anxious because she's been working up a sweat with six weeks of solid training, is in the best shape she's been for two years and wants a road test. "I really can't wait for those hot summer nights," Molik said. And it all starts on Friday at the Australian Open wild-card play-off tournament.
After reaching a career-high No.8 on the WTA world rankings in February 2005, which followed several breakthrough tournament wins and a quarter-final spot at the Australian Open, Molik's year spiralled downwards when an inner-ear infection worsened to the point where it destroyed her sense of balance and disrupted her depth of vision. It could have ended her career.
The South Australian, who now calls Melbourne home, missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2005 and the 2006 Australian Open but intends being back for 2007.
But since her ranking has slipped to 163, Molik cannot rely on an automatic spot in the 128-strong field. And rather than wait to be given a wild-card, Molik will play the qualifying tournament.
"It's an opportunity for more match practice and under a pressure situation," Molik said. "It's probably no surprise that people would expect me to win it. I expect to win it myself. But I don't care what type of competition it is because you have to put yourself on the line and put yourself under pressure. That's a valuable lesson in itself."
Molik has learned a few of those since struggling to overcome her illness and return to the tour. She did that last May in Japan and played another 15 tournaments. But with a 9-16 win-loss record, it was by no means a successful comeback.
"Obviously I couldn't expect too much too soon but the frustration of not quite playing at that level as consistently as I used to was the hardest part," Molik said. "I'd show flashes here and there but as soon as a flash came I'd expect so much of myself.
"The positives are there now that I can. And I want to get back to where I was."
In August 2004 she beat Anastasia Myskina to win Olympic bronze in Athens. She went on to win tournaments in Stockholm, Zurich and Luxembourg, leaving seeded players in her wake, including Maria Sharapova. That got her into the top 20 for the first time.
She then beat Sam Stosur in the 2005 Sydney International final to become the first Australian champion since 1980.
She beat Venus Williams in the fourth round of the Australian Open to become the first local to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne since 1988. That put her into the top 10. Reaching the semi-finals in Antwerp in February put her at No.8. But then she got sick.
"Basically my body ran on adrenalin for more than six months.
"Something had to give but it's hard to know when to stop when you're playing so well."
She has no fears the illness will return.
"From what I've learnt about it myself, read about it, and spoken with other people who've had it, I feel very comfortable I'm all done with it."
Molik will take more time off to rest and get home for further training "time outs" in her schedule.
After this weekend's qualifying tournament Molik will join Mark Philippoussis to play in the Hopman Cup in Perth starting on December 30, before the Sydney International (January 7) and the Australian Open (January 15).

Martian Stacey
Dec 12th, 2006, 02:16 AM
Good luck Alicia! I hope she gets the wildcard :)

Though I think they might give her one anyway if she didn't win the playoff

KimC&MariaSNo1's
Dec 12th, 2006, 02:48 AM
she will get a WC for sure but i have no doubt. She will win this playoff

switz
Dec 12th, 2006, 04:37 AM
there's no question she willl get a wild card no matter what but it's good she's taking a step down to get ready. just don't lose :scared:

DutchieGirl
Dec 12th, 2006, 05:21 AM
:sad: She's playing Sydney... I wanted to see her in Hobart - oh well. I'll go on Saturday to the play-offs. :D

Josh.
Dec 12th, 2006, 05:44 AM
good luck alicia :):)

Alicia Rocks
Dec 12th, 2006, 06:02 AM
Alicia :armed:

FLL
Dec 12th, 2006, 06:05 AM
I really didn't like her before her ''breakthrough'' but I've grown to enjoy her and her game very much and can't wait to see her back in full force. She is one of the few that can hang with the big girls of the tour!

Come on Alicia!!!

Kirt12255
Dec 12th, 2006, 06:54 AM
:worship: Thanks for the article!!

Ive seen 2 about Alicia in the last few weeks on TV and can only quote a few things she said.

I flicked over to one of those house and garden shows and they were showing Alicia's house. It's stunning, huge open kitchen etc. It was pretty short but she is obviously very close with her mother. She gives her mum her old tennis shoes for gardening.:lol: She also said that her Mum made her empty out the M & M's she was keeping in her Sydney trophy;)

The other one was Sports Tonight last night. She was talking about her new coach, Paul Kilderry, and how it is so important to be able to get on with youre coach both on and off the court. (I think I might be smelling some loving in the air there :hearts: ;) ). Alicia has been working 6 hours a day for the last 6 weeks. "I don't want to be at the stage where I'm making second rounds, I want to be back up at number eight".:worship: Alicia was on one of the outside courts getting ready for this play off, (nudged her head towards Rod Laver Arena behind her) "I played a quarter final there 2 years ago, it's not hard to find motivation":worship: :D :D

Paul Kilderry said "Alicia has the strongest work ethic on the tour right now" (Big statement). Alicia was really hitting the ball cleanly, like everyone else has said, reguardless she will get a WC.. Fingers crossed, she looks in great shape.;)

Ben.
Dec 12th, 2006, 07:00 AM
Go Alicia :yeah: You can do it :wavey:

:inlove:
Dec 12th, 2006, 08:20 AM
Good luck Alicia. ;) :hearts:

Andy.
Dec 12th, 2006, 08:32 AM
I saw her on Sports Tonight last night and she looked great, very fit and very positive.

Jenny.C.Fan
Dec 12th, 2006, 09:05 AM
Good luck leesha, im really excited for this season, hope she can get back on track.

auntie janie
Dec 12th, 2006, 01:09 PM
'Molik will take more time off to rest and get home for further training "time outs" in her schedule.'

Smart girl. Every elite-level player has to learn this sooner or later; too bad some, like Justine and Alicia, had to learn it in such a hard way, through their bodies breaking down. :sad:

But she's back and she sounds so psyched, so impatient to get started on the new season :D. I think 2007 is going to be another great year for her. Hope she reaches a new career high. :kiss:

Kirt12255
Dec 13th, 2006, 02:22 AM
:bounce: "Bump" purely because many don't realise the significance of Alicia's return. Would you like youre fave to draw Alicia at the AO?;) She's working her arse off when everyone else is recovering, she's primed and ready to do some damage! She also has the motivation of not being able to play last year but to watch.;)

miss_molik
Dec 13th, 2006, 03:43 AM
She sounds so excited which is AWESOME. I can't wait to see her play! I wish it would start now!!!

hdfb
Dec 13th, 2006, 08:07 AM
Woohoo!! I'm gonna pop into Melbourne Park this Friday then!!! I'll go on Saturday as well.... and Sunday as well........

working on monday and busy with speech night on tuesday though :(