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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 08:18 PM   #1
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Cool Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

This is our official Alicia Molik cheering thread for the 2007 Aussie Open. Feel free to post any comments or throughts concerning Alicia over the next 2 weeks!

Good luck Alicia...hopefully u'll soon be back where u belong!
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #2
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Here is an article on Alicia from 'The Age' today:
Alicia Molik kept herself busy last January, by necessity, knowing that being idle would mean going slightly mad. The problem was that it was all so unfulfilling, that unplanned new life as a commentator and player-in-limbo, for a person and athlete who is, above all, a competitor.

Molik spent January 2006 in Melbourne, as usual, but there was nothing normal about the month or the year. The former world No. 8 was sidelined with vestibular neuronitis, a viral condition affecting the nerve leading from the ear to the brain, robbing her of balance, vision, energy and, potentially, her career.

She was out, but did not know for how long. She hoped to be back, but could not be sure if, when, or how successfully.

"You wish you were that person out there playing," she told The Age recently. "I mean, tennis is what I really enjoy, and you're watching all your friends play and win and compete, and I watched so much tennis, watched the highlights every night, and you wish it was you.

"It was very much out of my hands. I couldn't do much about it, but over that time, I made a conscious effort just to be busy, do a lot of things and stay active, try and get my mind off the fact that I wasn't out there."

The truly frightening part for Molik was not knowing what would happen, or when; of not being sure whether she had played her last Australian Open.

Although Molik's six months out of the game and her slow climb back up the rankings to No. 165 have been immensely challenging, they also have been enlightening. "It's definitely taught me a lot - it's made me realise quite a bit and it's made me really embrace and enjoy my sport and what I do," she said.

"When something's taken away from you and it's out of your control, it's quite a difficult thing to deal with. So knowing I'm back playing, that I'm in full control of myself - I'm healthy, I'm fit and I'm happy - it's quite an empowering feeling.

"I'm at my happiest when I am playing tennis, when I am competing, when I am winning matches. You don't experience a lot of those feelings in any other part of your life. But I think I'm a competitor, deep down, full stop, so it's great being back out on the match court."

Indeed, the being there generally has been a greater cause for celebration than the results so far. Molik won only three of her first 12 WTA-level matches after her Challenger comeback in Japan in May (all of them in grand slam events) and ended with a 9-16 season record before - bravely - entering and winning last month's Open wildcard play-off.

Returning from a short Christmas break spent with her family in Adelaide, she was successful in two of her three matches at the Hopman Cup - the first against world No. 6 Nadia Petrova - in a performance that prompted Molik to suggest she may have to revise her expectations for the summer and the year.

Then last week in Hobart, where in 2003 she became the first Australian in eight years to win a WTA Tour event, Molik upset 32nd-ranked Alona Bondarenko in the second round, before a disappointing loss to her doubles partner Sania Mirza in the quarter-finals.

Consistency remains elusive for a player who crashed the top-10 party in early 2005 because what was there before is still not quite back.

And although she never considers the possibility a recurrence of the illness - "Oh my God, no, never, no, I'm never nervous about it or jittery, it never crosses my mind now and that's a very settling feeling" - Molik has found that the toughest thing "is probably having the right mental state in matches".

"Coming back, you want to rush things, you expect so much of yourself, and I think you have to always remember and keep in the back of your mind that it's always going to be a bit of a process to get back," she said. "You can't just have unbelievable form in the space of a 24-hour period.

"When I played my best tennis, I was very calm in my mind and my thought processes; now I'm so eager, so desperate to do the right thing on every point, that sometimes I get a little muddled in my head and start thinking about too many options on the court.

"So that's why it's important for me to go back to basics, get that calmness back, get that really clear thought process and try and base my game around my weapons and use those as much as I can."

David Taylor knows Molik's game intimately, having coached her for almost six years until Wimbledon last year, when Paul Kilderry took over. Australia's Fed Cup captain now works with Serb Ana Ivanovic, but remains a firm friend and supporter, as well as a keen observer of Molik's redeveloping game.

Taylor rates Molik's recent results as extremely encouraging, and the appropriate reward for her demanding training regime with Kilderry before Christmas, while warning that she needs to remain patient in the short term.

"I just think the automatic choice of shot still isn't there," he said. "She still probably hasn't played enough at that really high level of late, where things are just automatic and you don't really need that thought process. At the moment, she's looking for that to happen and unfortunately, it hasn't happened for her yet, but I'm sure it will.

"You just have a little bit more doubt in your abilities because you haven't used those abilities at that level; she's searching for it and looking for it, it's just not automatic yet.

"The frustrating thing for her is she hasn't put together the matches to replicate what she's doing in practice, so that's still a little bit of a way to go and I wouldn't want to put any pressure on her in the short term. But I think long term it looks good because she's practising well again and she's in much better shape than I saw her during the year. She's definitely giving herself the chance to play well, it just hasn't happened yet."

But it is getting closer for the Olympic bronze medallist, Australian Open quarter-finalist and winner of five career singles titles, who has had the chance to appreciate achievements that felt so normal at the time but now, while ranked so much lower, have taken on a greater sense of accomplishment.

Among other things, Molik took up lawn bowls during her time away, joining the club near her inner-Melbourne home in her quest to keep her mind off what she was missing.

"I made some great friends down at the bowls club," she said. "I really enjoy it and that's something that I definitely intend to get back into. I sometimes go and have the odd roll on a weekend. Tennis is a sport for life, so is lawn bowls, so I'm all about that."

Described by Taylor as "one of the most genuinely nice people on the tour", Molik, indeed, is the type who says hello to the most junior official at Melbourne Park, patiently signs autographs for her opponents at minor Fed Cup ties, and never has forgotten where she came from even when the place she has been more recently was not nearly so much fun.

But all that angst is in the past, and now she can only hope that all the hard work with Kilderry will soon bear fruit. She has earned her place at the Australian Open, and a first-round appointment today with 77th-ranked Yung-Jan Chan ahead of a potential second with 28th seed Flavia Pennetta, adamant she is not there to make up the numbers.

By May, and the French Open, she wants to be ranked close enough to the top 100 to gain direct entry, having planned her schedule around tournaments on her best surfaces while allowing for regular trips home to Melbourne to rest, regroup and prepare to go again. "All those things in mind, and hoping that I stay fit and healthy, then I think I should be in for a pretty big year," she said.

Does that mean top 50? Is that too much to expect, or too little?

"Ah, I'd like to think that I'd be quite a few spots above top 50," she replied, as if just the tiniest bit offended by such a lukewarm show of faith. "I'd love to have a twentysomething next to my name. That'd be pretty good."

Returning from a short Christmas break spent with her family in Adelaide, she was successful in two of her three matches at the Hopman Cup - the first against world No. 6 Nadia Petrova - in a performance that prompted Molik to suggest she may have to revise her expectations for the summer and the year.

Then last week in Hobart, where in 2003 she became the first Australian in eight years to win a WTA Tour event, Molik upset 32nd-ranked Alona Bondarenko in the second round, before a disappointing loss to her doubles partner Sania Mirza in the quarter-finals.

Consistency remains elusive for a player who crashed the top-10 party in early 2005 because what was there before is still not quite back.

And although she never considers the possibility a recurrence of the illness - "Oh my God, no, never, no, I'm never nervous about it or jittery, it never crosses my mind now and that's a very settling feeling" - Molik has found that the toughest thing "is probably having the right mental state in matches".

"Coming back, you want to rush things, you expect so much of yourself, and I think you have to always remember and keep in the back of your mind that it's always going to be a bit of a process to get back," she said. "You can't just have unbelievable form in the space of a 24-hour period.

"When I played my best tennis, I was very calm in my mind and my thought processes; now I'm so eager, so desperate to do the right thing on every point, that sometimes I get a little muddled in my head and start thinking about too many options on the court.

"So that's why it's important for me to go back to basics, get that calmness back, get that really clear thought process and try and base my game around my weapons and use those as much as I can."

David Taylor knows Molik's game intimately, having coached her for almost six years until Wimbledon last year, when Paul Kilderry took over. Australia's Fed Cup captain now works with Serb Ana Ivanovic, but remains a firm friend and supporter, as well as a keen observer of Molik's redeveloping game.

Taylor rates Molik's recent results as extremely encouraging, and the appropriate reward for her demanding training regime with Kilderry before Christmas, while warning that she needs to remain patient in the short term.

"I just think the automatic choice of shot still isn't there," he said. "She still probably hasn't played enough at that really high level of late, where things are just automatic and you don't really need that thought process. At the moment, she's looking for that to happen and unfortunately, it hasn't happened for her yet, but I'm sure it will.

"You just have a little bit more doubt in your abilities because you haven't used those abilities at that level; she's searching for it and looking for it, it's just not automatic yet.

"The frustrating thing for her is she hasn't put together the matches to replicate what she's doing in practice, so that's still a little bit of a way to go and I wouldn't want to put any pressure on her in the short term. But I think long term it looks good because she's practising well again and she's in much better shape than I saw her during the year. She's definitely giving herself the chance to play well, it just hasn't happened yet."

But it is getting closer for the Olympic bronze medallist, Australian Open quarter-finalist and winner of five career singles titles, who has had the chance to appreciate achievements that felt so normal at the time but now, while ranked so much lower, have taken on a greater sense of accomplishment.

Among other things, Molik took up lawn bowls during her time away, joining the club near her inner-Melbourne home in her quest to keep her mind off what she was missing.

"I made some great friends down at the bowls club," she said. "I really enjoy it and that's something that I definitely intend to get back into. I sometimes go and have the odd roll on a weekend. Tennis is a sport for life, so is lawn bowls, so I'm all about that."

Described by Taylor as "one of the most genuinely nice people on the tour", Molik, indeed, is the type who says hello to the most junior official at Melbourne Park, patiently signs autographs for her opponents at minor Fed Cup ties, and never has forgotten where she came from even when the place she has been more recently was not nearly so much fun.

But all that angst is in the past, and now she can only hope that all the hard work with Kilderry will soon bear fruit. She has earned her place at the Australian Open, and a first-round appointment today with 77th-ranked Yung-Jan Chan ahead of a potential second with 28th seed Flavia Pennetta, adamant she is not there to make up the numbers.

By May, and the French Open, she wants to be ranked close enough to the top 100 to gain direct entry, having planned her schedule around tournaments on her best surfaces while allowing for regular trips home to Melbourne to rest, regroup and prepare to go again. "All those things in mind, and hoping that I stay fit and healthy, then I think I should be in for a pretty big year," she said.

Does that mean top 50? Is that too much to expect, or too little?

"Ah, I'd like to think that I'd be quite a few spots above top 50," she replied, as if just the tiniest bit offended by such a lukewarm show of faith. "I'd love to have a twentysomething next to my name. That'd be pretty good."
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #3
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Good Luck Alicia...!!..
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Old Jan 15th, 2007, 03:17 AM   #4
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Go Alicia!!
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Old Jan 15th, 2007, 05:42 AM   #5
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Alicia will be playing on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night...woohoo...
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Old Jan 15th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #6
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

sooo happy ive got tickets to alicias match tomorrow night... cant wait good luck alicia make us proud
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Old Jan 15th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Go Alicia!! !
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #8
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

An interview with:

ALICIA MOLIK

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.


Q. What was the most pleasing part of that game, apart from getting through it?

ALICIA MOLIK: I think walking out there and feeling really calm and really at home. It felt like an environment that I belonged in really.

And obviously that's what I've missed in the last couple years. But I had a real sense of calmness about myself walking out to Rod Laver. I didn't know what to expect this time. It's obviously been a while since I played a match there.

Once I got out there, I really felt, you know, it's where I belonged, and it felt like ‑‑ really felt like home.


Q. What about your game? Your serve was working well.

ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, it wasn't working that great, I didn't think. Should have got a lot more free points off my first serve.


Q. Got you out of trouble?

ALICIA MOLIK: Got me out of trouble at the right time exactly, but I don't want to have to rely on it. When push comes to shove, I like to get out front nice and early. I didn't get too many free points on my first serve, which I probably should have.

I didn't have a look at my stats, but I would imagine my first‑serve percentage is pretty low. That's something I guess I'll work on in the next 24‑hour period.


Q. What about your groundstrokes, other parts of your game?

ALICIA MOLIK: I felt fine. I felt I was hitting my backhand really well. My topspin backhand, getting off the court really well. My slice line was effective. Dropped off a little bit in the second set.

I played pretty much to the game plan that I set for myself. Can't really complain about the way I went about it. Execution wasn't as sharp in the second set as the first.


Q. You were 5‑3 down in the second. Were you resigned to going to a third set?

ALICIA MOLIK: No. No, I didn't want to play a third set. Yeah, I was disappointed I let it get to that point. Made a conscious effort to win that set. I probably should have served it out.

At no point did I really panic or was I worried. I felt like I was in full control the whole match. I never felt like she was really dictating or dominating. I felt like I really controlled the match. Basically it was up to me what I let happen.


Q. How you keen are you to recreate what you created in 2005?

ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, probably the keenest person out there really. It's something that I've missed. You know, I wouldn't just love to recreate a result that I had two years ago, but I'd love to recreate a really solid season on the tour. That's something that I'll be looking to achieve in this next coming here.


Q. Was there a time in the last two years you didn't think this night would happen?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, yeah, many times. Yeah, I didn't know. That's why it's sort of a strange feeling, but it's something that it will take a while to sink in really. About a year and a half ago, I didn't know if I'd ever pick up a racquet. I was told so.

When you're 24 or 25, I really did start thinking about new careers, a new pathway I guess in life. When you contemplate all that, it's pretty frightening, you know. Scared me out of my boots.

But I'm really thankful that I am healthy now, that I'm back playing. I feel like I'm starting to play some really solid tennis, which took me to the highest ranking that I previously was.


Q. Is the comeback on target as to what you would have liked to have had at this stage?

ALICIA MOLIK: Absolutely. I'm probably I think ahead of time. And I'm not gauging myself on results. I'm not gauging myself on rankings. I'm gauging myself on what I put into matches, what I get out of them, and my level of play within match play.

I can have as many good practices as I like, but it's a matter of recreating those solid matches day in and day out. You know, I felt like I've done that reasonably well the last couple weeks.

I'll take tonight. It's a first‑round win. A win's a win. It's as pleasing as anything. Not quite sure who my second‑round opponent is. I think they're actually playing tonight.


Q. You said you were told. When you were out, you said you didn't know whether you would come back but you were told you would.

ALICIA MOLIK: I was told there's a chance I wouldn't come back, just from doctor's experiences with the condition I had.


Q. Was there anyone that told you?

ALICIA MOLIK: I got told both ways. I'm pretty positive, I'm pretty optimistic‑type person.


Q. You said after the match you had a bit of a calf complaint.

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, just wasn't feeling too good. I know my body as well as anyone. I'm pretty sure it will be fine. Just get a good stretch, rest up tomorrow. Not quite sure what the schedule is tomorrow, whether we play doubles or not. But it will be a pretty light day for myself.
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 02:37 AM   #9
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Well, Alicia backed up her win over Chan with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Kaia Kanepi to reach the third round! Congratulations!
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 02:38 AM   #10
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

She now has to play doubles with Tatiana Golovin against Sugiyama/Hantuchova! Good luck
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 03:01 AM   #11
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Best of luck to Molik for the third round against either Peng or Schnyder.
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 05:52 AM   #12
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

GO Alicia u rock...congrats...good luck on ur next round...
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #13
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

hey i saw alicias first round match and her game today in melbourne in vodafone arena... she is in really good form guys and she can take out patty and get to the quarters again no probs ifshe keeps going... kai was unbelievably in her practice earlier today and i thought... here we go hows alicia going to handle those groundstrokes and after the first set i was a bit nervous but alicia played so well and i hope she keeps on winning
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 02:49 AM   #14
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Go Alicia!
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 03:42 AM   #15
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Re: Alicia's 2007 Aussie Open Cheering Thread!!

Good luck Alicia

Alicia played so smart against Kanepi, changed her game when she needed to. Her timing was a bit off early but she just played such a clever match. I hope that adds to her confidence and she can build further against Schnyder
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Go Venus and Serena!

THE AUSSIES

STOSUR *** MOLIK *** DELLACQUA *** FERGUSON *** PRATT *** ISABELLA HOLLAND *** JESS MOORE

[b] PAW 2003 Wimbledon Champion
Career High Ranking: 8th
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