Dellacqua's first WTA match a nervous initiation
January 5, 2003
GOLD COAST - Perth teenager Casey Dellacqua learned some big lessons in her 6-2 6-4 first round loss to Magui Serna at the Uncle Tobys Hardcourts today. The 18-year-old wildcard said a prolonged attack of nerves had completely wiped out her game against the experienced world No.22 from Spain.
"I need to stay relaxed when I play," Dellacqua said after the opening match centre court match at Royal Pines Resort.
"I’m a real free hitting player."
Nerves robbed Dellacqua of her trademark power and aggression against the solidly built Serna, who displayed great touch at the net and repeatedly bamboozled Dellacqua with a deft sliced backhand.
She broke Dellacqua early in the first set and again in the third game of the second set to dominate this battle of the left-handers. While Dellacqua managed to hit out towards the latter stages of the match, a rising chorus of cane toads heralded her defeat.
"That was really disappointing on my behalf," she said, maintaining her sunny outlook all the same. "I don’t think the public got to see how I play. I was very, very, very nervous. I did not settle the whole match."
While Dellacqua will return to the practice courts on the Gold Coast tomorrow with Optus Achievers Women’s Coach Craig Miller before heading to Hobart for the Moorilla International qualifying tournament, Australia’s hopes will now rest with Samantha Stosur.
The Gold Coast wildcard plays her first round against No.4 seed Meghann Shaughnessy tomorrow.
Play is continuing at Royal Pines today despite intermittent showers. In a duel between two Russians, up-coming Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated 1997 Gold Coast champion Elena Likhovtseva 6-4 6-1.
World No.36 Kuznetsova, 18, featured 12 months ago when she won the doubles here with returning Grand Slam champion, Martina Navratilova.
Now she is making a steady impact on the singles court, and reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon last year. Kuznetsova, who has won eight doubles titles (five with Navratilova), plays either No.3 seed Vera Zvonareva in the next round or a yet-to-be determined qualifier.
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