Marion's lead-up event was Canberra, where she retired injured from her quarter-final match with Ana Ivanovic last Thursday. Ana had easily won the first set -- she had far too much power for Marion to handle.
Between sets Marion called for the trainer. She had both hamstrings strapped, and tried to continue, but after two easy games to Ana, Marion retired injured.
Her father said Marion was fatigued by the heat of the event, where air temperatures were over 35 degrees celcius, with court temperatures over 50. The quarter final was a night event, but that afternoon they had worked out in the heat with endurance and strength work, tossing medicine balls and chasing a bouncing rugby ball around the court and also running with a bungee rope which could have easily caused a slight strained in her leg muscles, given the extreme heat and difficulty of hydration. Anyway with a few days off she should recover. She could not risk a first-round exit in Melbourne by playing on in Canberra.
Her father said that the Fed Cup commitments had shortened her physical preparation this year to a single month when usually they have a longer time to prepare.
In the Canberra event Marion and Anna-Lena Grönefeld played together in the doubles, easily winning their first match. The second match was a bigger struggle, due to Anna-Lena's poor form. Anna's knee was hurting badly (a chronic injury due to fluid build up) and her judgement was suffering, rushing points and making wrong decisions. Marion carried her through it, and they progressed to the semi-final. However Anna-Lena decided to withdraw from the doubles to rest the knee before Melbourne.
Marion's first match in Canberra was against Stephanie Foretz and she won quite easily. The next match was against Misa Krajicek. This was a wonderful struggle, showing the immense promise and powerful game of Misa who served many aces and unplayable serves. Marion's excellent returning and cleverness edged her ahead in the first set, and in the second set Misa choked when serving to make it 5-5.
In this tournament Marion had to measure herself against two of the outstanding talents -- Ivanovic and Krajicek. She could handle Misa but Ana was in another league, she's a stupendous player.