Molik steers Australia past Slovaks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Molik steers Australia past Slovaks

By James Dampney 03/01/2005 08:06:08 PM Comments (0)

Alicia Molik overcame another Hopman Cup injury scare before combining with a "tense" Mark Philippoussis to lead Australia to a 2-1 victory over the Slovak Republic in Perth.

Molik was brimming with confidence heading into her fourth appearance at the annual round-robin mixed teams event following the best season of her career.

The 23-year-old won three tournaments and finished 2004 ranked a career-high No.13 in the world.

Molik's new-found confidence was plain to see after she dismantled former world No.5 Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 6-3 in the opening singles match, gaining some revenge for a fourth round defeat in last year's US Open.

Philippoussis then stuttered his way to a disappointing 7-5 6-2 loss to Dominik Hrbaty as he continued searching for his first win since June last year.

Confidence is clearly the missing ingredient for the former Wimbledon finalist.

Molik then teamed with Philippoussis for a 6-7 (9-11) 6-3 11-9 (super tiebreak) victory in the mixed doubles to give Australia the ideal start to the tournament.

Molik's power game was a feature of the tie, the benefit of a fitness routine aimed at adding more weight to her serve and groundstrokes in 2005 as she targets a spot in the world's top 10.

"I've put in a lot of work over the last couple of months and been working a lot on my strength and I think that showed today," said Molik, whose fastest serve registered 186kph.

"I hit a couple of pretty quick serves so I was pretty happy with my performance."

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