Molik hottest player on tour - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Molik hottest player on tour

By Darren Walton 15/01/2005 06:44:51 PM Comments (0)

Alicia Molik will arrive at the Australian Open as the hottest player on the planet after outlasting Fed Cup teammate Samantha Stosur to win a thrilling Medibank International final in Sydney.

Molik recovered from a service break down in the third set to deny the gallant Stosur 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-5 in the first all-Australian WTA Tour final since Nicole Bradtke beat Rachel McQuillan in the Brisbane decider in 1992.

No other player in women's tennis can match Molik's 31 victories since the big-serving 23-year-old embarked on an unexpected winning spree last August.

Not world No.1 Lindsay Davenport, not the second-ranked Amelie Mauresmo and none of the Russians Anastasia Myskina, Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova or Elena Dementieva, who dominated the 2004 grand slam events.

Molik's four titles and an Olympic bronze medal from her life-changing five-month adventure have elevated her to 11th in the rankings and into genuine contention for the year's first grand slam starting in Melbourne on Monday.

"I've had an incredible six months," Molik said. "I've won a hell of a lot of matches, and there's no particular reason why.

"Despite my ranking being 50 or 40 for a prolonged period of time, I have always felt a much better player than that.

"I never felt the type of player which corresponded to my ranking. I always believed in myself. I always felt I was much better than 40 in the world."

Molik's successes have filled her with an immeasurable amount of confidence and, as the legendary Martina Navratilova said while commentating, once the late-blooming 23-year-old "gets on a roll, she's hard to stop".

"I came here expecting to win in Sydney," the sixth-seeded Molik said. "I've been playing great and I didn't feel like there was any reason why I probably shouldn't be here on the weekend."

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