No New Year cheer for Molik - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No New Year cheer for Molik

By Tim Clarke 02/01/2007 10:29:07 PM Comments (0)

There was to be no immediate happy new year for Australia's Alicia Molik, with French teenager Tatiana Golovin winning their Hopman Cup singles tie at Perth's Burswood Dome.

After her surprise opening night win over world No.6 Nadia Petrova, Molik announced she felt she was back where she belonged playing against the world's elite.

But 18-year-old Golovin proved that the South Australian still has some way to go before she fully recovers the prowess that took her to No.8 in the world two years ago, capitalising on a string of errors by the Australian to win 7-5 6-2 in 82 minutes.

Although Molik fired down six aces, reaching speeds upwards of 170 km/h at times, the length of her groundstrokes consistently let her down with 34 unforced errors weighing against her powerful serve.

Golovin, the world No.22 and a US Open quarter-finalist last year, said as impressive as Molik's comeback from career illness had been, she felt she had her measure.

"Alicia did a really great job coming back on tour this year and her slices, her high balls and that huge serve it is so hard to get rhythm," Golovin said.

"I am definitely very happy to get through the match. I think I really focused ... I stuck to it and did my job."

In an absorbing first set, Molik gained the early advantage with a break in the fourth, which Golovin immediately retrieved.

At 5-5, 30-30, Golovin found the quality to tip the fine balance, with a raking pass securing a break point and a deep drive forcing a Molik mistake and the crucial break.

With two set points to Golovin, Molik's deep groundstroke was called out, then in, before a review of the Hawkeye technology secured the Frenchwoman first blood.

The start of the second stanza saw Molik still shellshocked by the end of the first, losing her serve immediately to extend a losing run of five successive games.

And although the 25 year-old was able to halt the slide, the tone was set, and a second break - again due to a combination of Golovin pressure and unforced errors - brought a speedy conclusion.

Mark Philippoussis will now take on world No.213 Jerome Haehnel, who could ordinarily be called a journeyman on the circuit apart from the fact his fear of flying keeps him almost exclusively in Europe.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news