Dellacqua vows to win playoffs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dellacqua vows to win playoffs

By Daniel Pace 02/01/2008 06:54:51 PM Comments (0)

Fed Cup rookie Casey Dellacqua has vowed to use Australia's shattering home loss to Ukraine in July as motivation to help her country fight back into the World Group playoffs.

Dellacqua has been named in the Fed Cup women's team in the absence of Australia's top-ranked player Samantha Stosur for the upcoming Asia/Oceania zone group one competition.

World No.46 Stosur is still recovering from viral meningitis which has prevented her from playing professional tennis since late August.

The Gold Coast local plans to delay her return until March when she gets a WTA protected ranking in the 30s and is eligible to play a higher level of tournaments.

Experienced trio Alicia Molik (world No.56), Nicole Pratt (70) and Rennae Stubbs (10 in doubles) will be joined by Dellacqua (86), who will be playing her third Fed Cup tie.

Dellacqua was the only member of that same team to win a singles match against Ukraine on the Gold Coast in July, even though it was a dead rubber.

"It was pretty tough," the West Australian said about the 4-1 tie loss.

"We were all pretty disappointed. I think we'll look back at that tie and use it as a bit of motivation to get an opportunity to get back in the world group where I feel we belong."

Dellacqua cracked the top 100 for the first time last year and gave world No.12 Nicole Vaidisova a mighty scare in Tuesday's first round of the Australian Women's Hardcourts on the Gold Coast before losing in three sets.

Fed Cup captain David Taylor said his players were shattered after the loss to Ukraine.

"This is the third year I've been doing it and I've never seen them so down," he said.

"We really hurt not having our top player (Stosur) and unfortunately our other players didn't step up at times.

"I think it's a different case now because Alicia's playing very well and Casey now has some (big match) experience."

Stosur, 23, has been at Royal Pines Resort this week as a spectator watching the tennis.

The Gold Coast tournament will be merged with the Adelaide men's event to form next January's $1 million-plus Brisbane International.

"It's really unfortunate not to have Sam again - it's two in a row now," said Taylor after Stosur missed the home tie in July due to her debilitating illness.

"It makes the challenge even more formidable but having three players in the top 100, no other team there has that.

"Then we've got two girls (Molik and Stubbs) ranked close to the top ten in doubles and no other team has that either.

"I think we're the favourites but we still have to win three matches and then a final so there's a lot of tennis."

The round robin competition will be played on hardcourt in Bangkok, Thailand, from January 30 to February 2.

Competing nations Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Thailand and Uzbekistan will be divided into two pools of four.

The winners of each pool will fight it out for a spot in the World Group II play-offs in April.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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