Advance Australia Where?

So I haven’t posted for a while, but with the Australian tennis season coming up, and the Aus Open right around the corner, I thought I might update on how a few Aussies are doing these days. 


Being Australian, I am quite aware that the tennis talent in this country has dripped to a stop. Off the top of my head, the last time an Australian made the final of a grand slam was Hewitt at the 2005 Australian Open, and the fact that Rusty’s still our best hope when it comes to the sport of tennis just goes to show the depth (or lack thereof) of Aussie tennis these days. Is there one last drip in that tap of ours? 


Well the realistic answer is probably “no”. At least for the next two or three years, until and if we get our next prodigy, I don’t see Australia making an impact in Tennis Nation. But that’s not to say that all is lost, there’s a whole bunch of veterans making comebacks in 2009.


For starters, Hewitt, falling to No 67 in the world, is rejoining the tour and hoping that he’ll get back into the top 10 again. I’m not sure that he’ll ever be a contender for a grand slam again – it’s certainly hard with the top 4 at the moment. But I think his goal of top 10 is realistic and quite  achievable with a combination of hard work and good physical conditioning. I agree with John Newcombe that he’s a legit Top Tenner when healthy, and may he stay healthy in these last few years of his career.


Another veteran making (yet another!) comeback is Mark Philippoussis. I don’t want to sound discouraging, but shouldn’t Philippoussis be planning out his reality TV career as opposed to trying to rejoin the tour, aged 32-years-young? But it seems that Scud wants to have another go, and he’s planning to use the senior tour to get himself back into shape, so he could play the Australian Open in 2010. Right, good luck to him on that. 


Is Jelena Dokic considered Australian? That’s always confused me. I’ve actually completely forgotten about Dokic (it hasn’t been hard), but it seems that with minimum publicity this year, she started out with no ranking and has been slowly working her way back up by playing a bunch of 25K events. With 35 wins and 3 titles,  she’s ended 2008 ranked 179 in the world. Recently she won the final of the Australian Open wild card play off, and will be playing two warm up tournaments before the Australian Open, one being Brisbane International. Regardless of the success of her comeback, I do admire the perseverance and the hard work, especially after all the hardships she had to go through with her father. 


As for the rest of the Aussies, Sam Stosur and Chris Guccione are both hanging around, but Stosur’s more of a doubles player these days. Casey Dellacqua had a superb start to 2008, but since then she’s faded a little. Hopefully, she’ll solidify her position in the top 30 in 2009. And as for the youngsters, 18 year old Jessica Moore is closing in on the top 100, I haven’t watched her play much, so I can’t tell how far she’ll go. But she did have some success as a junior, so we’ll see. 


While these Aussies continue their struggles in the tennis world, I think I’ll adopt Switzerland as my second country. 😉


Happy new year to you all!

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3 responses to “Advance Australia Where?”

  1. Krystle says :

    I didn’t know you were Australian. So am I.

    How disappointing that we have to put up with yet another year of not being in the Davis Cup World Group.

    • dootsiez says :

      Disappointing indeed, but now that Hewitt’s back playing again, I think we might be able to get back in into the world group in 2010.

  2. TopSpin says :

    Here Here! More of Hewitt – I hate the way most commentators have written him off. We all know he is way past his best – but the way some in the press go on, you’d think he was about 50 years old!

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