home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 23, 2014

Alicia Molik

Storm Sanders


THE MODERATOR:  We have Alicia Molik, Fed Cup captain, and Storm Sanders, for our Fed Cup team announcement.
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  I think this next team announcement for Hobart is significant and exciting.  So thanks for joining us.
I'm really proud of the team's efforts in the past.  It's a real pleasure, and I take pride in naming our team for the next tie in Hobart against Russia.  That's the reason Storm Sanders is sitting next to me, because she has been named in the Fed Cup team as a player, which gives me great honor to choose Storm.  She's really proved herself.  She's so dedicated.  She's part of the future of Australian tennis.  We're always very mindful in our team makeup.  We start blooding the young players.  We've seen Pat do it with the young guys in his team.
The team will be Sam Stosur, Casey Dellacqua, Ash Barty and Storm Sanders.
I think it's a great mix, a great mix to take on the Russian team.  We play two weekends after the Australian Open on the 8th and 9th of February.
Hobart has been really kind to Australian tennis and to the Fed Cup team in the past.  They always get right behind the Australian team.  It's very well‑organized in Hobart.  A number of our players chose the Moorilla International as their lead‑up event to the Australian Open, which I was pleased about.  They've had a chance to play on the surface, get used to the court, the conditions.  All of our team players are really seasoned with the conditions in Hobart.
Another change or exciting announcement for the team also is that Wally Masur will be joining us and Nicole Bradtke won't, unfortunately.  Nicole has been in the position for eight years.  I think she played 17 Fed Cup ties for Australia.
Coming up as a junior, one thing I noted when I was aspiring to play for our nation and for the Fed Cup team was her win over Steffi Graf.  I'll never forget that.  I think it was in '93, Frankfurt.  That's definitely one that stands out in my mind.  She's been a brilliant part of the team, contributed so much.
Wally brings a different perspective, voice and influence to the players.  I know he's always been a mentor of mine.  So really excited about that also.
A real privilege to have Storm here and joining the girls.  Look, Storm, if you prove yourself during the week, play great tennis, that's her job, push Sam, Casey, Ash, fight your way into a playing start.  That's what we encourage all four players to do.  Really an exciting time.
STORM SANDERS:  I'm really excited when Alicia told me the news.  Couldn't wipe the smile off of my face.  Playing for your country is one of the best feelings you can get.
I was selected as orange girl for the Fed Cup tie in Switzerland last year.  That was an opportunity to get to know Alicia, the girls, the doc, physios, working with Nicole Bradtke.  It's exciting I'm officially in the team.  I'm really excited.
I played in Hobart two weeks ago, had a good tournament there.  I'm looking forward to getting back down there and playing.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions.

Q.  Your results are good in Hobart, and also here.  Is that what clinched it for you?
STORM SANDERS:  I think so, yeah.  Obviously I know Alicia pretty well.  I've been playing some really good tennis lately, been working really hard.  I think my hard work is starting to play off and the results are showing.

Q.  A couple WA girls together.
STORM SANDERS:  Casey, yeah.  Casey is from WA.  She's really excited.  Yeah, it will be great.

Q.  What do you think it will do for WA tennis?
STORM SANDERS:  Should be great for WA tennis.  They've always had Casey coming up, now even Bojana Bobusic last year won the wild card playoff.  I think there's a lot of excitement.  There's a lot of young girls coming up, as well, with Maddison Inglis winning the 18 Nationals.  I used to train with them, but now I'm based over here.

Q.  Alicia, have you heard much about the Russian team?
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  No, I haven't heard who they'll be putting in, the favorite players.  I know a couple of the top players have departed.  One has an injury.

Q.  Sharapova is doing commentary, so she's not playing.
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  It's a mystery to me.  I'd love to know.  We won't find out.  It's 10 days before where they officially name their team.  I'm very keen on that day.  Often it's a mixed bag who from their top echelon plays the ties.
The one thing that I'm proud to say is that our players from Australia always are proud to play Fed Cup and they always look forward to playing Fed Cup.  So it's never an issue within our team in structuring the year, tournament‑wise, so they can fit in the ties.  It's nice from my perspective that you always have the full range to choose from, so to speak.
But, look, I'm excited to hear.  The depth is incredible in Russia.  Vesnina would be the fifth player on ranking.  I think she's ranked 28 in the world.  If they went on rankings, that's a player that wouldn't get in the team.
They've got so much to be proud of, just the amount of injection into the top 100 players they constantly have.  I think that's what every other nation has tried to fight to have.  There's some great players and great juniors that always climb their way into top of women's tennis.  Quite amazing.

Q.  A question from the Russian media.  Do you want to know our team?
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  I'd love to know.  Can you tell me?

Q.  Victoria Kan, Irina Khromacheva, Valeria Solovyeva, Veronika Kudermetova.
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  Look, fantastic.  I am not familiar with all of the girls, some yes and some no.  Like what I just said, the level always coming out of Russia is great.  That goes from the juniors to the senior level.
Despite the fact that it won't necessarily be the top few players, through my playing days I know I experienced great competition from even the girls that weren't ranked so high.  I have no question they've been chosen for a reason:  they're great players, they can compete under pressure, they're great team players.  If that's the best four they have to put forward, it's for very good reason.
I'll be warning my team, they better be on their A game.

Q.  Do you know the captain will be Anastasia Myskina?
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  I heard.  I played with Anastasia for many years, which was an enjoyable time to play with her and Elena Dementieva, and Nadia Petrova and Svetlana are partnered here.  I played many matches against Anastasia.  I think it's great she's involved in women's tennis.  It's fantastic.
She was a great role model for the girls, the women.  She always really enjoyed playing Fed Cup.  I know that.  I think she'll be a great role model for your team.

Q.  When you heard our team, do you think your chances are big are right now?
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  Look, if you look on paper, the rankings, we have the higher‑ranked players.  Sometimes it's hard to play players that are unknown.  You can't take it lightly, which is some instruction that I'll be giving my team, not take any players lightly.  You have to go out there expecting like you were playing some of those top girls.  That's the importance of it.
I think Fed Cup and Davis Cup always brings out the best in players.  It always takes players to a new level, which is why it's important not to take any match lightly at all.
It's important that our women are playing well, which they have been.  They've been performing over summer.  That's why Storm has been picked in the team, because she's been playing great tennis.  Now the job is to continue that, to work hard in Hobart, enjoy the week at the same time, we always do, that's the team rule, but we're training to perform on the weekend over two days.

Q.  Is Casey playing singles?
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  This is completely honest.  We never decide until at least a day or two out.  Look, a lot can happen between now and the 8th and 9th.  On match wins and form, gosh, her hand is right up there, along with Sam, of course.
Ash in Brisbane, the form she's been showing.  The brilliance from Storm, as well.  She's taken up a lot of levels, too, over the last couple months in particular.
I'm glad we have a lot of strong contenders for singles.  It's not every tie you're blessed with a lot of strong contenders in form, so to speak, and match wins.  We've got a lot on our side.
We have a great doubles team, Ash and Casey, three Grand Slam finals last year.  They're a really good pairing in doubles.

Q.  How much has that run to the fourth round changed your view about Casey in the last couple weeks?
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  Well, it hasn't changed my view.  I expected Casey to do well this summer.  I know that Casey always does well when she's played a huge volume of matches.  If you look through the whole main draw list in the WTA women here at the Australian Open, you looked at the prior two months ‑ November and December ‑ I think Casey would be the leader on matches won.  She played a number of challengers which she won in Victoria back‑to‑back weeks.  She came to Melbourne and played the playoff, which is like tournament conditions.  I think she played six or seven matches there.  So the volume has been huge for her.
Also factor in Brisbane, factor in Hobart.  She comes to the Australian Open, she played so many matches, won so much, she had that winning feeling.  She was playing great tennis.  Very patient, moving well.  It's no surprise she had success here.
I'll be really interested to crunch the numbers as to how many matches she had leading into the Australian Open as opposed to other competitors.  She'd have to be at least one or two, count the top eight seeds here at the Australian Open, as well, I think Casey would be on that leaderboard for amount of matches before the first day of the summer, meaning either Hopman Cup or Brisbane.

Q.  If she stays fit, what's a reasonable goal, where might she get to?
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  Look, it's hard to know.  I think Casey's best was it 35, 36?  I think she had a seeding maybe one year at Wimbledon, may have just scraped in.
Look, I think Casey is playing better now than she has in her whole career, if that's any indication.  If things keep going and tracking well, if she stays fit, injury‑free, that's been the biggest battle, being injury‑free over the last couple years.  She's had a couple surgeries, a few niggles.
But as far as her quality of tennis, I think she's more consistent with her level of game now on a daily basis.  I mean, we saw what she was able to do to Bouchard in the first set.  Didn't quite sustain it for the match, which is fine, but the level is there.

Q.  Have you spoken to Rogowska and the others?
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  Yes.  Always the strong contenders in a Fed Cup team, I make a point of seeking out the players, letting them know of my decision, which is really important.  It's important for the girls to know from me why I've selected Storm also.
Let's hope that we have strong contenders again for spots in the future for the next Fed Cup tie in April.  That's healthy competition.  I want the team fighting for the spots in the team.  It's what raises any level in any nation, I think, when it is competitive amongst each other.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.
CAPTAIN MOLIK:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297