Highly-rated national representative Anastasia Rodionova will headline Australia’s tennis campaign at the Commonwealth Games in India in October, where tennis will make its Games debut.
Rodionova is the women’s number two who won a crucial rubber in her Fed Cup debut in the Ukraine earlier this year that helped Australia win its way back into the World Group for the first time in years.
Both players are expected to be highly seeded for the tennis event.
“We have a balanced blend of experience, talent and youthful exuberance that will hold us in good shape against the other Commonwealth nations,” Australian coach Scott Draper explained today. “We will definitely be aiming for medals.”
Fellow Melburnians Sally Peers and Olivia Rogowska join Rodionova in the women’s team along with West Australian Jessica Moore.
Their coach Nicole Pratt is also confident this group will do their country proud.
“Anastasia is very experienced, talented and determined. She is going to take some beating and she has shown she absolutely loves representing her country,” Pratt said.
“Sally, Olivia and Jess have all had experience at Grand Slam level so they understand the requirements of tennis on the big stage. I know they will acquit themselves well.”
Critical tour events in China and Japan held during the Commonwealth Games are expected to weaken the field with some of the top players having to play to maintain world rankings.
Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO, Perry Crosswhite, welcomed the eight members into the Commonwealth Games family saying the timing of the Games meant that some players had little choice but to defend ranking points.
“We have a group of very passionate and committed athletes who will do us proud and we fully expect the competition for medals to be ferocious. The end result will be great tennis,” he said.
2010 Australian Commonwealth Games tennis team
Jessica Moore (20, (WA)
Sally Peers (19, VIC)
Anastasia Rodionova (28, VIC)
Olivia Rogowska (19, VIC)
photos Janos Schmidt