Molik to Return for Fed Cup
This is hopeful - Alicia Molik seems to be making a faster than expected recovery from the symptoms of vestibular neuronitis now. I admit I thought she was done for good.
From The Age: Molik to dip toe in water in Fed Cup tie in Seoul
ALICIA Molik is on the verge of a full-scale comeback, less than six months after an inner-ear virus forced her out of tennis. Molik was a surprise inclusion yesterday in the Australian squad to contest next month's Asia/Oceania Federation Cup play-offs in Seoul, where she hopes to test the waters before taking the big tournament plunge.
Molik had planned to sit out 2006 to recover from vestibular neuronitis, a condition that had dramatically affected her balance and energy levels and eventually pushed her off the circuit in October last year.
Just last week she had insisted she would not rush her latest return, but was sufficiently encouraged by her form on the practice court to volunteer for Australia's first Fed Cup tie under its new captain — and her old coach — David Taylor.
Taylor confirmed that Molik had been hitting for several weeks, and would join Sam Stosur, Nicole Pratt, Rennae Stubbs and newcomer Casey Dellacqua in a squad that will be trimmed to four just before the opening matches on April 19.
Taylor said Molik had reported no recurrence of the dizziness, fatigue and related symptoms that had left her career in shreds so soon after the Olympic bronze medallist had broken into the top 10.
"Alicia's not playing yet to the high standard that she's set herself, but she's on the right track, and the thing about Alicia is that she's always prepared to do the hard work to get there," Taylor said last night.
"We'll see in a few weeks how she's progressed, but she's progressed a lot even in the week that I've been hitting with her. She seems to be healthy, which is the most important thing, and now she's healthy it's just a matter of time. But she doesn't want to rush things, and she probably was a little bit too eager to get back before."
Taylor said a strong performance in Seoul would be an obvious precursor to a WTA Tour return, although there has been no mention of a tournament comeback date. Molik could not be contacted for comment.
"The first step is obviously Fed Cup, and if she can prove her fitness for Fed Cup, there's no reason to take any more time off," said Taylor, who will continue to work with the 25-year-old in his new role as the overseer of Australian women's tennis. "It's very exciting for me, having worked with Alicia for so long, and obviously very exciting for her."...
Molik's manager, Lisa Chaffey, said the Fed Cup timing was ideal, as were the circumstances, with a strong support team including Taylor, assistant captain Nicole Bradtke, osteopath Louise Field and Stubbs, Molik's close friend and likely doubles partner.
"After that, she will look at making a return to the tour — possibly at a couple of claycourt tournaments in Europe before the French Open," Chaffey said. "She's thrilled. She took time off to look after her health and she feels she's done that."