Christmas has come early for former world No.39 Casey Dellacqua (WA) with confirmation today of wildcards into the Australian Open main draw, as well as lead in events Brisbane International and Moorilla Hobart International.
Dellacqua, sidelined for most of 2009 and 2012 due to shoulder and foot injuries – both of which necessitated surgery – started her return to the game earlier this year and quickly collected a Grand Slam title, taking out the mixed doubles championships at Roland Garros in June.
Since September Dellacqua has swept through the Pro Tour, enjoying a 30 match winning streak with wins in Cairns, Darwin, Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Traralgon and Bendigo. Her uninterrupted run broke a nine-year record for consecutive wins on the ITF Pro Circuit.
“After missing most of 2010 with a foot injury I have spent this year building on my confidence and match practice. I now finally feel like I am playing some good tennis and with six Pro Tour event wins under my belt I have the confidence I needed going into the summer,” Dellacqua said today.
“I’m really happy with where I am at. I’m hitting the ball well, serving great and doing all the things I should be doing. I feel good and I am looking forward to some tough competition in January.”
“It is an amazing opportunity to be able to play the Australian Open, Brisbane and Hobart without having to worry about qualifying and it is really going to set me up for the year ahead.
“It’s nice to know my summer is set and hopefully I will get a few more wins and gain even more confidence coming into the Australian Open.
“My goal is to get back into the top 100 next year and then once I’m back inside there, I will reassess and this will just help me speed up that process. I am really excited and pleased to be rewarded with these wildcards and plan to make the most of the opportunity I have been given.”
“Casey’s worked very hard and is now starting to reap the rewards,” Tennis Australia/AIS coach Chris Johnstone said.
“It’s been a gradual progression, and although she’s playing really well, she understands she’ll need to step it up now. The past few months have been great for her confidence and to get all those matches under her belt is great preparation and a good base going into next year into the bigger tournaments.”