Rallying toward Beijing
5 April 2007
The Australian Federation Cup Team heads to Europe this April to kick-off their 2007 campaign.
The Australian women are in World Group II and play Austria on a red clay surface indoors at the Messe Dornbirn, Dornbirn, Austria, 21-22 April 2007.
This will be their fifth meeting and the head-to-head score is level at 2-2.
"It will be a very challenging tie for the Australian Fed Cup team. Austria has a home court advantage and two players (Sybille Bammer and Tamira Paszek) who have won singles titles on the WTA Tour in the last 12 months, however, I like our chances”said Australian Fed Cup Captain, David Taylor.
“Australia has three players (Samantha Stosur, Alicia Molik and Nicole Pratt) in the top 60 in the world and all our girls have some outstanding doubles accomplishments. Our team spirit is a great advantage and should the tie be close, often factors such as team spirit can make the difference.’”
If Australia wins their first round meeting against Austria they will next play the winner of the Canada v Israel clash in the World Group and World Group II Play-off Ties, 14-15 July 2007.
To qualify for the Olympics all players must represent their nation at either one Fed Cup (women) or a Davis Cup (men) tie and any of the International Team Championships of the International Tennis Federation for two of the following years (2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008) provided one of these years is 2007 or 2008.
Top Aussie Lleyton Hewitt clinched his 26th career title when he won the Tennis Channel Open, Las Vegas in early March 2007.
Hewitt defeated top Austrian Jurgen Melzer, world no. 29, in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (10).
This win was an impressive recovery for Hewitt, who has been plagued by a hamstring ailment that prevented him playing in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (February 19-25, 2007).
“I felt like I was in every point with him and has a chance to win on his service game,” Hewitt said. “He played better when his back was against the wall. He opened his shoulders and returned very well.”
This win broke his victory drought. The Stella Artois in June 2006 was the last title win for the world no. 20, when he defeated American James Blake, 6-4, 6-4 in the final.