Esperance, 3 November 2010 | Tennis Australia

Alicia Molik (SA) and a host of Australia’s rising tennis stars will lead the charge of Australian Open hopefuls at the Esperance Tennis International, to be held at the Esperance Tennis Club from 8 November.

Esperance residents will have the opportunity to watch players from both Australia and abroad as they ready themselves for the Australian summer of tennis ahead and compete for USD$40,000 in prize money.

Australia will be represented at the event by 13 men and three women including Molik, reigning Australian Open Wildcard Play-off champion Nick Lindahl (NSW), and world No.204 and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Olivia Rogowska from Victoria.

Joining the Australians are international tennis stars from Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Russia, Peru and Japan.

Tournament Director Mark Handley praised the Shire of Esperance and the Esperance Tennis Club for their ongoing support and encouraged the community to support the future of Australian tennis at the event.

“Following the success of the Goldfields – St Ives International in Kalgoorlie, Esperance residents will have the chance to watch world-class talent for free while showcasing Western Australia to a global tennis audience,” Handley said.

“To have emerging national talent alongside established international players such as Alicia Molik is fantastic for the tournament and Australian Pro Tour, especially as they look to reach next year’s Australian Open.

“We hope everyone in Esperance can head down and get behind our future Australian Open stars.”

Lindahl will be joined in the men’s draw by local talent Brydan Klein (WA), Colin Ebelthite (SA) and Matt Reid (NSW).

In the women’s event, Molik and Rogowska will be joined by West Australian Jessica Moore and Sacha Jones, currently ranked No.1 in New Zealand. Jones won five ITF events in 2009, including tournaments in Darwin, Mount Gambier and Port Pirie.

Rounding out the women’s field are world No.135 Junri Namigata (JAP) and world No.178 Arina Rodionova (RUS), the sister of adopted Australian Anastasia Rodionova.

The Esperance Tennis International will also host the Australian Open Trophy Tour, giving tennis fans the opportunity to have an up-close experience with the Norman Brooke Challenge Cup (men’s trophy) and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup (women’s trophy).

The tour kicked off from Melbourne Park in October and will travel around Australia over the next few months, before finishing its journey at Melbourne Park on 17 January, day one of Australian Open 2011.