Aussies at Roland Garros – Casey Dellacqua 2011
As we count down to French Open 2012, tennis.com.au will feature some of the best Australian achievements at Roland Garros.
As we count down to French Open 2012, tennis.com.au will feature some of the best Australian achievements at Roland Garros. The highlights will be revealed in chronological order and when all 20 have been named, you get the chance to vote for your No.1 achievement.
When Casey Dellacqua stunned top 20 players Amelie Mauresmo and Patty Schnyder in 2008 on her way to the fourth-round at the Australian Open, big things were predicted for the hard-hitting Perth native.
That year she reached her career-high ranking of No.39 in late July, the world’s top 20, presumably, wasn’t far away. But then injury interrupted the left-hander’s ascent.
First a back injury. Then, in early 2009 a shoulder injury curtailed her Australian summer. A reconstruction was required and Dellacqua spent the rest of the season on the sidelines.
Just as Dellacqua was taking her first tentative steps back to the place where she had previously stood in the tennis world, a right foot injury halted her progress during the 2010 season.
Never one to shy away from hard work, Dellacqua once again set off down the comeback trail. Making her long-awaited return in early 2011, Dellacqua began on the ITF circuit before receiving a wildcard into Roland Garros 2011.
Dellacqua was knocked out in the first round of the singles and made it to the third round of the doubles event with countrywoman Rennae Stubbs, but it was in the mixed that Dellacqua found the right formula.
Teaming with American Scott Lipsky, another player who knew how tough life could be outside the top echelon, Dellacqua and Lipsky found their attacking styles complemented each other.
The pair navigated two tense match tiebreaks on their way to the final against top seeds Katerina Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonjic. In the final, Dellacqua and Lipsky won the first set in a tiebreak before the favourites won the second set to equalise. In the match tiebreak Dellacqua and Lipsky went for broke and pulled off an unlikely but memorable victory, 7-6(6) 4-6 [10-7]
“I’ve made a final before, but to win and get one under the belt is pretty exciting,” said Dellacqua after winning her first major title.
“It’s really awesome for us to come together and win a Grand Slam title. It’s a dream come true for me, and I know it is for Scott, too. It’s nice to share it with someone who has been through a lot of what I’ve been through.”
Profile: Casey Dellacqua
Aussies at Roland Garros – the complete list
2011 Casey Dellacqua wins her first Grand Slam title in Paris