Casey reflects on busy month
Casey Dellacqua blogs about foot surgery recovery, reaching the Australia Open doubles final, winning her first WTA title and representing Australia in Fed Cup.
At the beginning of the 2013 season I was feeling a little bit flat – to have another injury to my foot and to have to pull out of the Hopman Cup was really disappointing. As with every injury I really tried to stay positive and do all my rehab and continued to work as hard as I could.
When I got Sydney, to be honest I was just really happy to have my foot in the position where I could take to the court and feel as though I was hitting the ball well and could play and compete. Everything else was good. I lost to Kimiko (Date-Krumm) in the first round but I was still really happy to have been able to get through the match and feel as though I’d competed well, and most importantly, feel as though my foot was fine and I was ready to go for the rest of the year.
It was disappointing to lose to Madison Keys in the first round of the Australian Open but as usual I tried to look at the upside and took a lot of positives out of the match – again I was feeling good and healthy and my foot was all OK.
The next day, when Ash (Barty) had also lost in first round singles, we were both feeling pretty flat and disappointed, but the best thing we could have done was get out and have a really good practice, which was exactly what we did. Then we started to get excited to start our doubles campaign at the Australian Open.
After we won our first round Ash told me it was her first ever win at a Grand Slam, and we were so excited we took a photo to capture the moment. We knew the next round against Kirilenko and Raymond was going to be really tough because they were the No.3 seeds, but we won! That gave us a lot of confidence and the belief that we could go further, which we did – all the way to the final.
I’ve won a Grand Slam title before but the excitement and buzz was overwhelming. One, because it was in our home country, and two, because I was playing with a good friend in Ash. We really enjoy each other’s company and I think that really translates to our performance on court because we have fun and enjoy ourselves. It was honestly the most fun two weeks of tennis I’ve ever had. It’s not often you get to enjoy yourself that much on and off court during a Grand Slam tournament.
Of course it was disappointing not to take out the title – you go into every match believing you can win – but we gave it everything we had. It was really close and we’ll get them next time!!!
We went out for dinner that night with our families and had a lovely night, but tennis moves on quickly. There wasn’t a lot of time for celebrating as I had to fly out to Pattaya in Thailand the next day.
Again I had a tough first round singles match, coming up against a talented local girl but again I put my focus into the doubles. So I went from playing with Ash, the youngest girl on the tour, to the oldest when I teamed up with Kimiko. It was the first time we’d played together and if you’d told me at the beginning of the week that we were going to win the title I would never have believed you! We seemed to gel more and more with each match and after we’d won I told her it was my first ever WTA title. We celebrated with a yummy seafood dinner together and again, as is always the case with tennis, I was off immediately to Fed Cup in Czech Republic.
I flew from Thailand, where it was a humid 35 degrees, to Vienna, where it was snowing! It’s so awesome to be with the team though – I love Fed Cup week! I haven’t stopped since I played my first match in Sydney but I’m not complaining and I hope the success I’ve enjoyed in doubles will translate into my singles over the next few months.
I look forward to playing more with Ash this year and hope to win more titles, both in singles and doubles. Next stop is home – I can’t wait! I’ll have a week to recharge my batteries before I head to Kuala Lumpur for the next tournament.
My goals for 2013 are to get back inside the top 100 in singles, continue to have success in doubles, and most importantly, stay healthy.