Alicia Molik: “We can’t wait, what a great opportunity”
Australian captain Alicia Molik is feeling confident ahead of a semifinal showdown with Switzerland at the Billie Jean King Cup.
Captain Alicia Molik believes Australia can progress to the finals at the Billie Jean King Cup in Prague, declaring she has full confidence in her team ahead of a semifinal showdown with Switzerland tonight.
“It’s going to be tough, but special tennis always comes out in team events when we represent our country,” Molik said. “We can’t wait, what a great opportunity.”
The Australian team has won six of its past seven ties, with the only loss recorded against France in the 2019 final.
“That one really hurt, I felt like we should have beaten France and we didn’t,” admitted Molik.
“We want to be in that position and celebrating like the French team did, that’s our goal here.”
With the competition not played in 2020 due to the global pandemic, Australia has a chance to make consecutive final appearances for the first time since 1979-1980.
The Switzerland team features three top 50-ranked singles players, including world No.17 and Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic.
However, as Australia proved in a victory against Belgium this week, rankings don’t always matter in the Billie Jean King Cup.
“(We’re) a unified team and one that really feels the passion and encourages each other, as it shows on court,” Molik said.
|BILLIE JEAN KING CUP FINALS|
Singles: No.43 Doubles: No.140
Singles: No.17 Doubles: No.155
Singles: No.131 Doubles: No.33
Singles: No.39 Doubles: No.106
Singles: No.200 Doubles: No.43
Singles: No.45 Doubles: No.145
Singles: No.232 Doubles: No.180
Singles: No.116 Doubles: No.964
Singles: No.412 Doubles: No.559
Molik is thrilled with the performance of her Australian team so far this week, especially without the experience of Grand Slam champions Ash Barty and Sam Stosur.
“It’s a great opportunity for a lot of our players to step up,” she noted. “(Which) they’ve grabbed with both arms.”
The former world No.8 is particularly proud of the strong team spirit amongst the Australian team.
“Representing Australia is something that all of our players strive for,” Molik said. “It’s been nice for me to witness the camaraderie between our players – the encouragement, the belief that the playing group all have in each other.
“Our team can carry that confidence now into tomorrow night.”
Australia’s semifinal with Switzerland will be broadcast live on 9Gem in Australia, with coverage beginning from 3am AEDT on Saturday.