Some well earned publicity with Molik stating she owes it all to her treating physios.
Molik owes it to physios
By Paul Malone
January 16, 2005
ALICIA MOLIK last night stepped up a physiotherapy campaign to preserve her Australian Open chances after she dug into her greater experience to fight off brave Samantha Stosur and win Sydney's Medibank International.
Molik, 23, admitted she had not played near her best tennis in averting the aggressive challenge of Stosur to prevail 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-5 in the WTA Tour's first all-Australian final in 13 years.
Molik said without Sydney's tournament physios she "probably wouldn't have made it to the final", much less become the first Australian female winner of the Sydney title since 1980 after straining an adductor muscle in her second-round match on Wednesday.
The Australian No1 has requested a Tuesday start from Open organisers to allow her to have a full day off today relaxing at her Melbourne home, before her first-round match against Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues at Melbourne Park.
"If I stay fit, I'd be looking at a fourth round at the Australian Open because I haven't got that far in a grand slam tournament before," Molik said.
"I didn't play my best tennis against Sam, who is frustrating to play. I didn't step up to the ball as much as I should and I didn't serve well, but I'm proud of winning on a day when there was a lot of pressure on me to win."
A tired Stosur said she would play her Australian Open first-round match against France's shaky world No2 Amelie Mauresmo, but strained stomach muscles she endured last week had seriously depleted the power of her match-winning serve.
In a few months, Molik and Stosur have reversed a trend after many years of annual January inquisitions. Now people are talking about what is going right with Australian women's tennis and Molik is the first home-grown Sydney titleholder since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.
Molik came from a break of serve down in both the second and third sets to win her fourth title in the past six months and improve her world ranking by one place to No11.
Molik's coach David Taylor said her injury was manageable because she had played three matches since straining it.
"A couple of days with little on-court time and quick matches early in the tournament would really help her chances," Taylor said.
"Alicia has some niggles, but that's part of playing tennis and she has dealt with it the best she can."
Extrapolating a little with that statement, I'm sure the 4 hours of training a day since she was 3 would have contributed a little. Sometimes being involved in sports we take too much credit. If the player or team wins its because of the medical staff. Are we willing to put our hand up when they lose and say it was our fault? Yes the medical staff plays an important role but it is more a complementary role.
If an athlete or player gives a good rap publicly, I don't think it is a bad thing to accept the recognition. Whether a certain case would have made it with or without a certain treatment we can only guess. I think a physio is more worthy of receiving plaudits if they work with a team or athlete over a number of years and consistently come through with the goods in terms of outcomes (e.g. Errol Alcott with Aussie cricket team).
WRT tennis, it is nice that a player can recognise physio as being important and it may lead to tennis improving their systems, which they have done in recent years off a low base. Problem is that there is very little responsibility for lowering the overall injury rates in tennis, which a 'team' physio hopefully does in football, for example. The tennis show comes to one town for 2 weeks, the local docs and physios work like crazy to patch up all the crocks, and then they move to another location somewhere else in the world. In the meantime, more players fall by the wayside with overuse injuries and no one publishes any stats on what the overall injury prevalence is for the top 100 players.
I think if you are a professional tennis player making a zillion dollars per year from tournaments and another gazillion dollars from endoresments and you don't spend 5% off your total income on employing one of every therapist known to man to travel with you and work 1 on 1 then that's just dumb. If you are relying on a bit of work at tournaments because its free, release the moths from the wallet and put things into perspective; do you really need your parents, 8 blondes and whoever else to attend the 200 matches you play each year? If you could spend and extra month at the end of your career on the doubles circuit it would pay for itself.
I also think Pat Farhart deserves a rap, how long do you have to wait before you get a gig with the national side?
If you want to be the man, you've got to beat the man
Dude where are your priorities? Bec Cartwright or get hooked up to an ultrasound unit 30minutes a day?
At least an ultrasound unit only costs you about $20,000 and won't leave you in 6 months when it gets bored.
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