Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Foot on the Accelerator

So I would not be feeling so great right now if I were Ashley Harkleroad. Not so much because I am probably going to known better for doing that Playboy shoot than my actual tennis career, but because I got absolutely whaled on by Alicia Molik.

Everyone knows how skeptical I've been about the Molik comeback, even after it began. I mean, hello, she was on Dancing With The Stars. How much more of a career death knell do you need? Added to which she's not the youngest most sprightly of players these days, and there was that weird inner ear balance thing she had... you can see why I was doubtful, n'cest pas?

Well, no more doubts. I am now onboard the Molik bandwagon. While I don't think she's going to get back to #8 or wherever it is she was, I'm confident that she can get herself back inside the top 50 sometime soon.

Not just because she beat Harkleroad - I mean, hello, Harkleroad had a kid and is on the comeback trail herself. But this result compared with the one from Miami, where she made it to the third or fourth round courtesy of some absolutely crushing wins, is beginning to add up. She's fixed whatever that problem was in Melbourne that allowed Julie Coin to come back from the brink of defeat and win the match.

Alicia's not just winning. She's crushing her opponents. Sure, her opponents aren't the great superwomen of the WTA tour, but she's not just doing what she has to do to beat them. She's roaring past them. She's got her foot to the floor and she's roaring back towards the top of the game. There is some steel below the surface there... and it's weighing her foot down on the accelerator. (Yes, I went to that convoluted metaphor place. Don't judge).

Sorry I ever doubted you, Alicia. Sorry I was such a naysayer. Because right now, I pretty much think you're fierce.

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