After a dominant performance at this year’s Australian Open followed by a solid trouncing of Russia in the Federation Cup, Casey Dellacqua is on a roll. The girl who grew up in Woodvale and hit her first tennis ball on a suburban court in Kingsley is firmly back in the world’s top 100.
“It’s pretty unusual for any elite athlete to perform at the top level all the time.
You have to manage the physical side of it quite carefully and try to make sure you’re at peak performance for the most important events of the year, the Grand Slams.”
The 2013 US Open wasn’t one of Casey’s finest moments. She was beaten in the first round and needed a complete reappraisal of her game to get back inside the winner’s circle.
“I made a fresh start with my new coach, Shannon Nettle. It was important to make sure that my game keeps evolving and he’s helped to bring a new enthusiasm to my competitive tennis.”
“We’ve put a lot of work into my singles game and the success I’ve been having in doubles has helped my self-belief. And I built up some confidence playing some of the less prestigious tournaments late last year.”
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) circuit is relentless with constant travel across time-zones and young up-and-coming players eager to dislodge the old guard. Not that Casey, at the age of 28, could be described as ‘old’ but there’s no doubt that the game takes a physical toll.
“I had shoulder surgery in early 2009 followed by foot surgery in July 2010, so that was a tough couple of years. It’s so important to have a strong medical team with people you can trust.
The Federation Cup doctor is Carolyn Broderick and I’ve been getting medical advice from her for most of my career.”
“And, for me, it’s important to focus on injury prevention at this stage of my career.”
Casey, a left-handed player, thanks her grandmother’s genes for her career as a tennis player.
“My Nan introduced me to tennis, she’s the ‘lefty’ in the family and loves to take credit for my success! We’re a big, sporty family and it was a great way to grow up. We were encouraged to be active and have a healthy lifestyle.”
In September 2013, Casey announced she was in a same-sex relationship and that she and her partner, Amanda Judd had a newborn son named Blake.
Casey agrees that life experience and maturity, both as a person and a competitor, has given her tennis an added dimension.
“Having the baby is a wonderful experience and having a family to focus on tends to put everything in perspective. Although tennis is my job and I love doing it, life isn’t just about tennis anymore.”
“It’s too soon to tell what life holds for me after competitive sport. I’d like to give something back to the game and we’d love to have more children as well.”
Casey’s Career Highlights
• Beijing Olympics 2008
• London Olympics 2012
• WTA Top 10 Doubles 2009
• Mixed Doubles Title French Open 2011
• Six consecutive Pro Circuit titles in 2011