Molik whitewash puts fresh light on Dokic exit
The full impact of Jelena Dokic's departure from Australian women's tennis ranks was felt as sometime Fed Cup teammate Alicia Molik was flogged 6-0 6-0 in her Australian Open first round match today.
Molik, 19, has been considered Australia's next best young player after Dokic, who has opted to represent Yugoslavia in future.
Tall and possessing one of the most powerful service games in women's tennis, Molik is ranked world No.115 - behind only Nicole Pratt (No.55) and veteran Rachel McQuillan (No.110) among the Australian women.
But she'll need to improve vastly on today's drubbing by world No.30 Silvija Talaja of Croatia if she's to help Australia field a credible Fed Cup team this year without Dokic.
After the match, Molik was realistic about the chances of getting the media spotlight following Dokic's controversial exit from the ranks.
"Maybe, but not after that loss, it'll be pretty quiet," Molik said.
"It (Dokic's departure) just means I'm probably number three (ranked Australian player), not number four now."
Molik beat Talaja last year, so today's drubbing could be considered an aberration, even though the statistics were damning.
The match was over in 45 minutes and Molik won just 24 points.
"I can't remember too much about the match, it just went like that," she said. "I was looking at the minutes and before I knew it the first set was done.
"When it was 6-0 1-0 I would have just been happy to get a game at that stage.
"The first one is always the hardest one, I couldn't seem to get one."
It's painful to watch a player lose so heavily, with Molik trying to alter her game in a vain attempt to get something, anything, going.
"Sonja just got a roll on me and basically I didn't know what to do, I tried to play my own game, I kept trying to attack and come in but maybe I didn't change enough.
"She was on the ball and, God, she just hammered me."
Like some other Australian players in the past week, she was beginning to question if all the effort to compete on the circuit was worthwhile.
"I've probably trained the last couple of months the hardest that I have ever trained," Molik said.
"Sometimes you wonder if it's all worth it."
"I am sure later today or tomorrow or the next day I'll wake up and realise why I do it."