Archive for the 'Olivia Rogowska' Category


Olivia Rogowska stunned Jelena Dokic to win the Australian Open Wildcard Play-off.

Dokic was the name on everyone’s lips on the final Sunday; however, it was Rogowska who stood tallest by day’s end, accounting for her older opponent 1-6 7-6(3) 6-3. In a match where the conditions appeared relatively sedate to begin with, Dokic was in her element, breaking her younger opponent to open the match. From the outset, Dokic’s intensity was relentless, paving the way for the top seed to sweep through the first set and overwhelm Rogowska entirely. Evidently feeling overpowered, the Rogowska game was riddled with unforced errors, contributing to her early decline.

Improvement in her movement and a powerful first serve allowed Dokic to go ahead 4-1, eventually closing out the set with the loss of only a single game. In the second set Dokic promptly went ahead 3-1, yet Rogowska refused to bow to defeat. She mustered a comeback, breaking the top seed to level at 3-3. With a newfound spring of confidence in her step, Rogowska went head to head with the more experienced Dokic, whose clinical serving was almost flawless. At 4-4, three straight aces allowed Dokic to take a 5-4 lead. Serving to keep her wildcard hopes alive, Rogowska saved her first match point with an unreturnable serve. Displaying some mental fortitude far beyond her young years, Rogowska took the set to 5-5 with some impressive tennis. However, the pressure was once again on her racquet after Dokic took a 6-5 lead. After making two straight errors to open the following game, the future appeared grim for the Victorian. She eventually committed four forehand errors, and found herself down match point once again. Courageously, she struck her forehand emphatically on match point, mustering a winner past Dokic to send the set to a tiebreaker. In a similar fashion to the entire match, the tiebreaker began at lightning pace with Dokic breaking early and Rogowska breaking back almost straight after to level at 3-3.

Then the rain came. Emblematic of the fast-paced nature of the match, players and fans rushed off the court as swiftly as the skies opened. When play finally resumed, Dokic’s game almost vanished, making two straight backhand errors to give Rogowska her first set points. She took the breaker with the loss of only three points, sending the match into a decider. From then on, the once steady Dokic was rattled. She saved break points in the second game but could do little to halt her opponent’s momentum. Her erratic play contributed heavily to her demise, which was crystallised when she failed to make a single return to go down 5-2. Surrendering only one more game, Rogowska finally sealed her comeback victory 6-3, ensuring her place in the main draw of the Australian Open.


“My heart was going crazy,” admits Rogowska.

rogowskaA shattered Olivia Rogowska will return to “the boondocks” to toughen up her mental game after falling agonisingly short of creating tennis history at the US Open in New York.

The Melbourne teenager admitted the thought of her excited parents and “pretty much everyone I know” watching her on TV as she raced to a 3-0 lead in the deciding set had contributed to her demise in a 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-4 first-round loss to world No.1 Dinara Safina.

“That’s a lot of pressure,” Rogowska told AAP after fighting back tears in the post-match press conference.

“I’m gutted … I’m disappointed I lost and I didn’t expect to say that after playing the No.1 player in the world. It’s a bit weird.”

Rogowska would have been the first woman in the 41-year professional era to eliminate the top seed in the opening round in New York.

And, at No.167 in the world, the 18-year-old wildcard entrant was also bidding to become the third lowest ranked woman ever to defeat a world No.1.

“Personally, I didn’t think I played great. I thought I could have served much better … I let it go,” said Rogowska, who coughed up 13 double-faults to Safina’s 11 during the tension-filled two-hour, 35-minute thriller.

While pleased to have competed with Safina on literally the biggest stage in world tennis, Rogowska’s overiding emotion was one of regret at being unable to serve out the match.

Many of her 13 double-faults came after grabbing a 4-2 lead in the deciding set.

“My heart was just going crazy and I was breathing like really fast,” Rogowska said.

“My ball toss was going everywhere. If I served a bit better, it would have been a different result.

“So next time, I guess again, I’m just going to have to learn to stay calm and not get too excited.”

Although last time was not quite against the world No.1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium – which houses 23,763 fans – this was the second occasion this year Rogowska had blown a match-winning advantage against a high-ranked foe.

The first-year tour rookie also lost after leading world No.34 Alona Bondarenko a set and 3-0 in the first round of the Australian Open.

Hence why she will head home to Australia with AIS head women’s coach Chris Johnstone and contest a load of low-level Challenger tournaments.

“It will be quite a come down from playing the world No.1 at the US Open to playing in the boondocks in Darwin, but she needs to learn how to cope with the pressures of beating players she should beat,” Johnstone said.

“She’s shown something that lots of players never have: that she can compete with the world No.1.

“But she’s 18 years of age. So she’s still got a lot to work on. She’s still a bit raw.”

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