BILLIE Jean King Cup captain Alicia Molik attended the inaugural Alicia Molik Schools Challenge at Robertson Park Tennis Club on Wednesday, with the former world number eight presenting the winning teams with their trophies.
Unique to the history of international tennis in WA, the interschool mixed gender competition boasts a ‘team tennis’ format similar to that of the former Hopman Cup. A fitting acknowledgement which recognises Molik’s commitment to team tennis, the ‘Alicia Molik Schools Challenge’ was renamed in 2019.
Attuned to the unique offerings, Molik has fond memories of her experiences in team competitions claiming them to be amongst some of her greatest career highlights. Representing Australia in 22 Billie Jean King Cup ties, seven Hopman Cup events as well as representing Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Molik’s team tennis experience spans more than two decades.
“Team competitions were a constant highlight of my career and something that I always looked forward to competing in,” Molik said.
“I was fortunate to play a great number of team competitions throughout my professional playing career and in my role as the Captain of Australia’s Billie Jean King Cup* team, I’m a huge supporter of this style of competition.
“The experience becomes as much about the tennis as it does about the mateship and that’s what makes team competitions so unique for tennis players who spend so much of their time just playing for themselves.
“When you compete with a team you work together to bring out the best in each other and win or lose that becomes a really powerful experience.
“I especially love that the Alicia Molik Schools Challenge will bring male and female players together and I look forward to seeing both the tennis and mate ship on court on Wednesday,” said Molik.
Coordinated by Tennis West schools coordinator Jenna Sparkes, the event saw 19 teams from nine secondary schools compete for the inaugural title.
“We’re really excited to see so many school teams register for the competition and are thrilled to have Alicia Molik joining us,” Sparkles said.
“What we most look forward to seeing is the comradery and mateship that goes hand in hand with these teams based events.”
Played across two divisions, representative teams of students from years 7-10 competed in a round robin format comprising a girl’s doubles, boy’s doubles and mixed doubles match.