Paris: Jelena Dokic is considering reverting to Australian nationality to have a chance to take part in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
“I’m not even eligible to play Fed Cup or the Olympics right now,” she said after her 6-4, 6-4 victory over German Angelika Roesch in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday.
The Yugoslav-born Dokic first competed as an Australian after her family moved there in 1994, but she took Yugoslav citizenship in 2001 to protest against what she considered as a lack of support from her adopted country.
The 20-year-old, who played at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, said: “I’d love to play the Olympics. I played it once already and I was young, it was a good experience for me.”
But to do so, Dokic would have to switch back to being Australian as International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules make it - to enter the competition under two different nationalities.
“It’s something that I’m thinking about,” she said. “No one else is going to influence my decision. You know I’m sure they would like me to go back.
“I think it would be a great thing for Australian tennis too.”
Moya playing it safe
Spanish fourth seed Carlos Moya, the 1998 champion, was hedging his bets after seeing off Italy’s Filippo Volandri in four sets in opening round match.
With Peruvian Luis Horna having sprung a surprise to knock out Roger Federer of Switzerland, the Mallorcan could be on for another title tilt. But the 26-year-old, who has failed to make the last eight since his win, is playing it cautious.
“The winner of Roland Garros will definitely be a Spanish speaker — or a Portuguese speaker. But any one of the Spaniards could win it — and the Argentines are looking good. Then again, Gustavo Kuerten is always on a roll at Roland Garros.”
Nobody asked him if Andre Agassi or Lleyton Hewitt have been taking Spanish lessons.
Amelie Mauresmo says she has no choice but to live with the intense pressure heaped on her shoulders by an expectant nation. The 23-year-old ensured there was no repeat of her disastrous first-round exit in 2001 by seeing off compatriot Virginie Razzano 6-3, 7-5 - but admitted she would never forget her defeat two years ago by Germany’s Jana Kandarr.
One day Mauresmo dreams of coming back and playing just for fun. “One day I will play here in Roland Garros and really not give a hoot about it. Maybe I can ask for a wildcard when I’m 35.”
Net gain for Serena
Defending champion Serena Williams has made a net gain in the year since she became title holder at the expense of sister Venus. “I’ve been trying to come to the net a little bit more — I’ve been really able to improve,” said Serena, who has been working on that area of her game with fed cup mentors Bille Jean King and Zina Garrison.
The ‘Luna’r factor
Peruvian Luis Horna could hardly contain his joy after beating Swiss fifth seed Roger Federer — a win he put down in part to the joy of be coming a father a month ago of daughter Luna, which is Spanish for moon.
He was a junior finalist at the event six years ago but had not come back since to play the senior event. “In between times a lot of things have happened — some good, some less so. Now I’ve the feeling this could just be my year.
“But you cannot compare winning in tennis and the coming of a daughter!”