Japan next on schedule for Casey
Casey Dellacqua’s French Open preparation will take a slightly unusual route this year, with the Western Australian heading to Japan to contest some ITF events for match practice ahead of the year’s second major.
Dellacqua is scheduled to play in the $50,000 hardcourt event in Gifu on 30 April, before heading to Fukuoka to play the $50,000 event on grass the week after. She will then head to Europe for two weeks of play on clay before Roland Garros kicks off on 27 May.
Dellacqua said the decision to head to Japan came about because of her lack of match play prior to Australia’s Fed Cup tie in Germany.
“I’m just (looking) to get some matches, and obviously because I haven’t played for the last few weeks I’d like to get there and get as many matches as I can,” she explained.
Following a first round loss in Indian Wells in early March, the world No.106 headed back to Australia for a four-week training block, before joining her Australian teammates in Stuttgart for their World Group Play-off tie.
She said she the time off the tour was necessary following her intense schedule in late 2011 and early 2012.
“At the end of last year I played a lot of Pro Tour events so I played right up until pretty much Christmas time, and then played all through January and had a pretty big start to the year,” she said.
“It was nice to be home, and I was able to work on some things that I haven’t been able to work on, so that was good.
“I’m certainly ready for now and the rest of the year.”
Dellacqua said she was looking forward to getting back on European red clay prior to Roland Garros, a surface on which she’s had plenty of success.
She reached the third round in Paris in 2008 and went all the way to the doubles final that same year with partner Francesca Schiavone. Last year, just weeks after her return to tennis following a career-threatening foot injury, she combined with American Scott Lipsky to claim the mixed doubles crown.
“I love playing on the clay and I love the European season. I’ve got good memories of playing well at the French Open in previous years,” she said.
“(Scott and I) played really well (in mixed last year) and obviously it was my first Grand Slam title and it was pretty exciting for me.
“(But) I don’t think my ranking will actually get me into mixed (this year). It’s always pretty tough to get in, I was lucky last year to get in off my special ranking. So I probably won’t get a chance to play (this year), which will be a bit disappointing, but that’s alright.”