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Marina Out Of Wimbledon But Back On Court

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Marina Erakovic
Marina Erakovic

10 June 2009 - Despite gaining acceptance into the Main Draw of 2009 Wimbledon, Marina Erakovic will unfortunately not be able to join the world's elite tennis players in SW19 on the hallowed grass of the All England Lawn Tennis Club this year.

The left hip stress reaction that kept Marina out of the recent French Open Championships will also prevent her from playing in the upcoming Championships at Wimbledon, her favourite tournament of the year.

"It is extremely disappointing for sure" says Marina who has been back home in Auckland rehabilitating for the last two months. "To miss two Grand Slams is pretty big especially given I have such great memories from my debut at both last year".

Marina became the first Kiwi in nine year to progress past the first round of both French and Wimbledon in the same year when making her Main Draw debut in 2008 she lost in the 2nd rd of the French Open to Jelena Jankovic and then went on to reach the 3rd rd of Wimbledon.

These Grand Slam results along with other 2008 WTA Tour results saw her break into the world's Top 50 reaching a career high ranking in singles of 49 last July.

"The good news", Marina says, "is that despite the disappointment, I am young, am on the road to recovery and am looking forward to playing many Grand Slams in the future".

The last WTA Tour event that Marina played was in Miami at the Sony Ericsson Open in the last week of March. This means that she has been able to play just seven tournaments in the first six months of 2009.

After eight weeks completely off the tennis court, a regime of swimming and upper body gym work followed, with a return to hitting tennis balls just a few weeks ago. "Things are progressing well but I just have to be patient and smart as I return to full training levels both on and off the court" said Marina.

Currently, she plans to head to Europe mid to late July to resume full training in the northern hemisphere summer. A precise date for return to competition is not yet known but Marina is aiming to compete again in August or September.

In the next month and based on how her rehabilitation progresses, Marina will decide whether to apply to the WTA Tour for a "special ranking". A player is eligible for a "special ranking" if they are unable to compete for a six month period which for Marina would mean the week of September 28.

A "special ranking" is based on a player's ranking following their last tournament played which in this case would be 83. This ranking could be used for entry into a maximum of eight WTA Tour events in a 12 month period including one Grand Slam.

Should she do so, it would also mean missing her 3rd Grand Slam of the year, the 2009 US Open which starts in the last week of August.

Following the grass court season including Wimbledon, Marina's ranking, which is based on her best 16 events of the last 52 weeks, is expected to drop to about 200 which would mean she would need to start back in qualifying of WTA Tour events or at the ITF Futures and Challenger circuit level.

"I will make these decisions once I see how things progress and based on whatever is best for a full strength return to the tennis circuit and my long term career" Marina said.

Meanwhile she is looking forward to the launch of her website next Friday June 19. The first website of its kind launched by a NZ professional tennis player, Marina will keep in touch with her fans, the media, the tennis community and sponsors from wherever she may be around the world.

"Of course I would rather be playing at Wimbledon but it will be fun to start my first blog during the Championships as I follow all the action from here at home this year" said Marina.

As the world's leading professional sport for women, Marina's achievements to date are on a truly global scale with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour having more than 2,200 players representing 96 nations competing for more than $US 86 million in prize money at the Tour's 51 events and four Grand Slams in 31 countries.

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