Dokic returns to Malaysia as defending champ
26 Feb 2012
Jelena Dokic will this week return to the site of her first WTA tournament win in nine years at the BMW Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur.
Dokic won the 2011 event with an epic win over Czech Lucie Safarova in the final, saving two match points during the second set to triumph 2-6 7-6(9) 6-4.
The win gave Dokic her first WTA singles title since she won the Birmingham grasscourt event in June 2002, and vaulted her thirty spots in the rankings to No.61.
Dokic’s victory over Safarova was one of three matches during that week in Malaysia that saw the Australian recover from the loss of the opening set before storming back in a second set tiebreak and going on to win the match.
Her impressive opening round win against top seed Francesca Schiavone and in the second round against Kurumi Nara both followed this pattern.
Dokic returns the Kuala Lumpur in 2012 as the seventh seed, accompanied by compatriots Jarmila Gajdosova (the No.4 seed), Casey Dellacqua and Olivia Rogowska.
Currently ranked No.74, Dokic does not enter the Malaysian Open in quite the same form as last year’s edition, where she had enjoyed a confidence-boosting run to the quarterfinals at the Paris Indoor as a qualifier just weeks earlier, a result that saw her re-enter the top 100.
Instead, Dokic has endured a rather forgettable recent run during the Latin American swing, losing her opening round match in Bogota, Colombia to little-known 19-year-old qualifier Paula Ormaechea before heading to Monterrey in Mexico this week and suffering a first-round defeat to Romanian Alexandra Cadantu.
Despite a promising run in January where she comfortably won her opening round matches in Sydney and the Australian Open to reach the second round in both events, her win-loss record for 2012 stands at a lean 2-5.
Yet Dokic is thinking positively, telling local media ahead of the event that she had completely recovered from the shoulder problems that plagued her in the second half of 2011 and that she was looking to regain the form that earned her the title in Kuala Lumpur.
The Australian will open her title defense against world No. 160 Kristina Mladenovic. A possible quarterfinal looms against Gajdosova, before a potential semifinal stoush with Dubai champion and new world No.5 Agnieszka Radwanska.