Climbing higher

Casey Dellacqua is back on the well-worn path to the top 100 after making a successful return from injury.

The West Australian’s latest achievement was to get the nod ahead of Fed Cup teammate Alicia Molik for the second singles berth at this weekend’s World Group I tie against Spain in Adelaide.

“Obviously I was excited, I’ve always enjoyed playing Fed Cup over the years and it’s great to be a part of it,” Dellacqua told caseydellacqua.com.au.

“It’s good to be with the girls, we’re alone a lot of the year, so it’s nice to be involved in any team environment that you can be [in] and hopefully this weekend we can all play well and have a win.”

Video: Australia v Spain official draw

Video: Casey Dellacqua on Fed Cup

Dellacqua was rewarded with the No.2 slot (behind world No.11 Sam Stosur) after making it to the third round of the Australian Open – an effort that saw her ranking jump from 980 to 276.

“I wasn’t really sure how I would go so it was great to be back, and to have a couple of wins was awesome for me.
“I really haven’t been hitting that many tennis balls for that long, so I was stoked with the Aussie Open and it was a great start for the year for me.”

In December Dellacqua won her way into the Australian Open via the Australian Open Play-off. Since then, first-round losses in both Brisbane and Sydney proved to be minor bumps on the road to the Australian Open.

Following the Fed Cup, the Perth native will play some events in Mildura and Sydney before heading over to the United States for the hardcourt season.

“I’m just wanting to get as many matches as I can so I’m going to play them [Mildura and Sydney] before I head off overseas, probably starting in Miami and then look at where I’m at and hopefully that ranking will keep going up and up and I’ll keep improving.”

Dellacqua still has a protected ranking that she can use at a prescribed number of events, but her goal is to return to the top 100 as soon as possible so she will qualify for the majors automatically.

And with few points to defend from 2009, and a little luck, the road back to the world’s elite 100 may be shorter than first thought.

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