Balance key for women’s top seed

JULIA Moriarty’s tennis career has been far from straightforward, but the 24th ranked Australian female is happy with how things have panned out.

As a promising youngster, Moriarty, from Adelaide, climbed as high as No. 615 in the world and was the first female Aboriginal tennis player with a WTA ranking since Evonne Goolagong.

This trail-blazing effort followed in the footsteps of her father, John Kundereri Moriarty, who was the first Aborigine to be selected for the Socceroos.

But despite her relative success, Moriarty felt she wasn’t receiving the support she had hoped for and the young star elected to represent Ireland in the Fed Cup in 2010.

“I wasn’t really getting what I needed here, and then Ireland asked me to play the Fed Cup for them because of my dual citizenship,” Moriarty said.

“I really like both sides of my heritage, so it was a really good opportunity, especially as my coach at the time was Irish.

“It was good to have a change in scenery and I could get really good training over there and it was a good way to compete in Europe.

“I was based in Dublin and played a lot in France and England.”

However, after representing Ireland at both the 2010 and 2011 Fed Cup, homesickness compelled the 25-year-old to switch her allegiances back to Australia.

“It just got to a point where I was far from home and I just didn’t have that family support I needed,” she said.

“I still stay in touch with everyone over there, and my coach was really supportive.”

Moriarty is now ranked 843rd in the world and is eager to climb back to where she once was, but she is also keen to finish her law degree at UNSW.

She competed in last week’s Margaret Court Cup and is the No. 1 seed for the Victorian Grasscourt Championships.

“I had a really tough semi-final in Albury, but I’m really starting to feel good now,” Moriarty said.

“It’s not often you play on grass, so that’s why I chose to play these tournaments.

“I like the grass, and I like coming to the net.

“It helps your game, especially with volleying,” she said.