Unlikely Australian lone ranger Arina Rodionova refused to discuss Ty Vickery’s troubles ahead of the biggest match of her life against Kazakh wildcard Zarina Diyas.
But the world No.166 insisted the drama surrounding Vickery and his ex-Richmond teammate Jake King – who has been charged with making threats to kill – hadn’t been a distraction before her doubles defeat on Wednesday with older sister Anastasia Rodionova.
“I didn’t have to put anything aside. I was just focusing on my match,” Rodionova said just hours after Vickery’s arrest.
“I had a great day yesterday and obviously a worse day today and tomorrow’s another day.”
King was charged with threats to kill, making threats to kill, two counts of threats to inflict serious injury and two counts of using a carriage service to harass.
He was bailed and will appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on November 15, while Vickery was released pending further investigations over extortion claims.
Vickery had reportedly enlisted King to help him recover $100,000 he believes has been stolen from his Hawthorn restaurant business.
But Rodionova’s steely focus remains on reversing three previous straight-set losses this year to Diyas, including the past two on grass.
Her opponent is only ranked 36 places above the Melburnian, but is on the comeback from injury having reached a career-high No.31 in 2015.
“I’ll have to speak to my coach and have a plan for it, but hopefully it will turn at some point,” Rodionova said.
Having successfully qualified for her Wimbledon main-draw debut, Rodionova is riding a four-match winning streak.
“I had a good feeling about my grass season and I always love playing at Wimbledon so I was hoping I would do well and I’m feeling great,” said the 27-year-old.
“My body’s in the right condition and I’ve done a lot of work and I’m glad it’s paying off.
“Fitness is important because I had quite a few bad injuries and I’m just happy about being able to play healthy and play quite a few tournaments in a row without being disrupted by injuries is very big for me. It’s important.”
The unfancied Victorian admits she can’t believe she’s Australia’s last hope.
“It’s really unlucky for the country,” Rodionova said.
“It’s a really unfortunate result and hopefully next year will be very different and a couple of them will make semis.”
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