Linda Pearce

Linda Pearce

Linda Pearce is the Chief Tennis Writer and general sports reporter for The Age. She writes about a range of sports, including football, netball, and gymnastics. Linda has twice been named Australian tennis writer of the year.

Vixens' ANZ Championship season ended by the Swifts in Bianca Chatfield's last home game

Linda Pearce Bianca Chatfield's final home game for the Melbourne Vixens has ended with a dramatic, courageous but ultimately season-ending 52-48 loss to the NSW Swifts.

Jo Weston waiting in the wings to spread her own

Retiring Melbourne Vixens player Bianca Chatfield with her designated 'sub' Jo Weston.

Linda Pearce When the much-loved and respected Bianca Chatfield runs out onto Margaret Court Arena on Sunday for her last home game as a Melbourne Vixen, her understudy will be in the familiar  position of...

French Open: Five questions on the stars

Tennis racquet and ball

Linda Pearce This year's second major, the French Open, starts on Sunday night, Australian time.

Thanasi Kokkinakis ticks off a burning ambition with first Challenger title

Thanasi Kokkinakis will contest this week's event in Nice as a final grand slam warm-up.

Linda Pearce If not for a fire at Italy's Fiumicino Airport that stranded Thanasi Kokkinakis in Madrid when his intended destination had been Rome Masters qualifying last week, the emerging...

Gymnast Lauren Mitchell seeks launching pad for Rio

Gymnast Lauren Mitchell soars at training ahead of the Australian Gymnastics Championships at Hisense Arena, starting Wednesday.

Linda Pearce Lauren Mitchell suspects that her mind has not yet fully committed to trying for a third Olympic Games in Rio next year.

Vixens beat Fever to stay alive in ANZ Championship

On target: Kate Moloney helped  the Vixens’ beat West Coast Fever 56-48, in a much-improved team performance.

Linda Pearce What came at last may prove to have come too late to salvage the Melbourne Vixens' season, but Sunday's complete performance against the West Coast Fever still arrived in time for the reigning...

Vixens keep finals hopes afloat

Linda Pearce For the Melbourne Vixens, this was more like it. After struggling through the majority of a disappointing season, the reigning premiers extended their faint finals hopes for at least another week,...

Melbourne Vixens brace for season-deciding clash with West Coast Fever

Down and out: injured Vixen Madi Robinson.

Linda Pearce In the 10 days between the rupture of Madi Robinson's anterior cruciate ligament in Perth against her former team and the subsequent surgery at home in Melbourne, a lovely "recovery box"...

Raising the bar on gymnasts' expectations

Star power: Beth Tweddle talks with young gymnasts at the Gymnastics Centre of Excellence in Prahran.

Linda Pearce When young Liverpudlian gymnast Beth Tweddle qualified for her first apparatus final alongside many of the usual eastern bloc suspects at the 2002 European Championships, she felt horribly out of...

Lauren Mitchell's backflip for Rio Olympics

No retirement: Lauren Mitchell of Australia will continue on to the World Championships.

Linda Pearce Australia's most decorated female gymnast, former world floor champion Lauren Mitchell, has shelved retirement plans and will seek a third Olympic Games appearance next year in Rio.

Casey Hoole ... tennis ace of the future

Linda Pearce When 10-year-old Casey Hoole was chatting with Roger Federer on Rod Laver Arena  - as you do - before the Swiss champion's 2013 Australian Open semi-final against Andy Murray,  the obvious...

Nick Kyrgios achieves first grand slam seeding at Roland Garros

Nick Kyrgios has beaten both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the last 11 months.

Linda Pearce While Nick Kyrgios will be the latest Australian to earn a seeding at Roland Garros, one of only five Australian men to reach the last 16 at the French Open in the past two decades does not...

Vixens captain says top-three finish still possible

Bianca Chatfield

Linda Pearce Reigning premiers must now rely on others to help deliver a now-improbable finish.

Caitlyn Nevins seeking happy ending with Queensland Firebirds after 'tough decision' to leave Melbourne Vixens

Caitlyn Nevins has no regrets about her move from the Vixens.

Linda Pearce For a woman whose teammates insist she looks uncannily like Snow White, Caitlyn Nevins is almost living her own fairytale.

Diamonds out of camp and into the selection run home

Linda Pearce Australia's extended Netball World Cup squad has dispersed from their final training camp before the team announcement on June 24, leaving Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander excited by the...

Roger Federer heaps praise on Nick Kyrgios after upset in Madrid Open

Best win: Nick Kyrgios celebrates his victory over Roger Federer in Madrid.

Linda Pearce Roger Federer has acknowledged similarities between the big-match temperament and early-career rankings trajectory of his younger self and his audacious Madrid conqueror Nick Kyrgios.

Melbourne Vixens down, but not out of ANZ Championship race: Simone McKinnis

Generic netball.

Linda Pearce Melbourne Vixens coach Simone McKinnis has conceded there is no longer any margin for error in her team's teetering ANZ Championship defence, despite the challenge of following the biggest belting in...

Melbourne Vixens and NSW Swifts square up for unexpected battle for survival

Generic netball.

Linda Pearce Netball's two biggest clubs appear to be scrapping for one finals place.

Netball: Bianca Chatfield questions revamped finals system

Vixens captain Bianca Chatfield.

Linda Pearce Melbourne Vixens captain Bianca Chatfield has questioned the structure of the ANZ Championship's revamped finals series, which could sentence the reigning premier to matches in Auckland, Brisbane and...

Untidy Vixens happy to defeat Tactix

Goalshooter Karyn Bailey was best on court in a scrappy game for the Vixens.

Linda Pearce Of all the comments made by Melbourne Vixens' coach Simone McKinnis after Sunday's unconvincing 56-52 defeat of the bottom-placed Tactix, there was a single, recurring message. It was a win.