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.


Hard road ahead for Australians at French Open

Linda Pearce The last Australian champion in Paris was Margaret Court in 1973, and it seems wildly optimistic to suggest that the long, long wait will end this year.


Geva Mentor's silver linings

Milestone: Melbourne Vixens' Geva Mentor plays her 100th game on Sunday against her original Australian club, the Thunderbirds.

Linda Pearce Geva Mentor never imagined where the decision to move from England to join Adelaide’s foundation ANZ Championship team would take her, and nor where her controversial relocation to the...


Netball revamp better for New Zealand than Australia, says Plummer

West Coast Fever coach Norma Plummer.

Linda Pearce When the trans-Tasman netball league revealed it was considering splitting the existing 10-team competition into separate Australian and New Zealand conferences for which the top three in each would...


Vixens still in control of title race after win over West Coast Fever

Madi Robinson.

Linda Pearce Netball's minor premiership remains the Melbourne Vixens' to lose, after a comfortable - if slightly uninspiring - 65-46 defeat of the West Coast Fever.


Potential future ace's towering achievement

Service with a smile: Olivia Gebicki is headed for the big time.

Linda Pearce If Olivia Gadecki was not the only sister among five brothers, and had not tagged along with the two eldest to the local tennis club where she first picked up a racquet at the age of three, she...


Team focus lifts the standard for star Vixens midcourter Madi Robinson

Team focus: Madi Robinson is now self-judging.

Linda Pearce Madi Robinson will always be what she laughingly calls a "Netty Nerd", someone who watches and dissects every contest and devours the stats, if not perhaps quite not as fanatically as before.


Gretel Tippett, sister of AFL giants, the big hope of Australian netball

Star in the making: Gretel Tippett.

Linda Pearce Gretel Tippett is 193 centimetres and runs, jumps and shoots. She is from a sporting family, sister to AFL duo Kurt and Joel and has been a national basketballer.


Vixen Tegan Caldwell to make international debut at Commonwealth Games

Linda Pearce Melbourne Vixens goal attack Tegan Caldwell is the only player without senior international experience named among seven Commonwealth Games debutantes who will journey to Glasgow.


Swifts halt Vixens' winning streak

Linda Pearce A statistic that NSW Swifts coach Rob Wright dismissed as irrelevant pre-game was even more emphatic afterwards: from seven visits to Melbourne, the Swifts have now beaten the Vixens six times,...


Vixens vie for Diamonds' Commonwealth Games squad

Vixen Madi Robinson (left) should be a certainty for the Games squad.

Linda Pearce The Diamonds team for the Commonwealth Games will be finalised at a selection camp in Canberra over the next three days, and at least two Vixens should make the cut when the squad of 18 is reduced to...


Swifts beat Vixens at Hisense Arena

Immpressive record: NSW Swifts' mid-courter Abbey McCulloch.

Linda Pearce The Melbourne Vixens' five-match winning streak is over, ended 54-50 by their regular home-court nemesis the NSW Swifts.

Building better Vixens

Vixens goal attack Tegan Caldwell makes short work of the Thunderbirds' defence on April 19.

Linda Pearce Melbourne Vixens captain Bianca Chatfield rates her ladder-leading team as 20 per cent more skilful and 50 per cent mentally stronger this season than last, an improvement personified by goal shooter...

The rise and rise of netball tyro Liz Watson

Rising star: Vixens midcourter Liz Watson.

Linda Pearce The remarkable rise of Liz Watson from wannabe Melbourne Vixen to Australian squad member and Commonwealth Games candidate in just three months can be charted through three phone calls.

John Tomic's ban set to expire

John Tomic.

Linda Pearce At the stroke of midnight on Saturday, when the 12-month ban for assaulting his son’s hitting partner expires, tennis father John Tomic will be free to apply for tournament accreditation once more.


Sam Stosur looks to French Open to find her form

Advantage: Sam Stosur says she may be letting a few opportunities go by.

Linda Pearce As Sam Stosur’s ranking trickles down into the lower reaches of the top 20, the European claycourt season has come at the ideal time for the three-time French Open semi-finalist and 2010...


Irene van Dyk nearing 42 but still going strong

Irene van Dyk is set to play her 100th game in the ANZ Championship.

Linda Pearce Even as Irene van Dyk approaches her 42nd birthday, she insists that retirement has never been close.

Pulse star Irene van Dyk confident of Magic touch against Vixens

Elissa Macleod of the Melbourne Vixens stretches for the ball against Central Pulse at Hisense Arena when the teams met in 2013.

Linda Pearce Central Pulse has not beaten the Melbourne Vixens in any of its six attempts. But Irene van Dyk, in her previous life under the post for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic, was a foundation member of...


Bernard Tomic on track for another comeback

Bernard Tomic.

Linda Pearce Bernard Tomic's first comeback from double hip surgery lasted for the 26 minutes it took the Queenslander to suffer the quickest recorded defeat in ATP history.


Tennis Australia boss seeks major overhaul of Davis and Fed cups

Tennis Australia president Steve Healy.

Linda Pearce Tennis Australia president Steve Healy is seeking a major Davis and Fed cups overhaul to ensure the survival of the long-running teams competitions.


Stosur searches for upside to Fed Cup defeat

Love-two: Sam Stosur lost both her Fed Cup matches in Brisbane.

Linda Pearce There was to be no Easter Sunday resurrection for Australia’s Fed Cup team, beaten 3-1 by Germany on Pat Rafter Arena, and nor is Sam Stosur expecting miracles when her season resumes next week...