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.

Diamonds' World Cup team chosen, and soon all will be revealed

Linda Pearce When, after Sunday's dramatic ANZ Championship decider in Brisbane, Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander and her co-selectors retreated to an airport meeting room to finalise the 12-strong...

Firebirds hope to make it third time lucky over Swifts in ANZ Championship final

The Firebirds have the home advantage in Sunday's grand final.

Linda Pearce Roselee Jencke has coached the Queensland Firebirds to three consecutive ANZ Championship grand finals, but with a line-up that has fallen short in the past two.

Recovering Kim Green expects to lead NSW Swifts in ANZ Championship grand final

Dynamic: Swifts captain Kim Green.

Linda Pearce Safe negotiation of Thursday's main court-work session will guarantee dynamic NSW Swifts captain Kim Green is fit to face the Queensland Firebirds in an ANZ Championship grand final the midcourter...

Australia keen to field extra ANZ Championship team from 2017

Linda Pearce Netball Australia chief executive Kate Palmer has a distant vision for eight Australian teams to eventually contest the ANZ Championship, and the more modest shorter-term goal for the introduction of...

Swifts and Firebirds to fly the Australian flag in ANZ Championship semi-finals

NSW Swifts player Caitlin Thwaites

Linda Pearce Half-way through an ANZ Championship season they had been tipped to dominate, the NSW Swifts were second-last in the strong Australian conference with just two wins and two draws from six shaky...

Queensland Firebird Bec Bulley finds a new home and seeks a third ANZ Championship

Great move: Bec Bulley in action for the Australian Diamonds against New Zealand.

Linda Pearce While Queensland Firebird Bec Bulley is still ranked by Diamonds' coach Lisa Alexander as one of Australia's six outstanding circle defenders, implicit in her  limited court-time this ANZ...

Melbourne Vixens focus on future after disappointing ANZ Championship defence

Melbourne Vixens' captain Bianca Chatfield

Linda Pearce Melbourne Vixens will build their future around the talented young list that delivered too little, too late to salvage a conference finals appearance

Netball: A final word on Melbourne Vixens captain Bianca Chatfield

Melbourne Vixens' captain Bianca Chatfield

Linda Pearce Bianca Chatfield's 17-year netball career ends on Monday night in Auckland.

Netball: Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander reappointed ahead of the Netball World Cup


Linda Pearce Among the messages Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander conveyed to her leadership group during their monthly conference call was her imminent four-year contract extension.

Netball: Diamonds re-sign head coach Lisa Alexander for another four years

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander.

Linda Pearce Gold medal success at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games has helped to secure another four-year term for Diamonds' head coach Lisa Alexander.

ANZ Championship 2015: With Vixens' season over, Geva Mentor has knee surgery

Vixens player Geva Mentor.

Linda Pearce Next season starts for the Melbourne Vixens in Monday's final round of 2015, with Geva Mentor having minor clean-up surgery on her left knee.

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

Bianca Chatfield.

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...