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.

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.

Tennis

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...

Netball

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...

Tennis

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

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.

Tennis

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...

Tennis

Sam Stosur rallies but falls to Angelique Kerber in Fed Cup

Australia's Sam Stosur.

Linda Pearce German No.1 Angelique Kerber gives her country an unassailable 3-0 semi-final lead with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 defeat of Sam Stosur.

Tennis

Australia suffer opening day wipeout in Fed Cup semifinal

Linda Pearce After less than three hours, Australia is teetering on the brink of elimination from its first Fed Cup semi-final in 21 years.

Tennis

Australia on the brink of Fed Cup elimination

Sam Stosur was beaten by Andrea Petkovic in the opening match of Australia's Fed Cup clash with Germany in Brisbane.

Linda Pearce After less than three hours, Australia is teetering on the brink of elimination from its first Fed Cup semi-final in 21 years.

Tennis

Australia's Fed Cup team aiming to end final drought

Teaming up: From left, Samantha Stosur, Ashleigh Barty, Casey Delacqua and Storm Sanders.

Linda Pearce Fed Cup is like Davis Cup's little sister, the sibling that struggles to be noticed, the one that suffers a minor identity crisis beyond its dedicated inner circle.

Tennis

Alicia Molik confident ahead of Fed Cup tie

Linda Pearce Australian captain Alicia Molik believes she has the team to reach the nation's first Fed Cup decider since Liz Smylie, Wendy Turnbull and Anne Minter lost the 1984 decider to Czechoslovakia, with...

Vixens trying to get on right track at home

Road trips give semi-professional netballers the chance to channel their full-time inner athlete, says Vixens captain Bianca Chatfield.

Linda Pearce By talking about it, coach Simone McKinnis does not want to overstate its significance, but here are the facts: four of the Melbourne Vixens' five wins this season have come on the road, and both...

Netball

Vixens and Swifts set for another classic

Classic games: Swift Carla Dziwoki and Vixen Bianca Chatfield.

Linda Pearce The ANZ Championship’s two biggest and most powerful clubs share a compelling rivalry that stretches back to Melbourne Phoenix-Sydney Swifts encounters in the old national league, and to the...

The Wright man for a woman's sport

One out: Rob Wright watches his NSW Swifts go through their paces during a training session.

Linda Pearce Rob Wright does not see himself so much as a bloke in a woman’s world, as a quirky chap making an unusual career in the world he loves and knows best.

Once burnt, Vixens twice shy of Firebirds

Bianca Chatfield.

Linda Pearce Melbourne Vixens’ round-three fadeout against Queensland was the early prod the pre-season title favourites needed to help steer them back on course, says captain Bianca Chatfield ahead of...

Tennis

Storm Sanders is starting to make her mark

On target: Storm Sanders is starting to make her mark.

Linda Pearce Storm Sanders is known to her friends as Stormy, or Storminator, and sometimes Thunder, but the likeable tennis teen and self-confessed ''nerd'' insists she is nothing like her angry-sounding name.

Tennis

Nick Kyrgios chases more nights to remember

Magic: Kyrgios at the Australian Open.

Linda Pearce While Nick Kyrgios admits it must seem as if the highs in his young career have far outweighed the lows, he also knows how it feels to be homesick, to move between lonely hotel rooms, to miss his...