28 Dec 2011

Sacha Jones to become an Australian

11:27 am on 28 December 2011

The New Zealand women's tennis number two tennis player Sacha Jones has decided to switch nationalities and play for Australia.

Jones' decision comes into effect in early January after confirmation from the International Tennis Federation that it would accept her transfer from New Zealand to Australia.

Jones, who has an Australian-New Zealand dual nationality, has the option of playing for either country and has decided for the betterment of her career to switch to the Australian programme which has significantly more resources than New Zealand.

Jones, who has a world ranking of 261, says the decision has been a very difficult one, but if she wants to achieve her goals she believes being involved in the Australian programme will give her the best opportunity to do it.

Tennis New Zealand CEO Steve Johns says it does underline the lack of resources Tennis New Zealand does have.

Jones will play in next month's ASB Classic where she has been awarded a wildcard.

Following that tournament, she will travel to Australia where she is in line for a wildcard into the Australian Open.

ASB Classic Tournament Director Richard Palmer says he was aware that Jones was considering a move to Australia at the time the wildcard was announced.