Anastasia Rodionova becomes and Aussie

Anastasia Rodionova becomes and Aussie

Anastasia Rodionova becomes an Aussie and exhibition match with George Calombaris

Anastasia Rodionova was officially granted Australian citizenship, Thursday 10 December. Anastasia Rodionova was sworn in during a special conferral ceremony at the Hughes Room, College Of Surgeons' Gardens, Spring Street, Melbourne at 10:00am.

"I am so excited and proud to be an Aussie!" "I have always loved Australia since I first competed here in 2002, and gaining citizenship of this great country makes me feel like my adopted home is now finally my true home."

Anastasia Rodionova has lived in Melbourne since 2005 with her long time partner Lorne Padman.

Anastasia Rodionova, currently ranked world No.96, will become Australia's No.3 ranked female tennis player after a solid 2009 season. Her best result for the year was reaching the third round of the US Open after coming back from major hip surgery in September 2008. She is currently in pre-season training at Melbourne Park and is looking forward to representing her adopted homeland in international competition.

Tennis Australia's Director of Tennis, Craig Tiley said, "Anastasia has long based herself in Australia so we are delighted she is now able to fulfil her dream of becoming an Australian citizen. I know Australian tennis fans will continue to make her very welcome. "

"I'd like to thank the Australian Government and every one at Tennis Australia & Hamilton Watts Immigration Services for helping me for all of these years to achieve this amazing result. I am very honoured to represent Australia at every single tournament I play and I hope to make our nation proud," Rodionova said.

Anastasia Rodionova, who up until now was ineligible to play under the Australian flag outside the Grand Slam tournaments according to WTA Tour rules, will make her Australian debut on the WTA Tour at the Brisbane International in January.