Practice Partners - Is There An Art To Choosing Them?
Is it a good idea that certain players practice together? I mean - I really do feel that Hingis helped Jennifer's confidence when they used to practice together.
Maybe, it is not a good idea - or maybe it is. I doubt that Venus and Martina would ever practice together - but I've heard that Serena & Martina have before.
Btw, one of my picks is out of the tourney - Henin. But I've stated before that Daniela has got game - and therefore, a lot of potential to beat the top players. She has a ways to go - but she is well on her way.
The match of the tourney may be the M&M's semifinal match if they both advance. Which they should anyway.
Please - check the article out below.
March 12, 2002 Talk about it E-mail story Print
Practice Makes Perfect Setup
Tennis: Hantuchova upsets No. 3 Henin, 6-3, 6-3, after impressing the Belgian in workout.
By LISA DILLMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
INDIAN WELLS -- Daniela Hantuchova defeated third-seeded Justine Henin, 6-3, 6-3, Monday at the Pacific Life Open, but, in reality, the damage was done several days ago on the practice court.
Henin practiced with Hantuchova and watched the long-legged 18-year-old from Slovakia play wonderfully, hitting the ball hard and going for broke. Henin, a thoughtful sort, started worrying about their match.
The 19-year-old Belgian suddenly realized this was the kind of match she was supposed to win. And the pressure showed as she double-faulted eight times and won only 45% of the points on her first serve. Hantuchova had 24 winners to Henin's nine. In other fourth-round matches, No. 2 Martina Hingis of Switzerland beat Cara Black of Zimbabwe, 6-0, 6-3; No. 4 Monica Seles had an easy day against Ai Sugiyama, 6-0, 6-1; No. 9 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain defeated No. 7 Silvia Farina Elia of Italy, 6-4, 7-6 (4); No. 12 Lisa Raymond dispatched Anne Kremer of Luxembourg, 6-2, 6-3, and No. 10 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa rallied from a 2-4 third-set deficit against Alexandra Stevenson, winning, 6-1, 5-7, 7-5.
The day's big comeback was by Emmanuelle Gagliardi of Switzerland, who saved six match points against Anastasia Myskina of Russia and won, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), in 2 hours 31 minutes.
One other leading player was taken out when Anna Smashnova of Israel defeated No. 6 Meghann Shaughnessy, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
But for those who didn't watch Hantuchova and Henin practice, that result was the major surprise.
"I didn't play a good match," Henin said. "I think I was too nervous at the beginning of the match. She was strong. I couldn't develop my game because I was too nervous. I practiced with her some days ago. I could feel she was playing well. Maybe I was a little bit afraid of this match."
That seemed surprising since Henin reached the Wimbledon final and French Open semifinals last year and has been ranked as high as No. 5.
"I'm young also," she said. "I still have many things to learn. Everybody can beat everybody on the tour. I don't have the experience of [Venus] Williams or [Lindsay] Davenport or [Jennifer] Capriati or Hingis in the top 10. I just tried to do my best. Today, it didn't work.
"She's a young player. She has nothing to lose. She was the outsider, like I was last year. So, I mean, that's the difference."
Hantuchova, ranked 26th, admitted that practicing against Henin, and Hingis, increased her confidence. This was her breakthrough victory.
"Of course, when I played her in the practice, I didn't give her any chance, the same I did in the match today," Hantuchova said. "I was very happy what I did in practice, I also did in the match, because you are under pressure. It's much tougher, but I did it."