Hantuchova out to explore new frontiers
By Alaric Gomes, Staff Reporter
Dubai : Daniela Hantuchova has been successful on and off the tennis court.
Enjoying the fruits of her labour so far, the girl from Slovakia is keen to exercise her body and mind despite the rigours of the tour.
One of her obsessions off court is learning languages. Her English is fluent. And besides speaking German and her native Slovak, she is now on the verge of mastering Italian.
"French will be next," Hantuchova promised after her win against Elena Likhovtseva yesterday.
These pursuits are not unusual for a girl who comes from a family which has always been involved in academics.
Hantuchova's father, Igor, is a computer scientist, her mother, Marianna, is a toxicologist. Her brother, who also carries the same name as the father, is a university student.
And the factor which binds the family together is tennis: all of them play and follow the game.
"I travel so much, it's the best way to learn about cultures and people. One of the best ways I've found is by learning to understand and speak the language," Hantuchova explained.
"I am on the tour and I need the language to communicate. So it's okay to know as many languages as possible," she added.
Hantuchova's love for languages and her passion for constant improvement was evident the other night when Euro Sports invited her to commentate on the second-round match between Sania Mirza and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
"It's simple: I've studied so much, and I thought there was something missing after all the studies. So I decided to learn languages," Hantuchova revealed.
Last week, Hantuchova, who turns 22 next month, reached the semifinals at the Doha Open. But she still feels that there is a lot to fulfil in her life. "Yes, there is so much to improve upon," she admitted. "There are so many things that I have not achieved. Hope one day I will be able to fulfil my potential," Hantuchova stated.
"If I keep giving my best, I will be able to realise my dreams and goals. All I need at this moment is hard work," she concluded.