Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

Watching some old tapes of Daniela Hantuchova in 2002 and early '03, when she was a young upstart and "the next great player," I noticed that she could really smack the ball from the baseline. She had greater racquet acceleration and hit the ball with more pace. When she returned to the Top 10 in 2007 and then made the AO semis, I feel like she had developed into more of a precision player. She won matches by placing her serves, backhands, and forehands in the corners, but was definitely putting less MPH on her shots than 5-6 years before.

Why do you think she's lost some of that power? I mean in many ways she's a bigger girl with more weight and muscle. Was it the freedom and confidence of youth that made her hitter harder shots?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:19 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

Daniela is much better as a precision player. Just look at how she destroyed peak Ivanovic at 2008 AO before she caved mentally.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:19 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

lol i actually thought about this not just with daniela but also with roddick. the announcers always say when the players mature they some become better, but i disagree heavily, when they are younger, they are fearless and go for their shots, they don't care where the ball goes. both daniela and andy went for their shots when they were younger without fear, now that they have matured they just don't do it anymore, they play more consistently not going for winners, although i think daniela still does go for lines alot though but not with some mindset that she is going to making it.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:22 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

^ Yeah I noticed that Roddick definately doesnt have the same pop on his shots her used to. Sometimes I feel like him trying develop everywhere else messed up what he is best at, hitting the crap out of his serve and forehand.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:22 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

Gosh I remember back then. So much potential, unfortunately the girl is more concerned with the way she looks on the court than her tennis


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

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Originally Posted by IceHock View Post
lol i actually thought about this not just with daniela but also with roddick. the announcers always say when the players mature they some become better, but i disagree heavily, when they are younger, they are fearless and go for their shots, they don't care where the ball goes. both daniela and andy went for their shots when they were younger without fear, now that they have matured they just don't do it anymore, they play more consistently not going for winners, although i think daniela still does go for lines alot though but not with some mindset that she is going to making it.
I completely agree. Roddick used to crush the ball back in 2001 when he was new to the scene! And after 2004, when his confidence began to drop, he really started sliding further and further behind the baseline, becoming passive, hitting with topspin, and barely making any groundstroke winners during matches. He had to rely on the serve even more than ever, and opponents had the skills to read it and return it.

I think if you would compare the number of groundstroke winners from their early days to the present for both Hantuchova and Roddick, you would see a similar drop-off!
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

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Daniela is much better as a precision player. Just look at how she destroyed peak Ivanovic at 2008 AO before she caved mentally.
Yes... but Ivanovic was also doing a good job beating herself, no?

And what makes Hantuchova less than sufficient as a precision player is that lack of mental strength and consistency. She doesn't have the shot selection necessary to being a consistent Top 10 player as a precision player. I kinda missed when she went for her shots more! Only the Williams and Davenport could "bully" her on hard or grass in 2002; otherwise, she was in it.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:33 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

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Yes... but Ivanovic was also doing a good job beating herself, no?

And what makes Hantuchova less than sufficient as a precision player is that lack of mental strength and consistency. She doesn't have the shot selection necessary to being a consistent Top 10 player as a precision player. I kinda missed when she went for her shots more! Only the Williams and Davenport could "bully" her on hard or grass in 2002; otherwise, she was in it.
the heel injury really set her back last year though, i mean i know the fact that her mentality is always going to be there, some can cope with the moment and some can't. but that being said, her fall of '07 to ao '08 she was playing some great consistent precision tennis, i honestly think ana didn't have a chance when she got bageled because daniela was getting the first strike almost every time and doing damage, i mean she could have played better yes but daniela was playing lethal tennis for the first 8 games then we all know what happened to her head. her serve now btw is awful, since the heel injury she changed her motion i guess this year and it's not as good anymore. i think she needs a coach that tells her to just play freely and go for her shots, you have to risks in tennis if you want to win, i'd like to see make some more, but i do think fall '07 and ao'08 were good signs for her, she is very capable of pulling off alot of shots, if she starts doing it then maybe it will start to come back to her.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 08:48 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

The rest of the tour has adjusted to the power game. Pure power players were swamping the tour from 1999-2003. Check it out. Virtually ALL of them, who were around then, are using less power and more precision.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 09:03 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

because shes older? and no i dont mean shes so old she cant do it anymore, but the older you get as a player (more mature/ wiser) the more you realize you dont have to throw all your body weight behind every shot you hit.

Notice, Venus/ Serena/ Hantuchova all of them they set their shots up more now, move the player around with medium paced shots before going for a kill shot when they get a short ball/ better look on it.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 09:14 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

Daniela's problem is mental. She still has problems with overthinking, underthinking.. playing a stupid shot and the wrong time. etc etc. She also makes errors but doesn't back them up with her arsenal. Her serve shouldbe more of a weapon and she should be attacking the net more. I still don't think we seen all that she has to offer. Her strokes are fluid and she can play the net.

As far as Roddick, well he's all over the place. To many coaches and no net game.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 09:22 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

She thinks more now. Back then, she was much more instinctive. She was a player with great tennis instincts, and those players can't afford to over think.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

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She thinks more now. Back then, she was much more instinctive. She was a player with great tennis instincts, and those players can't afford to over think.
Well said.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2009, 09:57 PM
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Re: Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?

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She thinks more now. Back then, she was much more instinctive. She was a player with great tennis instincts, and those players can't afford to over think.
She thinks too much about the occasion. It messes her up.


She should have been owned by Maria in the AO Final, not lose to Ana. >_>

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