Harkleroad More Than a Kourna-Copy - TennisForum.com
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
tennisIlove09's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 44,073
                     
Harkleroad More Than a Kourna-Copy

Harkleroad More Than a Kourna-Copy
By DOUGLAS ROBSON in Paris
********************
Specially contribute to WTAFANS.COM

PARIS - As they slipped out of their warm-up tops at ROland Garros, Daniela Hantuchova and Ashley Harkleroad were near mirror images: Same light blue Nike outfit, same blue and gray shoes, same racket manufacturer. Both sported visors (different colors) and blond hair pulled back into tight ponytails. But there, the similarities ended.

In a tight, tense and topsy-turvy match, American Harkleroad outlasted ninth-seeded Hantuchova, 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 9-7, proving that these are clearly players headed in opposite directions. The win -- her second over Hantuchova in six weeks -- propelled Harkleroad into the third round of a major for the first time and seemed to confirm her status as an elite-player-to-be.

Heading in the other direction is Hantuchova. The Slovakian, who broke into the top-10 last year and reached a career high of No. 5, has seen her game unravel so far in 2003. The highly touted talent has not advanced beyond the quarterfinals of a tournament since February, has no titles and seems to have lost her mental edge. Concerns about her rail-thin frame have also prompted alarm bells among many tennis observers.

"There is much more pressure than there was for me last year because I was coming up," the 20-year-old Hantuchova explained after the loss. "But now everyone is expecting me to win, and it‚€™s really tough. Everyone wants to beat me. So the opponents are getting tougher and tougher."

She largely deflected questions circulating about her physique, saying her loss "had nothing to do with my physical side."

Floridian Harkleroad, by contrast, does not have a target on her back -- yet. But she, too, has been burdened with expectations since compiling a stellar junior career and being labeled the darling of American tennis -- often drawing comparisons to Russian sex symbol Anna Kournikova for her good looks.

Now the talk can turn to her tennis.
In the last few weeks, Harkleroad -- a junior finalist at the French Open in 2002 -- confirmed that she is most promising American female player under 20. She beat top-25 players Meghann Shaughnessy and Hantuchova in Charleston to become the youngest semifinalist in the history of the tournament, losing to eventual champion Justine Henin-Hardenne. She followed that strong performance with another semifinal showing in Strasbourg, pushing her ranking to a career-best No. 52.

In Paris Monday, she knocked off Japanease™s Saori Obata, 6-4, 6-2 in the first round to set up her rematch with Hantuchova, whom she had defeated in April.

The Roseville, Ga., native almost let the match slip out of her hands. Leading 5-1 in the second set, she grew tentative, losing five straight games as Hantuchova found her range. Down 6-5 and on the verge of defeat, her eyes filled with tears, but she fought her way back into the match.
"I was so tight and wanting it so bad, I guess," she said. "I said, ‚€˜OK, Ashley, you're not going to lose this. You're going to fight.‚€™ I tried to breathe and relax."

The teenager regained her composure to pull it out, screaming for joy and running over to the friend‚€™s box to exchange hugs after Hantuchova‚€™ s forehand sailed wide.

It was one of 106 errors for the Slovakian in the three hour, eight minute match, in which Harkleroad won only four more total points than her opponent, 135 to 131.

Afterwards, Harkleroad credited a recent coaching change and turning 18 for her recent success.

In March, she and former Argentine great Jose Luis Clerc parted ways after one year, allowing her to join the USTA‚€™s High Performance program. She is now working with former pro Jay Berger and Ola Malmqvist and training with other young Americans in Key Biscayne, Fla.

"It‚€™s really nice playing with girls because I was playing so much with younger guys," she said. "They‚€™re like the nicest girls ever, we get along great. I‚€™m really enjoying it."

Harkleroad was also freed from WTA Tour rules restricting the number of tournaments a player under when she turned 18 earlier this month, something she said has helped her get into a groove.

"You know, I don‚€™t play one tournament and then wait one month and then have to play another tournament and wait one month," she said.

Added Coach Berger: "You gain confidence and start hitting bigger and winning when you can play more matches."

Indeed, another match is on tap for the rising star. She takes tricky lefthander Magui Serna of Spain for a spot in the round of 16.
tennisIlove09 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:45 PM
Senior Member
 
the cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 17,358
                     
Thanks for the article. But what was with some of those letters? They looked something like Russian letters.

Happiness is like a cat. If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you. It will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you'll find it rubbing up against your legs and jumping into your lap. - William Bennett

http://cornedbeefhash.files.wordpres...arcelona08.jpg
the cat is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: none of your business! :p
Posts: 3,734
                     
LOL yeah , whatīs up with those letters like the Euro sign and ‚ and so on.

Nobodyīs perfect ... but me.

Chanda Rubin Anastasia Myskina

Francesca Schiavone Paola Suarez

Barbara Schett Silvia Farina Elia

Klara Koukalova Iva Majoli

Marat Safin is all mine.

*caramelized.net*

caramel is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 09:16 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 21,972
                     
she should be flattered by this comparison at this point... as far as I know she has never been even in the final of the tournament, let alone ranked in the top 10 in the singles and #1 in doubles...

Vassilissa is my girl............
tenn_ace is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 09:31 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,793
                     
Ashley always says that she takes the Kournikova comparison as a compliment

Venus Williams-Ana Ivanovic-Serena Williams-Vika Azarenka-Caroline Wozniacki

McHale-Stephens-Watson-Robson-Townsend

Brodsky-Muhammad-Hampton-Keys-Crawford-Andrews-Hardebeck
ptkten is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 09:50 PM
-LIFETIME MEMBER-
 
Havok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal
Posts: 8,193
                     
she's not yet a Kournikova copy. she has done nothing so far to prove so. but she might do it

Jelena Dokic.Vera Zvonareva.Tatiana Golovin.Mary Pierce.Monica Seles.Martina Hingis.Anna Kournikova


Havok is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 11:02 PM
Senior Member
 
WhatTheDeuce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 34,432
                     
these article titles are so stupid and lame
WhatTheDeuce is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome