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andrewbroad
Feb 5th, 2004, 06:56 PM
[Here's the report I would have posted on Tuesday if WTAworld had not been closed for maintenance]


I experienced my biggest moment of joy of the year so far when I looked at CEEFAX this morning to see that Daniela Hantuchová and Maria Sharapova both won to set up a mouthwatering second-round match against each other at the Tokyo Pan Pacific Open! :D

Daniela boosted her confidence with a 6-1 6-7 (7/9) 7-5 avenging of her Australian Open defeat by Alicia Molik, while Maria "looked sharp" in thrashing wild card Yuka Yoshida 6-1 6-1.

Daniela's win over Molik should go some way to exorcising the demons that have troubled her in the last year, but as I said earlier at the danielahantuchova and jeldani Yahoo! Groups, Maria will win 6-4 6-2, because Daniela still has a lot of ground to make up.

Daniela is more flairsome than Maria (I don't just mean she has great touch, but that all of Daniela's strokes are so beautifully produced), and that's why Daniela is my second-favourite player (the highest anyone other than Monica Seles will ever get) and Maria is my seventh-favourite player (I am a fan of seven).

Daniela also has more variety than Maria, but Maria on the other hand has a much better attitude to movement, and is so strong mentally - extremely intense, focused and fearless - more like Monica than like Anna Kournikova.

What Daniela and Maria have in common (other than their tall, slender, leggy bodies and charming personalities) is that they both generate power through immaculate timing, rather than the brute force of their more muscular contemporaries. And that they go for their shots and can hit clean winners all over the court! :)

Tournament website: http://www.toray-ppo.co.jp/pc/

Photos: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040202/ids_photos_sp/r1217085866.jpg

I wish both girls a great first match against each other tomorrow (Wednesday: fourth on Court 1).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/hantu/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/maria_sharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/danielahantuchova/

andrewbroad
Feb 5th, 2004, 06:59 PM
Daniela beat Maria 7-6 (11/9) 6-1 on Wednesday. I said Maria would win 6-4 6-2, but I'm happy for Daniela that she made me eat my words. There's no surer way for me to jinx one of my players (I'm sorry Maria) than to make an arrogant prediction! ;)

I'm a fan of both girls, but I'm delighted to see Daniela finally playing a tournament that doesn't belong in a slump that began last spring.

Maria led 2-0 in the first set, but then Daniela found her range, and imposed her seniority. Maria played very well in the first set, but had no answer to Daniela's brilliance in the second.


Daniela: "I am very pleased with the way I played today. I had never played against Maria and didn't know what to expect. I really went for my shots and that was key to win the tie-break.

"I played the second set very well. I was under control from the beginning, hitting the ball well and staying aggressive. I'm beginning to feel I'm back on track.

"It's exciting to be in the quarter-finals again. I think my attitude is getting better on the court. I'm calm and enjoying myself, which I think is the most important thing."


Although Daniela is the eighth seed, this is a big upset of recent form, considering that Maria's only losses in 2004 so far have been 7-5 6-3 to Venus Williams and 6-4 1-6 6-2 to Anastasia Myskina. Maria also lost 1-6 7-6 7-6 to Justine Henin-Hardenne at Ciney in December 2003 after holding eight match-points.

Daniela's 7-6 6-1 win is Maria's heaviest defeat since she lost to Kim Clijsters at Luxembourg in October 2003. It's also the heaviest defeat Daniela has inflicted on anyone since she beat Lisa Raymond 6-3 6-4 at Filderstadt in October 2003.

And in my opinion, Maria at 16 is the best player Daniela has beaten since she defeated Conchita Martínez in the Fed Cup final in October 2002. I'd say the best players Daniela beat in 2003 were Patty Schnyder, Nathalie Dechy and Alexandra Stevenson (twice).

Maria is the future of women's tennis, but Wednesday belonged to Daniela.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/hantu/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/maria_sharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/danielahantuchova/

VeraNuVirgosFan
Feb 6th, 2004, 03:20 AM
Daniela beat Maria 7-6 (11/9) 6-1.
Hantuchova beat Masha 7-6(6) 6-1.

andrewbroad
Feb 6th, 2004, 02:59 PM
Hantuchova beat Masha 7-6(6) 6-1.
CEEFAX said 11/9 in the tiebreak. I'm sorry for spreading their mistake.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/maria_sharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/maria_sharapova/)