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GogoGirl
May 28th, 2003, 11:19 PM
I would think that Dani needed her coach out there today more than not. He seemed to be pouting about about it IMO.

It was a great comeback by Dani coming from 1-5 down - and congrats to Ashley. She showed grit and determination. And it seems as if - she can play and sway her way on se' clay.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml;$sessionid$UELBTQWP5C0U3QFIQMGCFFOAVCBQ UIV0?xml=/sport/2003/05/29/stpars29.xml&_requestid=312814


Angry Sears lays into Hantuchova
By John Parsons in Paris (Filed: 29/05/2003)


Daniela Hantuchova's British coach, Nigel Sears, walked out on the ninth seed halfway through her dramatic defeat in the second round of the French Open yesterday.


Lean time: Daniela Hantuchova serves during her defeat
The 20-year-old pin-up, who has attracted continued interest over her recent weight-loss, infuriated Sears with the wanton manner in which she kept sacrificing the initiative on the way to a 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 9-7 defeat by the teenage American, Ashley Harkleroad. Sears left the court soon after his pupil had squandered a 4-1 lead in the first set and then her own serve again, when serving for the set, with a quartet of unforced errors (by the time a missed forehand left her match point down she had made 100).

"I've walked out [of the match], I couldn't stand it," Sears told me as he made his way back to the locker rooms between the end of the second set (which he missed) and the start of the third.

"I didn't like her attitude," added the most successful British coach now on the men's or women's tour, who began working with Hantuchova in the summer of 2001 and has seen her climb around 60 places into the world's top 10.

Sears, who later left the arena in the same car as Hantuchova with much to sort out, had seemingly experienced this kind of roller-coaster performance by Hantuchova once too often. "I told her that if she couldn't stop it, I'd leave, so I've left her to it. I decided it was the right moment for me to get off the court," he said.

Told that she had just taken the second set, he said: "I just hope that she'll now pull through it. Sometimes she can stand close to the edge of winning a big tournament but I've told her she has to be stronger mentally."

When she rallied from 1-5 in the third set to lead 6-5, it looked as if Sears's protest might have woken her up. Yet once again - during a match in which she had consistently lost points she had been in a position to win - the curse of being in the lead struck again.

Serving at 7-8, she walloped one of her spectacular drive volleys an inch wide of the sideline to give the equally nervous and erratic Harkleroad, beaten in the junior final here last year, a first match point. The match was then settled when Hantuchova put a forehand wide - her 101st unforced error.

Hantuchova said: "From 1-5 down in the third is when I started to play my proper tennis. It was the way I should have been playing the whole match. I just told myself, 'keep fighting to the end'. It almost paid off."

Yet she admitted that her attitude had not been adequate for the occasion. Then, effectively emphasising the basis of Sears's frustration, she added: "Mentally during the whole match I wasn't there. I wasn't choosing the right shots at the right time. Maybe I was going for too much and making too many mistakes."

Hantuchova was inevitably asked if she was now too thin to play tennis. The Slovakian player, who has denied being anorexic and claimed she was simply having trouble regaining weight after losing too much while training in South African sunshine last winter, said: "I think I've just proved - being 1-5 down in the third [and winning the next five games] - that I'm really fit and it had nothing to do with my physical condition."

This apart it was pretty straightforward for the leading women. Defending champion Serena Williams beat Switzerland's Marie-Gaiane Mikaelian 6-3, 6-2 while Justine Henin-Hardenne defeated Croatia's Jelena Kostanic 6-2, 6-2. Amelie Mauresmo, the top French hope, dropped only three games on the way to victory over Lina Krasnoroutskaya, of Russia.

GogoGirl
May 28th, 2003, 11:22 PM
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/sports/story/0,4386,191641,00.html




American sweetheart upsets Hantuchova

PARIS - All golden hair and dazzling white teeth, American darling Ashley Harkleroad revealed true grit yesterday to upset ninth seed Daniela Hantuchova at the French Open.

A runner-up in the girls' event here last year, the 18-year-old toiled for more than three hours in a Court One cauldron to win 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 9-7, and advance to the third round of a Grand Slam event in her first senior appearance at Roland Garros.

But there was no fairy-tale ending for former champion and 17th seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia.

He lost 4-6, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (7-0), 4-6 to Brazil's world No 78 Flavio Saretta after 3hr 55min in the men's singles.

To date, Harkleroad, who was the United States Under-18 junior champion at the age of 15, had made more headlines with her skimpy tennis outfits and likeness to Russian starlet Anna Kournikova than her on-court prowess.

Yesterday, wearing the same outfit as glamour girl Hantuchova, the American suggested there may be more to her than her clothes.

As calls of 'Ashley' rang around the court for Harkleroad, she squeezed out the first set in a tense tie-break.

The willowy Hantuchova bounced back in the second, taking it 6-4 with some flowing forehands and winners.

Uncowed, Harkleroad refused to buckle, despite playing with a strapped elbow, and took a 5-1 lead in the third set. But she then began rushing her shots and lost five consecutive games.

But the 52nd-ranked player did snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, thanks to her erratic Slovakian opponent, who committed eight unforced errors to lose eight of the next nine points.

Harkleroad held serve for an 8-7 lead, then reached the first match point when Hantuchova blew a forehand.

As the slender Slovakian sailed another forehand wide on the final shot, her opponent squealed, dropped her racket and sprinted to the stands for celebratory hugs.

'I am a real fighter, I guess,' she said at a press conference later. 'I have been like that since I was eight. You can't teach that to anybody.'

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Hantuchova had to run the gauntlet of questions about her pencil-slim frame, which has given rise to claims that she suffers from anorexia.

'I am really blessed in that I can eat whatever I want. I just burn more calories than I've got in my body,' she insisted.

'Today's loss had nothing to do with the physical side - it was more the mental side that was not right there today.' -- Reuters, AP


Live on TV: Day 4 (Ch22, 5pm).

dhnet2
May 29th, 2003, 12:05 AM
oh eck :sad: bad news

tennischick
May 29th, 2003, 12:06 AM
i would fire a coach who said things like that about me to the media. :mad: even if he was right, he had no right to humiliate her like this.

-Sonic-
May 29th, 2003, 12:09 AM
yeah its hardly the model coach 'attitude'.

Brandon85
May 29th, 2003, 12:12 AM
it must be frustrating when someone has so much talent but itsn't progressing...

decemberlove
May 29th, 2003, 12:18 AM
i would fire a coach who said things like that about me to the media. :mad: even if he was right, he had no right to humiliate her like this.

a coach isnt there to kiss a players ass. maybe he thought it would be a more effective way of getting the message across to her... that she needs to be there mentally as well as physically.

different folks, different strokes

dhnet2
May 29th, 2003, 12:19 AM
This is though the first time Daniela or Nigel have admitted the truth about Daniela's 'problem'

"The Slovakian player, who has denied being anorexic and claimed she was simply having trouble regaining weight after losing too much while training in South African sunshine last winter"

That's the truth about Daniela, it's not anorexia - she looked great at the Collins Cup first week in December, then just three weeks later at the Hopman Cup Daniela looked thin - very thin. She doesn't look any thinner now than she did in Australia.

In those three weeks she went to Nigel's house in South Africa to train - but in 2002 Daniela had played too much tennis - more matches (156) than anyone else in 2002 and was exhausted - then had no time off before going with Nigel for more very intensive training.

I think her body just said enough is enough and she hasn't properly recovered since :sad: - not helped by her restricted diet no doubt.

auntie janie
May 29th, 2003, 12:20 AM
i would fire a coach who said things like that about me to the media. :mad: even if he was right, he had no right to humiliate her like this.

I agree. This is something that coach and player should work out in private. But Nigel Sears has been interested in getting into the papers ever since Daniela started her climb. :p In comparison, how many interviews do you see Justine's coach doing? Or almost any other coach, aside from the odd parent-coach?

jbone_0307
May 29th, 2003, 12:27 AM
Watever, he needs to tell the press the truth. It may encourage her and if i were here coach i would have done the same. I totally agree with decemberlove. TOUGH LOVE!

dhnet2
May 29th, 2003, 12:29 AM
I agree. This is something that coach and player should work out in private. But Nigel Sears has been interested in getting into the papers ever since Daniela started her climb. :p In comparison, how many interviews do you see Justine's coach doing? Or almost any other coach, aside from the odd parent-coach?

I don't agee with that Janie - Nigel has never 'gossiped' about their private affairs - until this week - imo ;)

jojoseph
May 29th, 2003, 12:34 AM
The thing about it is that he can't do anything to violate her trust. Walking out, could in fact be a good thing, provided he's always being constructive. He has to say positive things to make sure she knows that he's not just being an ass whereby she wouldn't be able to trust his judgment anymore. Tough love is good, at times, however it can't always be used, IMO.

Celeste
May 29th, 2003, 12:35 AM
A coach is there really more for mental than the shots and the rest, you know, like Richard. Most top women know their shots long before they turn pro. A coach needs to kick the player in the ass mentally, because it really is a mental game, even now. A coach's job is to get into the player's head. Too bad nobody can get into Anna's head.

Nobody is as bad as Conchita's old coach. After they split several years ago, he went public and said he hated working with her because "she dumped practice to hang out and party with a bunch of lesbians" or something like that. Thanks coach! I think Conchita's old coach is right up there with Justine's grandmother, telling all to the press.

jojoseph
May 29th, 2003, 12:38 AM
Too bad nobody can get into Anna's head.


That's impossible. There's too much off-court stuff stuffed up in there.

She'd have to take all that stuff out before a coach can try getting inside her head.

dhnet2
May 29th, 2003, 12:46 AM
It does look a bit like Nigel staged it :confused:

Otherwise, how could Pam Shriver on ESPN know exactly why he'd left the court? Apparently on air she said Nigel had told Daniela before the match he would leave if she started playing negatively.

Fair enough, that's between them - but why would he also tell Shriver and Fernandez? :rolleyes:

the cat
May 29th, 2003, 12:47 AM
I agree with TC and Janie. Sears needs to get the axe ASAP! :eek: Besides Dani's game is notn progressing at all. And his South African training session stripped Danial of whatever beef and muscle she had! :(

And this isn't the first time he has talked about Dani and her very sensitive weight issue. He shows bad taste at the very least.

I want Pavel Slozil to coach Daniela. And unlike big mouth Sears, he won't cross the line as a coach.

And I agree with janie's comment about Sears wanting to get into the papers. He was doing interviews with the media when Dani won Indian Wells last year. I was thinking what is he doing at the time?

jojoseph
May 29th, 2003, 12:48 AM
It does look a bit like Nigel staged it :confused:

Otherwise, how could Pam Shriver on ESPN know exactly why he'd left the court? Apparently on air she said Nigel had told Daniela before the match he would leave if she started playing negatively.

Fair enough, that's between them - but why would he also tell Shriver and Fernandez? :rolleyes:

I think you mean off the air, but no, I disagree with that. You don't go telling people about your personal business like that. That's going overboard and something that a player would find hard to forget.

dhnet2
May 29th, 2003, 12:53 AM
I think you mean off the air, but no, I disagree with that. You don't go telling people about your personal business like that. That's going overboard and something that a player would find hard to forget.

No I mean on air - Pam Shriver said she knew why Nigel had left the court and someone (not known if it was Nigel or someone else) had told her before the match that he would leave if Daniela started playing badly.

Looking at what Nigel has now said in the press, looks maybe like it was Nigel himself who tipped Pam and Mary Jo off before the match.

Celeste
May 29th, 2003, 12:57 AM
Pam is such a fraud. She'd go down on Daniela in a second.

dhnet2
May 29th, 2003, 01:00 AM
And I agree with janie's comment about Sears wanting to get into the papers. He was doing interviews with the media when Dani won Indian Wells last year. I was thinking what is he doing at the time?

Yes but those interviews were only about the tennis, he wasn't gossiping about Daniela's private life, he has never done so, never put a foot wrong - until today. At least he hasn't put a foot wrong publicly I mean :D Who knows what goes on behind the scenes.

Three weeks ago he did go public about Daniela's 'problem' but he could only have done that with IMG's agreement, something had to be said to at least try and curb press speculation.

Irodafan
May 29th, 2003, 01:02 AM
I'm so sad for Dani :sad:

1jackson2001
May 29th, 2003, 01:59 AM
I was hoping that she could have actually won after coming back from 1-5 down.

selesfan
May 29th, 2003, 03:17 AM
i would fire a coach who said things like that about me to the media. :mad: even if he was right, he had no right to humiliate her like this.

I agree! What a jerk, I would fire him also. :mad:

GrahamD
May 29th, 2003, 11:54 AM
I agree! What a jerk, I would fire him also. :mad:

I have to agree with this. If what Nigel has said is true, that must be very humiliating for Daniela. If he couldn't stand it, didn't like her attitude and left her to her own devices, what kind of support is that from a coach? That is totally unacceptable behaviour and to air his own views like that in public shows little understanding or sympathy to how Daniela might react to hearing that.

If I were Daniela, I'd be looking for a new coach right now, one who is certainly more supportive than Nigel has shown here. Sorry Nigel, but that kind of reaction is simply not acceptable. :mad:

And anyway, Daniela played much better after he left, so she doesn't need him anyway. She gets more than enough courtside support from her mum. She's lucky if she gets a slight nod of the head from him. I really do believe Nigel has taken her as far as he can and for Daniela to move that one step further up the ladder, she needs a coach good enough to do that. Nigel is not that good.

Julian
May 29th, 2003, 01:28 PM
:sad:

Poor Dani!! :(

Pinkie
May 29th, 2003, 01:42 PM
From today's Guardian:


"The speculation about the health of Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova gained fresh momentum yesterday after the No9 seed was beaten 7-6, 4-6, 9-7 in the second round by Ashley Harkleroad, the 18-year-old rookie from the United States.

It was obvious at the Australian Open in January that Hantuchova, 20, had lost a considerable amount of weight and that her already willowy frame was worryingly thinner. Her British coach Nigel Sears expressed concerns about her weight loss at the tournament in Berlin, and after her defeat yesterday she was confronted with more questions concerning her physique.

"I am really blessed that I can eat whatever I want," she said. "I've been
working really hard before this season, because I wanted to be physically
prepared as best as possible. I just burn more calories than I've actually got in my body. It (the weight) will come back soon. I'm really, really glad I can eat whatever I want."

The truth is that only Hantuchova knows for cer- tain whether she is suffering from an eating disorder. Meanwhile the continual questioning, which will no doubt increase at Wimbledon, can be doing nothing for her self-esteem, and there is an awkward sub-text that, if she were not attractive, such questions might not be asked at all.

Harkleroad, in her first senior year on the tour, has suffered pressure
herself after being touted as the next Anna Kournikova and having a vast amount of money invested in her, one of her junior matches being featured on the mainArthur Ashe court in the US Open in 2001.

When her junior career did not match the hype, the USTA expected her to explain herself at regular progress meetings. Understandably this created a temporary rift, although she is now back in the fold of the US governing body.

She had beaten Hantuchova this year in Charleston but came precious close yesterday to throwing away a 5-1 third-set lead, going 6-5 down. "I started hitting the ball too short and I became a little bit erratic," she admitted. But to her great credit she never gave up the fight, even though the match appeared to be slipping away.

"I don't think you can teach anybody how to fight. I've always been feisty.That's my personality. I've always been like that ever since I was eight. I just kept really calm and said: 'Ok, Ashley, you're not going to lose this.' I justtried to breathe and relax my whole body. I was just totally focused on my breathing."

Since reaching the quarter-finals of this year's Australian Open, where she lost to Venus Williams, Hantuchova has struggled to improve on the form of last year when it seemed she might join the two Belgians, Kim Clijsters and Justin Henin-Hardenne, in the battle against the two Williams sisters.

It is to be hoped that such pressure is not making Hantuchova ill. "It is
not a health issue," she insisted. Whether she is in denial of a problem only time will tell but meanwhile it is clearly important that she receives the bestpossible advice and support."

I had not seen Hantuchova play in ages and when I watched yesterday's match, I couldn't beleive my eyes. She looks underweight, even if she wouldn't be an athlete who needs more muscle mass. I don't know if she obsessively works out or just doesn't eat, but I looking at her gaunt eyes and drawn face, I can't see how this girl would have a healthy relationship with food. You don't become that thin by eating anything you want. It's sad really. She seems a nice person and has heaps of talent. I hope she gets her act together.

Good win for Ashley. Although I had to laugh about her comments about staying calm. The way the poor thing was crying/hyperventilating in her towel at 5-5,didn't indicate that she was focusing on breating calmly ;) Still, she faught thrrough it. Good for her.

dhnet2
May 29th, 2003, 03:31 PM
From today's Guardian:

..........It was obvious at the Australian Open in January that Hantuchova, 20, had lost a considerable amount of weight

That's the relevant bit of the article - it was not a gradual loss in shape - it happened in three weeks between the Collins Cup and Hopman Cup.

In those 3 weeks Daniela went to train in South Africa.

Here is what the Telegraph reported today:

"The Slovakian player claimed she was simply having trouble regaining weight after losing too much while training in South African sunshine last winter"

There you have it. It is not anorexia or any eating disorder - Daniela has restricted her diet since - but that wasn't the cause of her loss in shape.

The training in South Africa went wrong - Daniela said this herself yesterday.

I think it went wrong because Daniela played too much tennis in 2002 - more than any other player - and in South Africa her body was still exhausted from all those matches.

So there you have it - Daniela is NOT anorexic.

miranda_lou
May 29th, 2003, 03:54 PM
Daniela has restricted her diet since - but that wasn't the cause of her loss in shape.

Why is her diet "restricted"? She needs to eat a lot of protein and carbos to gain weight. What is her diet restricted to?

I tend to agree with you that the training in South Africa might have caused this weight problem but that was 6 months ago and she should have recovered by now. Maybe she should take some time off.

mboyle
May 29th, 2003, 05:09 PM
I think Brad Gilbert should coach Hantuchova. She is like Andre in that she has all the talent in the world, but makes stupid shots all the time. Brad would straighten that out in a hurry.:p Nigel has got to go unfortunately:sad: .

Kart
May 29th, 2003, 06:30 PM
What the hell kind of comments are these by her coach ?

It's one thing to have a go at her in private, another to have a go at her in the press.

She's reached great heights with him, but isn't improving.

Time to cut the dead weight Daniela.

Dava
May 29th, 2003, 06:33 PM
I think Nigel and Daniela have a stragne coaching relationship anyway. I like him as her coach and would prefer that she stayed with him, its her that needs to change.

He is right, her attitude can be so bad on a court.