View Full Version : Congratulations Ashley, you're the newest Great Hope!

May 29th, 2003, 09:59 AM
After Ashley Harkleroad defeated the human broomstick, Hantuchova, in a three set thriller, the 18 year old was immediately crowned the next Great Hope by the American media as young player who can be pimped by sponsors like a certain Russian player, but one who can also actually play tennis, possibly win tournaments and may even [gasp] defeat the evil empire of the Williams family. :)


The American Cinderella, Capriati, has been cast aside since she has had no meaningful success against the Williams in the past two years and little Ashley may be just what they have been looking for during that time.

So, congrats Ashley, you are the new American Great Hope. :)

May 29th, 2003, 11:00 AM
It must be so sad to have such a cynical and unappreciative view of life as you portray yourself to have on this board.

oh well thats life :p

May 29th, 2003, 11:35 AM
I don't believe I heard 1 person, player, media or board member state that Ashley could beat the Williams sisters :rolleyes:

May 29th, 2003, 11:40 AM
go take your meds....

May 29th, 2003, 08:39 PM
It didn't take that long.
L.A. Times - May 29

Diane Pucin:
Harkleroad Looks Like a Rising Star

May 28, 2003

PARIS Ashley Harkleroad sat at the changeover, tears clouding her eyes. Having led, 5-1, in the third set of her second-round French Open match against ninth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, she was down, 6-5. Hantuchova was about to serve for the match, for the match that should have belonged to Harkleroad.

The tears, though, were not girlish weeping for something lost. The tears were fighting tears, emotions of an 18-year-old who refused to lose.

So Harkleroad didn't. She upset Hantuchova, 7-6 (2), 4-6, 9-7. She was among five U.S. women to win second-round matches Wednesday.

You may remember Harkleroad from the 2001 U.S. Open. She was 16 and wearing a cropped top and tiny shorts. She had long, tan legs and a long, blond ponytail. She was made to be the United States' own Anna Kournikova, a young beauty with beastly hard ground strokes and a front-and-center sexuality that seemed both dangerous and alluring.

For the last two years, until her 18th birthday in May, Harkleroad had been hamstrung by the WTA's age rules, which limited the number of tournaments she could play.

Free from age jail, Harkleroad has been "just so happy and improving every day," said Laura Granville. Granville, 22 and seeded 31st, also won Wednesday. She beat 1997 French Open champion Iva Majoli, 6-1, 6-2. In the third round, Granville will play eighth-seeded Chanda Rubin, an American. Rubin beat Cara Black, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

While U.S. men's tennis clings to the clay-spattered shirt of elder statesman Andre Agassi because Pete Sampras has gone away, Michael Chang is going away, Jim Courier is gone and no one is ready to replace them, the women are tripping over each other on the climb to the top 10.

Serena Williams, with the jeweled strap on her tennis dress and her red, white and blue butterfly diamond hair clips, speaks airily of her dreams of clothing designs and Grand Slam dominance and has staked out a No. 1 ranking for the foreseeable future. Venus, her older sister, has become a mysterious, insular, intriguing ghost who pops between tennis and her design business, who seems conflicted about whether she wants to fight little sister for top billing or move on.

And Venus is the third-best player in the world, says the computer.

Jennifer Capriati is still grimly determined to beat Serena and Venus. Lindsay Davenport has sparkling eyes and a Hawaiian tan. She is just back from her honeymoon and still has one of the purest, hardest strokes in the game. And, at 26, still convinced she has it in her to win a fourth Grand Slam title.

So those are the leaders.

Harkleroad is a chaser.

She has chopped off the pony tail. She and Hantuchova were dressed in identical powder blue Nike dresses, shoes and socks. When Hantuchova, 20, made a quick climb into the top 10 last year, she was featured in photo shoots and asked continually about replacing Kournikova as the glamour face of tennis.

If Harkleroad is to be in the same place, she said she doesn't mind. "A lot of people compared me to Kournikova," Harkleroad said. "That was just a compliment for me. She's a very sweet girl. She's very, very pretty."

But the way Harkleroad righted herself, mentally and physically, after losing her nerves and her strokes in the third set, makes it seem possible she is much more a player than Kournikova.

Harkleroad, who is from Georgia and who travels with her dad, Danny, has a new coach, Jay Berger, from the United States Tennis Assn. program. Berger was a pro who reached the fourth rounds of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open before retiring in 1991. Berger considers Harkleroad's "incredible competitiveness" and her "tremendous backhand and great forehand" as reasons to think she will quickly rise in the rankings.

Today, Venus Williams, Davenport, Capriati, Marissa Irvin and Corina Morariu will try to make it another five-win day for American women.

Granville said her group she and Harkleroad, Irvin, Ansley Cargill, Samantha Reeves, Sarah Taylor see the Williams sisters, Capriati, Davenport and Rubin as role models and women on a different level.

"What they've already accomplished is amazing," Granville said. "But we hardly ever talk to them. They all have their own circles."

The circles are getting closer, though. If U.S. tennis television ratings and interest are tied to U.S. players doing well, the women have it covered while the men are disappearing.

May 29th, 2003, 09:12 PM
what a nice positive article about all of our American stars! :)

May 29th, 2003, 11:24 PM
It must be so sad to have such a cynical and unappreciative view of life as you portray yourself to have on this board.

oh well thats life :p

Lol talking about nailing it right on the head :kiss:

Cybelle Darkholme
May 29th, 2003, 11:29 PM
Go Team Usa!!! We Rule Tennis!!! Go Ashley!

May 29th, 2003, 11:36 PM
i agree with Flatstat

no one mentioned Harkleroad being the next person to defeat the sisters :confused:

i just think ppl like me are happy that another American star WITH A PERSONALITY is finally representing in what looked like a dark period for the rookie females and American males (bar Andre)

you know....im just glad Ashley doesnt seem to be a prisoner of her looks, and is making strides in this world :)

shes ranked what, 56 atm? was she even in the top 120 for Australia at the beginning of the year?

her wins on clay have been a great feat this year, beating top 20 players, and im just happy fo her :)

May 30th, 2003, 12:51 AM
I'm happy that Ashley is tasting a bit a success, but I initially did think she would become an American version of Kournikova. The USTA and WTA Tour has certainly promoted the young star this way. IMO, it remains to be seen how Ashley will respond to being the American Hope to stop the Williams empire. And if you don't believe that she will BECOME the next hope look at her peers. Lindsay, Jennifer have all been appointed as the "annoited ones", but when it did not happen they were canned by the media and WTA alike.

Ashley seems like a sweet girl, but I'm afraid that the media will put heavy pressure on her. I wish her the best in all her endeavors, but we have seen people being hyped up only to fail.

Look at Daniela. Once a growing talent, but now can barely get out of a round in a slam. :sad:

Steffica Greles
May 30th, 2003, 01:08 AM
Oh for CHRIST'S SAKE!! ;)

I saw that match, and I've seen Ashley's other results. I not bedazzled by her upset of Hantuchova, and I'm less than impressed with her other results.

Hantuchova controlled the match - I saw it. What Ashley did was fight well and frustrate. But she didn't appear to have any HUGE weapons, neither in her serve nor her groundies. They were just the usual - flat and moderately hard. But nothing overwhelming.

And to me she's no Kournikova lookalike at all! I just don't see it. She dresses like she lets her tennis do the talking for a start! I just don't like what it says - or not to the extent some do.

Everybody sit down, please! :D

May 30th, 2003, 01:15 AM
LOL at TeeRexx with your racial bullshit. Considering all the nosense you deal to the white fans on this board I cannot wait until, in a few years, your great black hope is Stephanie Foretz, you pathetic little kritter you! :)

May 30th, 2003, 04:07 AM
ooo- I do like Stephanie, but in a few years she will be retired.
I may even have a white fave at that time as I did before the era of VENUS & SERENA. :p