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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 09:01 PM   #1
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What's up with Dani?

This is the whole writeup from cnnsi of the Dementieva-Hantuchova match in Paris

Quote:
Hantuchova, the second seed, was upset by Russia's Elena Dementieva 7-5, 6-3, while Dokic, seeded fourth, lost to Daniilidou 6-1, 6-3.

Dementieva exploited her opponent's inconsistent serve, breaking Hantuchova eight times, then sealing victory when the Slovak sent a backhand long.

Leading 5-3 in the second set, Dementieva left the court for treatment to an adductor strain in her right leg.

When the Russian resumed, she faltered, losing her service with two double faults and two unforced errors. But Hantuchova then lost her seventh service game of the match after saving three match points.

"I think I've found my game here," Dementieva said. "I'm real happy with the way I've played all week."
Not very informative. If one of you Hantuchova fans is into this kinda thing, could you describe for me your idea of Hantuchova's game, and what's going on with her right now? She seems in a bit of a slump, but since she's not American, we don't get good match coverage of her here. Certainly eight service breaks is VERY out of character for her.
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 11:48 PM   #2
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Yea, that is a lot of breaks for Dani. I'm not sure. All year she seems to be off. Before the Aussie, she was struggling. I think the adidas was a good event...except the heart breaking loss to Davenport.

But that Aussie, she was struggling, in every round.

Maybe it's what Kim and Justine had to do last year--feel the pressure of doing well back to back years. Last year, she was the hunter, now in a sense, she's the hunted.

Hopefully it gets better by Indian Wells
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 06:32 AM   #3
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Well, I think Daniela is in a crisis of self-confidence, maybe even self esteem.
She's aware of her technical weaknesses, mainly her lack of speed and the diffculties she meets to vary her game. She's been coached by Nigel Sears for almost two years now and they've worked on the net play and the match tactics but she's not confident enough to implement it in competition and then she loses her tennis someway.
Fundamentaly Daniela's game is based on her quality of service and it seems her percentage in this area tends to decline.
These points plus the pressure of being a top-ranked player is yet too heavy a burden to carry for Daniela.
She has to cope with two types of improvements :
- Long and mid-term for the pure technique,
- Short-term as far as mindset is concerned.
Mental is the key-word for Daniela today because with the game she already has, she should be able to beat most of the players on the tour, except the more powerful, providing she's got the determination on each shot, but it's not the case right now.
Hopefully this crisis will not last very long. If she's positive, the defeats like the Dementieva quarter-final should help her find in herself the right answers to her wonderings.
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 11:15 PM   #4
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I think that her defeat at OZ to Venus was very hard for her... She was really thinking that it was her moment, that she colud bet her, but she lost badly (in her opinion I guess), so, from that moment, she's been losing confidence...
And she's the kind of player that has to believe on herself, because, you see, she's not conservative at all, so, if she doesn't believe her shots are going in...
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Old Feb 12th, 2003, 10:41 PM   #5
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Its easy to see that she's still struggling. Up until the third round of the Aussie Open it just seems that she just couldn't keep a lead going without dropping it to various unforced errors. In any case she seems to have a knack for long games... but if you're playing the Williamses you dont expect a long dragging game. She does need some more physical strength, but I really think what she needs is to keep more focused. I guess the only thing that can give you that is enough experience and some wins. Some confidence would be nice too.

As for her loss to Venus... I dont think it was all that bad at 6-4 6-3. She seems to be taking it hard though, probably because of the high expectations of her after she dragged the same Venus Williams to 3 sets in 2002. She should get over that too.
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Old Feb 13th, 2003, 08:41 PM   #6
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Confidence

I generally agree with most of what has been said, but I think the main problem at the moment is confidence. I also believe that Daniela felt she could beat Venus in Oz, and she had enough chances to do it, and I think that defeat was a difficult one for her to accept and dropped her a rung or two back down the ladder of confidence. She had to pick herself up again in France. I was there to see her do it, or not as the case was. Her performance against Elena was shocking. Now, I've just watched her struggle to beat Els Callens, and I hope she will now play better against Dechy as this win will have boosted her confidence. I'm not happy about her getting first round byes as I believe that the more games she plays and wins, the better her confidence will be. That in turn will win her more games.
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