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Discussion Starter #1
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;$sessionid$UELBTQWP5C0U3QFIQMGCFFOAVCBQUIV0?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.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
American sweetheart upsets Hantuchova

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).
 

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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.
 
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it must be frustrating when someone has so much talent but itsn't progressing...
 

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tennischick said:
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
 

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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.
 

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tennischick said:
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?
 

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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!
 

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janie said:
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 ;)
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Celeste said:
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.
 

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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:
 

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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?
 

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dhnet2 said:
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.
 

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jojoseph said:
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.
 

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the cat said:
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.
 
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