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This articel is a bit old it's form August 2002, but since not many of you are aussies I thought most of you wouldn't have read it so here youse go :kiss:

Daniela Hantuchova: Keeps her eye on the ball.

By Lyndall Parker

She has sent the salacious British tabloid press into a sweat, fielded modeling offers and bumped Anna Kournikova as the sexiest babe in tennis. But Daniela Hantuchova doesn’t want to play that game. Her sport is tennis, and she is set to be one of this game’s greats.

At a stuesque 181cm – an the majority of it all leg – Daniela Hantuchova is used to attracting attention. But while her imposing physique, blonde hair and blue eyes are certainly covergirl material, her skills on the tennis court are even more impressive.

“What I care about is the way I perform on the court,” said Hantuchova, nicknamed “The legs from Slovakia” by the British tabloids. “I always try to look my best on court and it’s flattering to be chosed as the sexiest player (but) that’s just something that people like to talk about. I’m concentrating on my tennis, the most important thing is how I perform on the court.”

At the Australian Open this year Kournikova suggested that the Slovakian “needs to learn more about doubles” after being asked about the eye catching little black dress Hantuchova wore in the women’s doubles final.

Not that the assessment worried Hantuchova who went on to win the mixed doubles title with Kevin Ullyett the following day. “I don’t care what she thinks. I’m glad that people can write a lot about my tennis, more than about here (Kournikova’s), I guess.”

Instead, the girl with the 112 cm legs (if you believe the British media) has her sights firmly on the game’s most coveted prize. One thing’s for sure, this blonde bombshell definitely doesn’t lack ambition. “Whenever I intend to achieve something, I do whatever I can to reach that,” said the 19-year-old renowned for her powerful serve and punishing ground strokes down the line.

“I want to become soon the world’s number 1,” she said confidently. “When youwant to be the best, you have to imagine in your mind that you are the best. You know, I’m just trying to always do my best on the court, try to improve in every single department. I hope it will come soon.”

It may not be too far off if her recent victory at Indian Wells is anything to go by. Her barnstorming run – where she beat Justine Henin and then Martina Hingis in the final – was a “dream come true” and made the tennis world stand up and take notice, if they hadn’t already. (She even received a telegram from Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda.)

The one who was least surprised was her coach Britain’s Nigel Spears.

“She really is an exceptional talent. I can honestly say I expected her to win the tournament,” he said. “I’ve always dreamt of coaching a Grand Slam champion and I think this is the best material I’ve ever had. She’s always aspired to the big arena. She’s dreamed of being a star. She’s not interested in small tournaments, she has that mentality. She thinks big and I respect that.”

Sears said it was only a matter of time before she made the breakthrough agaist one of tennis’ big names. In the past she has had the likes of Jenifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, Justine Henin and Venus Williams on the ropes, but “just didn’t have a clue how to finish it.”

That was, of course until Indian Well. While the sky’s the limit when it comes to her potential (she was judged by some experts as being better than Capriati when the American was No.1) Sears her coach for the past year, is not getting carried away just yet.

“At the moment she’s still got a lot of work to do in the mid-court area, and her net game still needs to be an awful lot better, and she needs to be brave coming forward,” he said of the Wimbledon and Australian Open mixed doubles champion.

“She can do it, we work on that in practice. It’s one thing doing it in practice and then having the guts to do it in a tight situation against a top player, but that will come. I don’t know if you saw her a year ago but she hit the ball very flat both sides. We tried to introduce using softer hands with more hand on the forehand particularly to get her a bit more shape and control without losing any power. Also on the backhand side, to a degree although she hits that backhand a lot flatter, but it’s a natural shot. Don’t want to mess with that.”

Hantuchova, who turned pro in May, 1999, credits her recent success to her vast improvement mentally. “I’m much stronger mentally now than I was a couple of months ago,” she said. “There was a big difference in my head. I knew exactly what to do in the important time, I think that makes the difference.

“The matches against the top players that I have played in the past gave me a lot of experience. I was trying to be more mature than I was with Venus (at the Australian Open 2002). Maybe to be a little more patient in the important points. I was just believing all the time that I could win the matches, my attitude was a little bit different than with Venus.”

An accomplished pianist (she studied for eight year) Hantuchova can sometimes be found entertaining her peers at hotel lounges at tournaments. Despite her easy-going nature, she says it’s hard to make friends on the tour and counts her family as her biggest support.

Her mum, Marianna, travels with her. Her father, Igor is a computer scientist at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, while her brother also named Igor, is in his fifth year at university studying architecture.

Both children, who shared a bedroom in their family’s cramped Petrzalka apartment, were introduced to tennis by their grandmother, Helena, a Slovak national tennis champion in the 1960s. Eve now, her older brother sometimes acts as a sparring partner.

“Under normal circumstances,” he told a Slovak magazine, “I can’t beat her. But I know what works on her and sometimes I am able to make her feel uncomfortable on the court. All it takes is a little bit of brother-like teasing…”

Rather than be jealous of his sister’s rise to stardom, Igor junior said he admires Danielka, as they call her at home, for her determination. “What she is doing she takes sometimes maybe too seriously. But that reflects her personality. Daniela does everything 100 per cent, if not 110 per cent,” he said.

This trait hasn’t gone unnoticed by her coach, who spent two years coaching South African ‘energizer bunny’ Amanda Coetzer. “I think the bottom line is she loves the game. She genuinely loves to play. She comes out every day wanting to get better, wanting to practice. I mean that’s what it is all about. Not only is she exceptionall talented, but she works at it as her job because she loves her job,” Sears said.

Such is her rapid improvement – she has jumped from 201 to 12 in just over two years – Hantuchova is having to reassess her goal. “I wanted to be in the top 20 by the end of the year and I’m already there. So now I have to set up the next goal. I’m not like trying to be on a certain place on a certain date. I’m trying to always do my best and then see what happens.”

Eurosport commentator and former professional, Mark Petchey, is a huge fan. “I think she’s got it all, I really think this girl is going certainly to the top 10, top 5, and from there who knows,” he said. “The way she constructs her points is so good. She has phenomenal talent, soft hands, good use of the court…. Also she has genuine power. It can blast her opponents off the court.”

He is most impressed with the Hantuchova serve, often clocked around 190 km/h, only kilometers slower than Venus William’. “I’d go as far as saying it’s perhaps the best (serve) in the world. I don’t know another girl on the tour that has a serve that really moves away, kicks up as high as that, it’s such a big advantage,” he said. “The most important thing about Hantuchova’s serving is that she can hit all four corners, there isn’t one weakness there, and it’s very difficult to guess where she’s going to go.”

A natural talent, Hantuchova plays with incredible poise and balance and utilizes every part of the court. She combines power and placement with a healthy audacity on court, as confidence is something she definitely doesn’t lack. Not content to choose one Grand Slam title she’d like to win, Hantuchova has an eye on all four.

“The good thing is I like all of the surfaces, so I think I’ve got a pretty good chance at all of them,” says the 19-year-old who trains at Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy in Florida in the Slovak winter.

While predictions from her French Open conqueror Monica Seles of many future Grand Slam successes ahead are flattering, it doesn’t help when you are trying to keep a lid on things.

“It’s really great to hear something like that,” she said. “You know, I just have to keep working hard and still learn a lot of things. I just have to learn from my matches and move on and work hard, but I feel like I’m on the right way, I just need more experience.”

In the meantime she’s “enjoying every second out there.” With results like hers it’s no wonder.


Hope you all like it

Naomi :kiss:
 

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Thank you very much :cool: :D
kim&lleytonrule said:
While predictions from her French Open conqueror Monica Seles of many future Grand Slam successes ahead are flattering, it doesn’t help when you are trying to keep a lid on things.

“It’s really great to hear something like that,” she said. “You know, I just have to keep working hard and still learn a lot of things. I just have to learn from my matches and move on and work hard, but I feel like I’m on the right way, I just need more experience.”
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

At the same time, let's remember that sometimes the press can help someone with their careers and after that talk gossip about them, you know how the media is, always searching for news even if they can't prove them. Well, thanks again Kim&Lleytonrule!
 

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alltennis69 said:
this is a great article, i love the whole giving it 110% etc...i totally believe in that...

thanks.

ditto

Thanks for sharing the article Kim&Lleytonrule
Ijust found out about rep points & I gave you some!
f22
 

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kim&lleytonrule said:
At the Australian Open this year Kournikova suggested that the Slovakian “needs to learn more about doubles” after being asked about the eye catching little black dress Hantuchova wore in the women’s doubles final.
*ahem* SOMEONE is jealous... :devil:




kim&lleytonrule said:
Not that the assessment worried Hantuchova who went on to win the mixed doubles title with Kevin Ullyett the following day. “I don’t care what she thinks. I’m glad that people can write a lot about my tennis, more than about here (Kournikova’s), I guess.”

BURRRNNN!!! [email protected]! i like this lil rivarly going on... Daniela is so patience and calm.. if i were her.. i'd already explode in that grl's face... lol
 

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beauty_is_pink said:
Daniela is so patience and calm..
that's a pretty cool reaction :worship:


and anna walkova once again displays that she really isn't that bright :)

she'd lose against dani in any aspect :devil: ... besides innumerable appearances in men's magazines of course :rolleyes:
 

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moogle san said:
that's a pretty cool reaction :worship:


and anna walkova once again displays that she really isn't that bright :)

she'd lose against dani in any aspect :devil: ... besides innumerable appearances in men's magazines of course :rolleyes:

and thats why i respect and admire Daniela even MORE! :bounce:
 
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