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Daniela Departs: Hantuchova Quits Slovak Fed Cup Team


Photo By Art Seitz By Adrianna Outlaw
06/11/2003

Daniela Hantuchova helped lead the Slovak Republic to its first Fed Cup championship last November. But when the Slovaks travel to Belgium to take on the 2001 Fed Cup champions in next month's quarterfinals, Hantuchova will not be on the squad. The ninth-ranked Hantuchova has quit the team in order to focus on her individual tournaments.

"She has decided to play only in individual tournaments this year. She hasn't announced it publicly," Lubomir Palenik, international secretary of the Slovak Tennis Association, told Reuters today. "This can change, but it's not likely."

Without Hantuchova, the Slovak Republic will be a decided underdog against a powerful Belgian team that boasts new Roland Garros champion Justine Henin-Hardenne and second-ranked Kim Clijsters, the Roland Garros runner-up, as its top two singles players.

In Hantuchova's absence, Janette Husarova, ranked No. 74, will be the Slovak's top-ranked singles player if she opts to play. The quarterfinal is set for July 19-20th in Charleroi, Belgium.

Last November, Hantuchova grinded out a 6-7 (8-10), 7-5, 6-4 victory over Conchita Martinez in a three-hour, 21-minute marathon match that gave the Slovaks a 2-1 lead over Spain in the Fed Cup final held in the Canary Islands.

The win set the stage for Husarova, who hammered Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, 6-0, 6-2, as the Slovak Republic claimed its first Fed Cup championship in history with a 3-1 win over Spain.

The 20-year-old Hantuchova enjoyed a break-through season last year as she won her first tournament title at Indian Wells and went on to reach the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She has struggled to sustain success this season and fell out of the French Open in a 7-6(2), 4-6, 9-7 second-round loss to Ashley Harkleroad. After the match, the slender Slovak shot down suggestions that she is suffering from an eating disorder.
 

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Slovakia is likely to lose to Belgium. I think Dani should play the Tie against Belgium. Otherwise people could say she does not want to play against Henin and Clijsters. I hope Dani reconsiders and plays against Belgium.
 

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I think this is a good move actually. Daniela does play too many weeks and this is a way of cutting it down a bit. I mean when you look at it, she won it last year, she's reached the very top in Fed Cup terms and realistically Slovakia won't win it again. She can always say she achieved a huge goal in her career :)
 

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How about defending the Fed Cup title and quit the team when they lose?
 

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This is a good move by Daniela. She is far too nice out there, and she needs to start doing things for her own benefit more. She has put herself out for Fed Cup numerous times, she plays doubles every week she plays singles, and she plays too many events anyway. She is going to end up burning out if she keeps up the manic schedule, and it's about time she put her foot down and decided to do things her way. I am sure the Fed Cup means a lot to her, but right now she is struggling in tour events and she needs to put her energy into that right now.
 

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Tart with a Heart
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I'm sure its absolutely nothing to do with a pay dispute. No way.
 

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Kart & I against the WtaWorld!
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I think with the state her game is in she doesn't want to play Kim or Justine. It would not help her tennis self-esteem right now, which has to be smarting by now with the lack of success she's had in the last couple of months.
 

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This is really disappointing. Now the champs are positively sitting ducks for the Belgians. what are they going to do? Run Husarova and Cervanova out there against the #2 and #3 players? Yeah, that'll go well.
 

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Hantuchova leaves Fed Cup team

Posted: Tuesday June 10, 2003 5:07 PM
Updated: Tuesday June 10, 2003 5:07 PM


BRATISLAVA (Reuters) -- World No. 9 Daniela Hantuchova is quitting Fed Cup this year to concentrate on playing in individual tournaments, Slovak tennis officials said on Tuesday.

Hantuchova's decision means Slovakia will have to defend its title against world Nos. 2 and 3 Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne in their July Fed Cup quarterfinal in Belgium.

"She has decided to play only in individual tournaments this year. She hasn't announced it publicly," said Lubomir Palenik, international secretary of the Slovak Tennis Association.

"This can change, but it's not likely."

The 20-year-old powered Slovakia to the Fed Cup title last year, beating five-time winner Spain.

But she has flagged of late, most recently losing in the second round of the French Open to American Ashley Harkleroad. She also has faced questioning about her eating habits after losing weight.

It was not immediately clear whether 74th-ranked Janette Husarova, Hantuchova's usual backup, or Henrieta Nagyova, who is two places lower in world rankings, would join the Slovak side against Belgium for the July 19-20 tie.

Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
 

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thats a bit sissy-ish if u ask me

but the stat her game is in atm, im not suprised

Dani :(
 

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Amen to that Habsudovafan :sad:
 

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:wavey: Very dissapointing I guess.....if anything I think it would have been good to play Kim and Justine....she needs to be playing the higher ranked players whenever she can because unforntunately she isn't making it to later rounds of tournaments at the moment.

Does this mean she will have to miss the Olympics next year? I know that part of the criteria is having to make youreself available for Fed Cup ties...but don't know the whole rule.
 

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Quite disappointed. By playing the Fed Cup she will have the chance to gain valuable experience by playing the World No 2 and 3 without having to risk losing any ranking points. Thats like simulating a GS without fear of going down the rankings should you lose. I hope she changes her mind.
 

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I think the other Slovakian girls need to step it up and stop relying on only one player to carry all their Fed Cup aspirations. Henrieta Nagyova is a competent player, but her form this year has been nothing short of atrocious. Janette Husarova is a crafty and smart player but has been injured for a time. She needs tp heal rather than play doubles and the odd singles match. Martina Sucha was a Top 50-ranked player. She needs to get her arse back on top gear to help out Henrieta and Daniela.

Right now, a full-strength Belgian team would run over almost every other country apart from the USA, but the Slovakians are capable of putting up a challenge without Daniela if they were all on top of their games.
 

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Fantastic said:
I think the other Slovakian girls need to step it up and stop relying on only one player to carry all their Fed Cup aspirations. Henrieta Nagyova is a competent player, but her form this year has been nothing short of atrocious. Janette Husarova is a crafty and smart player but has been injured for a time. She needs tp heal rather than play doubles and the odd singles match. Martina Sucha was a Top 50-ranked player. She needs to get her arse back on top gear to help out Henrieta and Daniela.

Right now, a full-strength Belgian team would run over almost every other country apart from the USA, but the Slovakians are capable of putting up a challenge without Daniela if they were all on top of their games.
Without or even with Daniela..they would need to spike the belgiums soup with laxitives to even have a chance. However having said that....injuries happen and is the Slovaks only chance IMO
 
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