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(This is a post copied from the GM forum. -Joe)

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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hmmm...
if i was going to represent Canada in the FedCup.. i'd jump to the chances of doing so.. because i love representing my country for all its worth.. i feel proud..

BUT

if i knew my singles tennis career was having difficult getting on course... i'd concentrate more on that than anything else...


so... i agree with Daniela's decision... its about time she thought about herself... Daniela... its time to get selfish and greedy! :mad:
 

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:bounce: :D :bounce: :D :bounce: :D :bounce: :D

Excellent news! :D What Daniela and the rest of the Slovak team achieved last year was beyond anyones dreams but to repeat that dream again this year would be almost impossible. She has made a very wise decision here because we all know she is playing too much tennis and to be honest, playing any more Fed Cup games isn't really going to achieve anything.

Well done Daniela! It's time to put #1 first :worship:
 

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I would have to say Im pretty disappointed. This is their first chance to defend the Fed Cup and this time against a really strong team. Im sure her reasons are valid and she has given a lot for her country, more than anyone can ask of her really. Still, I do wish she would reconsider because the Slovak team really needs her.
 

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stupid mistake....she will be guaranteed 1 match against Kim and 1 match against Justine....even if she loses both, these matches will be valuable experience....if she's ever going to break through in majors, she will have to beat these top 5 players...and playing them and getting used to their games will only help her.

I hope this article is just a rumour and not the final truth from Danni's camp.
f22
 

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in our newspapers is message that she has contract with slovac fed cup team for this year (if u remember, she signed it 4 last minule) BUT she wont play, because conctract says: just for 1 match. and she already played 1 match against germany...
 

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I personally don't like that decision. First of all she would miss the chance to play against justine and kimmi and IMO she lets down the other girls. As a slovakian I'd be disappointed as well.

I hope that all this fuss is just a rumour, too... :(
 

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This is an appalling decision. Whoever's running the show in DH's camp needs to have his (or more likely, *her*) head examined. Losing in Fed Cup is no shame; ducking it-- and the attendant bad publicity generated by doing so-- is a PR black eye.

Bad pub aside, this is certainly going to add fuel to the eating-disorder/bad health rumors. The British press are going to eat her alive during Wimbledon.
 

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daniela's necklace said:
congrats on your first post

Thanks! What do I get for my second? :)
 

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Albireo said:
Bad pub aside, this is certainly going to add fuel to the eating-disorder/bad health rumors. The British press are going to eat her alive during Wimbledon.
What does this have to do with the Fed-Cup? :confused:


Looks like people have become so drilled by the media that everything is related to the latest rumours :mad: Sometimes I have the feeling that people just stop thinking for themselves because they are too lazy for it or even afraid that it could disturb their dull doze... :rolleyes:

No offense albireo, you talked about the media yourself. It's clear that they write stuff like that in order to get the attention but I'm astonished how many actually buy all that bullshit :eek:

I wonder what comes next: perhaps someone sees Dani driving around in a car... a clear sign for an advanced eatin-disorder because obviously she isn't even able to walk anymore.
Man, that's not very far away from the bullshit I've already heard :rolleyes: especially at the GM :fiery:
 
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I'll try some editing, here, to make my original reply a little clearer:

"What does this have to do with the Fed-Cup?" :confused:

A lot, actually. Pulling out of Fed Cup is going to send a signal that DH is trying to conserve her strength; the first thing players do when combatting injuries or illness is cut back on extraneous tournaments.

Skipping Fed Cup has a number of other effects as well: it prevents a player from competing in the Olympics, for one. It also damages the player's chemistry with both teammates and national tennis federation. This isn't the first time DH's people have monkeyed with her Fed Cup status; they previously attempted to keep her off the team unless she got a higher fee than the other players. Think the other Slovak players are going to keep putting up with this?

"Looks like people have become so drilled by the media that everything is related to the latest rumours :mad: Sometimes I have the feeling that people just stop thinking for themselves because they are too lazy for it or even afraid that it could disturb their dull doze... :rolleyes:

"No offense albireo, you talked about the media yourself. It's clear that they write stuff like that in order to get the attention but I'm astonished how many actually buy all that bullshit" :eek:

If, by "stuff like that" you're referring to the alleged eating disorder, I don't buy it, either. But the British tabloids are ruthless, and they'll print anything of interest to the readers. As one of the most popular players, DH is going to be under the microscope at Eastbourne and Wimbledon, and no matter how many times DH denies it, the eating-disorder rumor is going to have a bullseye on it for the reporters from those magazines. DH's pulling out of Fed Cup practically on the eve of Wimbledon-- or even announcing the intention to do so-- is going to have the editors on Fleet Street peeing their pants with excitement.

If you've never read the British tabs during Wimbledon, I recommend it. It's a lesson in media overkill unlike anything you'll find anywhere else in the world. And it *does* have an effect on players during the tournament, even if they don't read what's written, because all the other reporters pick up the baton and run with it. Ask Gabriela Sabatini.


"I wonder what comes next: perhaps someone sees Dani driving around in a car... a clear sign for an advanced eatin-disorder because obviously she isn't even able to walk anymore.
Man, that's not very far away from the bullshit I've already heard :rolleyes: especially at the GM" :fiery:

Don't forget a hat for that straw man.
 

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Sorry about the formatting in that reply. This is a lot different than posting to Usenet!
 

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Albireo said:
Don't forget a hat for that straw man.
:confused: is this an english/american saying? never heard of it before... I'm not a native english speaker :angel:
 

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I'm sorry, but it's got bugger all to do with eating disorders. It's called choosing wisely between which competitions are worth entering and which are not, which competitions to concentrate on and which ones to ignore, which competitions to preserve energy for and which ones not to bother wasting energy on. It's called common sense and it's about time that everyone in the camp realised this.

Daniela has played practically every competition possible for over 18 months now and some say that has had a detrimental effect on her health as well as her performances. It has now reached the point when enough is enough and that starts with dumping the Fed Cup. Daniela achieved all she could in this - she cannot better her performances in this, so what's the point? There is no point in continuing.

I understand the sentiment that it would give her a great opportunity to play Kim or Justine without the pressure of defending points, but I'm sure that when the opportunity does come in tournament play again, she will be ready for it. Let's not forget that she was recently trashed by Kim.

Just because Daniela pulls out of a team event to concentrate more on her own play, how on earth can you read into that that it is because she has an eating disorder? That is nonsense and if you believe that, then you are foolish enough to be brainwashed by all the bullshit that the press prints about her. The press will print whatever they like irregardless of whether it is true or not. They are not interested in truth, they want sensational headlines that get brainwashed readers into believing all the crap they write. Let them write whatever they like, only have the common sense not to believe it.

What you should believe in is Daniela and the rest of her team and be assured that any decision she takes is in her own interest and not made to appease the press, the Olympic Committee, the Fed Cup team or anyone else. Daniela has to start putting herself first now if she is to become the number one player we all know she is capable of achieving. She is not going to do that by playing in tin pot competitions just to please the press.
 

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Albireo said:
Pulling out of Fed Cup is going to send a signal that DH is trying to conserve her strength; the first thing players do when combatting injuries or illness is cut back on extraneous tournaments.
Well it must be an injury we don't know about because there is one thing for certain that we do know, and that is that she doesn't have any illness of any description, she said so herself.

Maybe you're reading too much into this trying to find a complex answer when really all you need to be looking for is a more logical answer, and it is simply that, she is now getting her priorities right at an important time of the season. The Fed Cup is no longer a priority, it's as simple as that.
 

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Sorry, Graham-- Again, my browser is freaking out, so I had to put you in quotes.

GrahamD said:
"I'm sorry, but it's got bugger all to do with eating disorders. It's called choosing wisely between which competitions are worth entering and which are not, which competitions to concentrate on and which ones to ignore, which competitions to preserve energy for and which ones not to bother wasting energy on. It's called common sense and it's about time that everyone in the camp realised this."

As I've already said, I DON'T BELIEVE SHE DOES HAVE AN EATING DISORDER! I've said it twice now. The fact remains that there are a number of media people who persist in perpetuating this rumor; her withdrawal from Fed Cup is going to feed the rumor-spreaders by hinting that DH's camp don't believe she has the strength to devote time to Fed Cup. With Wimbledon coming up and the press gearing up for overdrive, it's a particularly poor bit of timing, and the tabs-- as you well know-- are going to be all over it. And giving any prospective Wimbledon opponents even a passing thought that DH might be physically sub-par will give them the idea that she's vulnerable.

As for the DH camp, they need to realize that negative press and bad vibes on the homefront can have a more detrimental-- and longer-lasting-- effect than an early loss at, say, the Acura Classic. And that's what spurning Fed Cup is going to generate.

As a corollary, imagine how great it would be for DH if she played and the Slovaks *beat* Belgium. The positive PR would get people off of her back for the rest of the year. Now, that's impossible.

Or imagine if the Slovaks somehow beat Belgium *without* DH-- they might conclude that she really doesn't matter that much after all.


"Daniela has played practically every competition possible for over 18 months now and some say that has had a detrimental effect on her health as well as her performances. It has now reached the point when enough is enough and that starts with dumping the Fed Cup."

No, she should dump some of the meaningless top-dollar exhibitions she plays on her off-weekends in the fall, and some of the hard-on-the-body hardcourt tournaments between Wimbledon and the US Open that usually result in a player peaking too soon.

"Daniela achieved all she could in this - she cannot better her performances in this, so what's the point? There is no point in continuing."

I hate to disagree, but DH's withdrawal from Fed Cup gives Slovakia no chance to defend the title. That IS a big deal. To walk away in the middle of defending the title is inexcusable. It's like saying, "I won Indian Wells last year, but I think I'll skip it this year." Only this is worse, because she's representing-- or turning her back on-- her country.

I agree that she probably couldn't better her Fed Cup work from last year. But not to try is simply wrong.

The Fed Cup tie against Belgium would, IIRC, be played on a single weekend, in which DH would play two matches--three if she played doubles. And, IIRC, it would take place *after* Wimbledon and before the homeward stretch before the US Open. I cannot believe she couldn't spare a weekend during that time.

I'm fairly new here, Graham, but you seem to be English. Fed Cup is the women's equivalent of Davis Cup. What would people in Britain say if Tim Henman skipped Davis Cup? Here in the States, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras were absolutely excoriated for skipping Davis Cup the year after the US won it; the US lost in the first round and had to go back into qualifying rounds. This is what happens to Slovakia after the Belgium tie, because they have no legitimate chance without DH.

"I understand the sentiment that it would give her a great opportunity to play Kim or Justine without the pressure of defending points, but I'm sure that when the opportunity does come in tournament play again, she will be ready for it. Let's not forget that she was recently trashed by Kim."

So getting an opportunity to even the score-- with no personal risk-- would get the mental block out of the way.

In fact, the Fed Cup would be *better* preparation for the US Open than, say, San Diego-- she'd be playing two Top Five players in matches that *count*, but not in the rankings. Even if she lost both, it would still be better for her than a win in a US Open tune-up.

"Just because Daniela pulls out of a team event to concentrate more on her own play, how on earth can you read into that that it is because she has an eating disorder? That is nonsense and if you believe that, then you are foolish enough to be brainwashed by all the bullshit that the press prints about her."

DAMN IT, I NEVER SAID SHE DID HAVE AN EATING DISORDER!!!! Maybe you need to reread what I wrote.

"The press will print whatever they like irregardless of whether it is true or not. They are not interested in truth, they want sensational headlines that get brainwashed readers into believing all the crap they write. Let them write whatever they like, only have the common sense not to believe it."

I never did believe it, Graham, not for a second. But the badgering she gets about it isn't going to go away, particularly in the glare of English media spotlight, and she doesn't need another distraction heading into Wimbledon. Now she has one.

How DH rebounds from Roland Garros is going to set the tone for the rest of the year. Wimbledon is crucial toward that rebound. If nothing else, announcing her Fed Cup abdication before Wimbledon was a monumental lapse of judgement. (The deadline for team-roster announcements is still several weeks away, IIRC.)



"What you should believe in is Daniela and the rest of her team and be assured that any decision she takes is in her own interest and not made to appease the press, the Olympic Committee, the Fed Cup team or anyone else. Daniela has to start putting herself first now if she is to become the number one player we all know she is capable of achieving."

That's funny-- Clijsters and Henin are finding time to play Fed Cup. So are the Williamses. I seriously doubt that it occurred to them that it wasn't worth their preparation time.

The ONLY person DH needs to listen to in her camp is Nigel Sears, because he's the only one who's been there, who knows how to get players to live up to their talent. I seriously doubt that Sears, former British National Team coach, would have recommended she skip Fed Cup.

"She is not going to do that by playing in tin pot competitions just to please the press.
"

If Fed Cup is a "tin-pot competition," then why was it so important to all involved to have won it last year?

I don't intend to sound contentious, Graham, but I feel this was a horribly wrong-headed decision by someone (or someones [sic]) in the DH camp. I'd bet Lefty that DH had nothing to do with it, either. The players never do. Unfortunately, she's the one whose reputation is going to suffer for it.
 

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moogle san said:
:confused: is this an english/american saying? never heard of it before... I'm not a native english speaker :angel:
Sorry-- didn't mean to be slangy. :)

a "straw man" is a debate tactic in which one person takes his opponent's argument, stretches it so far that it becomes a parody of what it was supposed to represent, and then attacks the parody version instead of what the opponent really meant.

For example (to quote Carl Sagan): "Environmentalists care more for spotted owls than for people [whose jobs are threatened because of measures to protect the owls]." That's not true, of course; no environmentalist would say it was. But the opponents of the environmentalists make that claim by stretching the environmentalists' position, simplifying it, and then beating up that stretched-and-simplified version instead of what the *real* argument was.

In the case here, you took what I said (that DH might be showing weakness by skipping Fed Cup), made an exaggerated version (that DH might be showing weakness by driving somewhere instead of walking), then presented the exaggerated version as being equal to what I said and ridiculed the exaggerated version instead of my actual point. In essence, you set up a straw man-- a version of my argument that had no defensible position. What I said was nothing as extreme as what you claimed I said, but your version of what I said made my position sound indefensible.

Incidentally, I never claimed that DH was showing weakness by skipping Fed Cup. I claimed that *her opponents might construe her skipping Fed Cup as a sign that she didn't have strength enough to play a full schedule and Fed Cup.* There's a subtle difference.

I hope that explains the straw man-- it's the best I can do!
 
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