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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is the first time I've seen her. If she always plays this way ...

More than anything else, this is a 7/8 ths version of Venus Williams at age 18.

Height 5' 11"
Weight 123 lbs

Moves really well, runs fast, nice big service motion. Single had forehand, two handed backhand. Open stance on both forehand and backhand sides.

She can hit cold winners on the run.
At outrageous angles.
And had some SERIOUSLY ugly UE's in the third set.

Cliff Drysdale said Venus's ".. opponent today was a great player."

You could tell she wanted it. Twice Venus broke her serve and she broke back. Venus was actually showing signs of frustration. Well, Venus doesn't show signs of frustration. But you could tell she was getting way more fight than she was expecting after a bagel in the second set. Her serve had stopped working and Daniela Hantuchova had figured out that Venus Williams didn't have anything that could scare her. In the last two years, facing a healthy Venus, I've only seen that expression on one player's face. Justine Henin.

Let me write that sentence again.

Daniela Hantuchova figured out that Venus Williams didn't have anything that could scare her.

Do you realize what that could do for her confidence? This is not something that Monica Seles or Lindsay Davenport or Serena Williams gets to feel. That Venus CAN'T just blow you away. That you DON'T have to avoid her backhand. Daniela is tall enough and fast enough and hits big enough to match running games with Venus and the hell with it. She's mostly legs like Venus too.

I mean, Venus actually tossed her head in frustration. Only about half an inch, but for Venus, that's a temper tantrum.

And that's another way Daniela was similar to Venus. She was so composed. She made mistakes, but she didn't fall apart or lose her focus.

I happened to be watching that match taking notes for a thread on the open stance forehand and backhand. I figured I'd compare Venus to her opponent. Imagine my surprise when the opponent played EXACTLY like Venus! Well, smaller than Venus, but not much smaller. Not only could Venus not blow her away, Daniela could and did hit winners on Venus. She played a very strong match, but her nerves got to her. She made some bad UEs. The kind of thing Venus did three years ago.

I mean, Daniela Hantuchova is in the locker room right now saying 'I HAD that match and I GAVE it to her.' And Venus is on the phone to Serena saying 'She's young, she blew up. I got lucky. Gotta have that.'

More than anything else, this is a 7/8 ths version of Venus Williams at age 18.

She caught Venus on a day when Venus was maybe 93% or so, but she took it to the house. Real nice moves.

I hope she really is this good, cause that was real impressive. She didn't just make Venus play, she played better. When she finishes growing up, she could be a great player.
 

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Venus Williams is 2/0 vrs. Daniela and Venus is nowhere near 93%. I disagree with alot of your assesment and opinions on this situation.

Daniela is a great player and I like her game but she didn't outplay Vee. Venus bageled her that second set?? It was close match which could have went either way, but they both played great and poor alot of times. I really don't think Daniel feared Venus ever, you just can't when your in the pro's. She spunky and went for her shots!:)

I actually think though that this gal could've beat Hingis if they played tonight. That was what I saw when I was assesing her style. She reminds me of a powerful Hingis with a great serve!!! :eek:

But Venus is STRONG and MENTALLY tough and who pulled out a great 3 set win tonight. The Venus who played the Piolet Pen and Acura imho would have whipped Daniela H. of course I am bias like the rest of us.:)

VENUS and Daniela the next big RIVALRY!!:):):)
 

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I saw Daniela H. once in Zurich last year, when she almost won Davenport on quarters (I guess).
Yeah, she is tall, have a reasonable serve, and is very fast! She will be a surprise this year...

I was looking for more informations on Daniela, and I saw that she took a set from Capriati in Toronto last year..

So Daniela is a tough opponent, she is getting more confident and more talented each match she plays. She will without doubts, one of these players to watch this year

But Venus finally found her form enough to beat Daniela in the third set. Daniela was looking for a comeback, but Venus was stronger :) I'm very happy cause she survived this nightmare :)

Go Venus for the next battle :bounce:

Good effort Daniela, better luck next :kiss:
 

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Hmmm, well I didn't get to see this match, but when Dani played Maggie at Sydney, well I wasn't impressed at all.

She seems to be good, but I don't really think she's all there. Her serve in Sydney was atrocious and well she was trailing Maleeva 1-4 in the final set, and Maggie I think was just pooped from the heat.

I think Dani, isn't really that powerful of a player, she's like Meghann and Elena, they can't produce pace on their own like when they face one of the non-big babes. But when they go up against them, they are great at counter punching and taking all that power and sending it back to them.

Attitude will be a big thing for Dani if she wants to improve, in her Maleeva match she was really down and out, throwing slight tantrums, bouncing the racket, etc.

No doubt she's good, but how good is still a question.
 

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Yeah......I agree Volcana Hantuchova has a great future ahead (and we'll probably see her crack the top10 very soon!) but let's see how well she does next time against a Venus not bothered by her knee!!!!!!

I mean.......I give credit to Hantuchova for fighting that well against the best player in the world but Venus must have felt a little uncomfortable in the beginning of the match to let slip the set away!! How would you explain that bagel in the 2d set otherwise?:)
 

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I was very impressed with Daniela today, she reminds me so much of Chris Evert, now if she can get just a little more power behind her strokes when she is going for a winner, watchout!!
 

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Daniela has all the shots, imo she is one of the most complete players on the tour and in the future I think she will serve and volley a lot (she won't become a serve/volleyer but all-court) as she has a good enough serve to do it and she says that is what she enjoys doing.

But one thing she needs to work on is the mental side and I don't think her coach at the moment is one of the best for that (he used to coach Amanda Coetzer). Hopefully this will come in time when she has more experience against the top players.

And btw for anyone that is trying to get to http://danielahantuchova.tripod.com , the site is closed now.
 

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"I hope she really is this good, cause that was real impressive. She didn't just make Venus play, she played better."


Yeah, that was real impressive. Hantuchova didn't play better, if she did, she would have won the match, playing better, includes forehands backhand, serves, NERVES, EXPERIENCE, etc...



"Daniela Hantuchova figured out that Venus Williams didn't have anything that could scare her."

Good for her, but she didn't scare Venus either.



"I mean, Daniela Hantuchova is in the locker room right now saying 'I HAD that match and I GAVE it to her.' And Venus is on the phone to Serena saying 'She's young, she blew up. I got lucky. Gotta have that."


Danila was close to winning the match, but she didn't 'GIVE' it to her, VENUS WILLIAMS TOOK IT, didn't Venus in the final game, serve a seocnd serve ace to win the first point, didn't Venus hit a laser backhand down the line for 30-0??
Didn't Venus have 39 winners? Not like Daniella had 200 Unforced and Venus 0 winners.
Venus had 7 aces, Danilla had 1(which was CLEARLY out), Venus did have less unforced AND more WINNERS.

Venus did EVERYTHING better, she did hit more aces, more winners, less unforced.

I admit Daniella has a stunning second serve.



But still Venus took the match.
 

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The result isn't much shock to me, there are several people who have been marvelling over her potential for a couple years now, including myself. Venus played some good tennis, and the difference between winner and loser in the match was that when Venus got in the tight situation, she was very consistent. Daniela, though fighting very hard herself, just made a couple crucial mistakes (including a big up the line backhand that just missed on game point for 5-4). She's got a great all around game, generates good pace, moves well, volleys well, has the angles, has the tough and also has the court presence. Basically the whole package, just an inexperienced one still. But to come out against Venus Williams, and win the first set alone is a great effort. Then, Venus wins 8 straight games, and instead of throwing in the towel, Daniela kept fighting, got the break back in the final set 2 times, and to me that shows even more potential. Most players would have been discouraged and lost their hope, but she kept grinding it out to the very last point and I think that's an excellent sign. When I see her groundstrokes they actually remind me quite a bit like Davenport's, just very fluid, really winds up into the shot and goes for it off of both wings. The difference is that along with this, she can move exceptionally well, and her and Venus has some fantastic rallies from the baseline where they were both scrambling around. The fitness along with the power and all court game are a great thing, and the fact that she has the belief to be able to stretch many players already to close matches is proof that she's no fluke and will only keep getting better in my opinion :)
 

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Thank you Superhero...it's amazing how quickly some people are ready to hand over the "QUEEN'S" throne.... Daniela was impressive but I do believe that Venus was tentative in the first set because of her knee and because she had not practiced since Wednesday. A healthy Venus beat her in straight set in Wimbledon.

Kudos to Daniela but a 100% Venus would have beaten her in straight sets again tonight...her second serve was the only thing that worked better than Venus's tonight.

I say way for a few more round before handing over the crown!
 

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The test will be whether she is consistent. Remember when Kim Clijsters at like age 15 nearly beat the US Open Champ Serena Williams in 1999 US Open. But then it took a while for her to consistently win matches and even yet has not won a Grand Slam (although why not this one?). Elena Dementieva and Daja Bedanova also don't seem to have enough consistency day in and day out.

The Williams sisters and Hingis and Davenport are clearly still the most consistent performers on the tour and that is what sets them apart. The others girls are nipping at their heels but have not done it yet .

Hantuchova is probably quite upset that she hit that smash volley back at Venus and then got passed after her volley sat up. There is no guarantee that she would have won at all but it would have made her chances better. She will learn from this if she is meant to be one of the greats.

Btw, Francesca Schiavone's highlights against Seles were impressive. Francesca has sooo much fighting spirit.
 

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Well, the only time I saw Daniela compete was againt Venus at 2001 Wimbledon.

I recall Martina N. saying she was one player that had few flaws in her game. I was not overly impressed and frankly I think she is just one of a handful of players that may cause some damage some day.

However, if speed is a big weapon in her arsenal, maybe she needs to improve on the fitness. Perhaps at that point she might separate herself from the current pack of "up-and-comers."
 

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She reminds me of Lindsay actually.

Effortless groundstrokes like Lindsay, off both wings, that depend more on timing and technique than anything else. She hits them deep and flat like Davenport. She has better angles and movement than Davenport though. She however, has a weak serve compared to Davenport's. Less variety off the serve, not that hard has a deep second serve, but not that impressive. Her volleys are great, but she ought to do more with them. She has the talent, but whether she makes it to the top depends on her mental strenght.
 

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Welcome to the Daniela Appreciation Club, Volcano. I think she is potentially a great player, though I am only a casual admirer at this stage.

Perhaps your (over)enthusiasm is because you've not seen her play before. When you talk about Daniela not being afraid of Venus, we can only hazard a guess as to how a fully fit Venus would have coped (not to take anything away from Daniela at all). Plus some of the frustration you mentioned appearing on Venus' face, may have been a product of her not being fully fit. We don't know. I would also say that Hingis is one player who usually always asks questions of Venus.

Going back to Daniela though, there is certainly there is nothing that she doesn't have in her game - she's a Wimbledon mixed doubles Champion - and her height gives her an immense advantage over her contemporaries.

I didn't see the Venus match, so I can only try and perhaps compare it to her match against Capriati (Canadian Open). She was very composed there too, was running rings around Capriati for a while, and fought back when the ordinary amongst us would have expected a full-scale collapse. I just think that she's not used to remaining mentally at such a high level, for so long during a match, and at the end there she faded slightly.

As for her game, she certainly a lot 'further on' in the development of her movement, and game-play than either Venus or Lindsay were at that age (both were very rough around the edges, which Daniela can be, but much less so). This match will hopefully have given her the confidence she needs to push on, but then we thought that after the Capriati defeat. T

The match with Venus was a step further along the way though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Let me not get carried away. She did get bageled in the second set, so obviously Vee played better. But if Daniela had Venus's experience of nerves, she'd have won that match, despite the talent differential between them.

Is she as good as Venus was at 18? No. But she's as good as Venus at 17. Will she be as good at 21 as Venus is now? Probably not. Very few players ever get that good. But the technical aspects of her game are very Venus Williams-like. As is the physique. And the 90 degree hip rotation on both sides to get big groundstroke power out of a long thin frame.

I like seeing a younger player step up. Reminds me a little of Venus vs Steffi at WB 99. The quality of the match wasn't nearly as high, but Daniela made Venus work the way Venus made Steffi work that day. At some point in everyone's career, they have to figure out if they have the game to get to the top. Hantuchova found out today that she physically gifted enough to compete with the best. I guess we find out over the next couple years if she's mentally strong enough and emotionally stable enough.
 

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I'm not suprised that Daniela came so close and just failed in the end, whether it was nerves or inexperience.
Next time she will be better for it.

She's been one of the girls to look out for for some 3-4 years,(ever since i saw her in 1997) well not everyone follows tennis to same degree.

I'm glad she can match the best girls out there and sooner rather than later she will bregin to beat alot of them.
 

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Why is everyone saying if Venus was 100 percent she would've beaten her in straight sets....give the girl some respect she played her heart out and she's given TOP 5 players a hard time!!! Go Daniela!!!!
 

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In Zurich 2001, British Eurosport got Daniela and her coach (separately) into the commentary box...

Her coach said clearly that her mental toughness is far from rigid. He said she questions line calls far too often, is always sticking her finger in the air telling the line judges the ball is out, and does easily put a strop on, and seeing her about 4 or 5 times, i'd have to agree with that, and it annoys me as much as it does him since i wanna chop off a player's finger when they stick it up telling the world their eyes are better than everyone elses.

However if she does sort that out even a little more I'm sure she'll soon be another of the teens entering the top 10, which is fine by me.
 
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