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Hantuchova's long (and lean) slump continues
Angela Haynes: another star out of Compton

By Matthew Cronin
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Susan Mullane/
Camerawork USA, Inc.
FROM THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC AT STANFORD – As nice and personally appealing as Daniela Hantuchova is, she needs to put on some more muscle if she's going to become a top-five player. Her straight-set drubbing by Amy Frazier shows Hantuchova is long and lean but noticeably underpowered.

Daniela has grown a good three inches since last year and doesn't seem to have put on any weight. Right now, she's way too thin to hang in there against the big hitters.

Her endurance is fine, but her power keeps going in and out and if she doesn't slap some extra kilos onto to her runway physique, she's going to be facing anorexia questions from here to eternity.
Jennifer Capriati believes it has negatively affected her doubles partner's play.

"I think everything was going fine for her until there was all that talk about her weight and modeling," Capriati said. "It's inevitable that it's going to get you. She has to try to not let it get into her head and try her hardest to block it out.

Hantuchova disagreed, saying that's she's able to focus once she gets in between the lines. But, she certainly hasn't played with the utmost of concentration the past three months, losing seven of her last 13 matches and failing to reach a semifinal since April.

"Once on court and it's up to me 100 percent and I think I have proved that I'm physically fine with all the long matches that I've played," she said. "It's just that last year when I was playing so well I was new and was the hunter. Now I'm the hunted one."

But in her 6-2, 6-4 loss, she fell prey to graying old lioness Frazier. Amy is always dangerous on hard court, but Hantuchova would have made mince meat of her last year. The 30-year-old Frazier can be had, but not when you don't extend her enough in rallies or mix up your shots.

The 20-year-old Hantuchova gave credit to Frazier, but she's lacking a lot of confidence. "I have to stop thinking about the close matches I lost and keep trying to improve," she said.

Angela Haynes: another star out of Compton

Susan Mullane/
Camerawork USA,
Inc.
Compton's Angela Haynes road to her first WTA main draw win has been a long and arduous one. She remembers watching her older brother, Dante, hit with Venus and Serena Williams on public courts when she was five. Nine years later, her and her father and coach, Fred, spent a year in Europe sharpening her game. At age 16, she finished with the No. 3 ranked in the SoCal 18s, playing an arduous, Jelena Dokic-type schedule when she logged 70-plus matches.

Her idol was Martina Hingis, not Serena and Venus. While she was semifinalist at the National Clay Courts, she didn't dominate in the juniors, which is why her rise from No. 857 at the outset of this year to No. 316 before she qualified here even more surprising.

A true grinder, she's playing her 17th tournament of the year, winning the $10,000 Pro Circuit event in Houston and reaching the final of the $10,000 Pro Circuit in Dallas.

How she went from there to qualifying for the Bank of the West to upsetting a Rita Grande 6-3, 6-4 is anybody's guess, but the 18-year-old moves very well, has decent power and is very sure of herself.

"I'm playing with a lot of confidence and think I can win the title," said Haynes, who will face ninth seed Lisa Raymond in the next round, "My biggest obstacle will be Capriati. She'll try to embarrass me and I don't like to be embarrassed."

Haynes is bubbly, full of life and is very driven. She was home schooled, by just got her GED. She says that's it's her improved mental game that's keyed her run.

"In the juniors, every one is timid and they just give way points," Haynes said. "In the pros, everyone's mentally tougher . I was letting up subconsciously for awhile and I'm not doing that anymore."

An interesting note: Jennifer Capriati says that Lindsay Davenport has given her the roughest time of the number ones she's faced over the years. She called her the most consistent hard hitter she's faced. Here that Serena?
 
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