Daniela Hantuchová (born April 23, 1983) is a Slovak professional tennis player. She turned professional in 1999 and had her breakthrough year in 2002, when she won her first Tier I tournament and ended the year in the top ten. She is currently coached by Larri Passos.
Her WTA Tour mentor in the "Partners for Success" program was Martina Navrátilová, who was her doubles partner for a brief period in early 2005. As of January 10, 2011, Hantuchová is ranked World No. 31 in singles.Hantuchová speaks three languages (Slovak, English and German),and was trained as a classical pianist.She is thought to be a perfectionist and puts a lot of pressure on herself during her training.She qualified for university in Slovakia but deferred it to pursue tennis.She appeared in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition alongside Maria Kirilenko and Tatiana Golovin in a pictoral entitled Volley of the Dolls.
Hantuchová withdrew from her first tournament of the year at the Brisbane International due to a left Achilles strain.She was healthy enough to compete at the Medibank International Sydney but suffered a loss to María José Martínez Sánchez in the first round 6–2, 6–4. At the Australian Open she was the 28th seed, but lost in the first round to Regina Kulikova in an epic three-setter, 7–5, 3–6, 9–7. This is the first time Hantuchová has lost in the first round of the Australian Open, bar her first appearance.Hantuchová can be characterized as an aggressive all-arounder, with the use of "effortless" power and long fluid strokes. Her strengths within her game are definitely seenas her serve, backhand, forehand and ability to hit volleys with the deftest of touch.Weaknesses of Hantuchová's game are her movement around the court, which has improved within the last couple of years, and her mental fragility – this has been a factor in many matches in her career, from her second round losses at the French Open and Wimbledon in 2003 to her 2004 final in Eastbourne, to the 2008 Australian Open semi-final and her fourth round match at the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open to name but a few.Hantuchová's serve has always been considered as a weapon as she is able to vary speed, placement and spin. One part of her serve that has been commented on is that she has often changed the motion of her serve – for reasons unknown.Towards the beginning of her career she had a very large and fluid action but started to become more and more abbreviated from the season of 2004, which at times was quite unsuccessful and less effective. She then had a successful abbreviated motion from the beginning of 2007 but after an injury lay-off during the 2008 clay court season she returned to Wimbledon with a larger follow through. Again, in 2009 she went to her current and most abbreviated service motion to date.
Daniela Hantuchova with Her Fans
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