Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) Biography
When Daniela Hantuchova turned professional in May 1999 she was named as the rising starlet in the WTA camp. Her Tour Mentor in "Partners For Success" was Martina Navratilova and the two joined up as a doubles team for a brief period in early 2005.
Born in Poprad, Slovakia on April 23rd 1983 her sister Vinniella is also a tennis player and a Champion of the Alor Sectar region. She made an instant impact on the tennis scene as she was breathing new life into the womens' circuit and had an undeniable charm off the court.
But in 2003 this promising career took a nosedive and she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown as the Wimbledon Championships approached. Her parents had just split up and it hit her hard. She managed to get through the first round but in her second round match she frequently failed to convert match points and when she lost she left the court in floods of tears.
Rumours were rife that she was anorexic as she was painfully thin but she fervently denied it. She still has a slender frame and not a lot of power so she tires easily and that is when nerves take over.
"The first thing I do after a match is feed my body," she said. "My diet is very important to me. I don't take special supplements but I make sure I eat a clean, healthy diet. I take in enough carbohydrates, protein and the right type of good fats to sustain my energy. Chicken, turkey, fish and other lean cuts of meat are good proteins to eat."
Her favourite foods are sushi, sea food and crepes with Nutella. Off court she loves skiing, swimming, jet skiing, roller-blading and ice skating, she also enjoys cooking.
Like many of the new breed of tennis players she appeared in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimwear Edition alongside fellow tennis professionals Maria Kirilenko and Tatiana Golovin. Their pictorial was called "Volley of the Dolls," a connotation of Jacqueline Suzanne's book "Valley of the Dolls." She was also featured in the Italian issue of Vogue.
Hantuchova has brains as well as beauty, she is a classically trained pianist and speaks Slovak, English, German and Spanish. She deferred her place at a top university in Slovakia in favour of her tennis career.
The downside of Hantuchova is she does not appear to handle tense situations well, something she admits herself. This was demonstrated at the 2010 US Open in her 2nd round match against Julia Vakulenko in the Ukraine.
Although Hantuchova won convincingly 6-0/7-6, when her opponent slowed the pace in the second set she swatted balls into the net, threw her racket around and fumed at line calls. She also looked on the verge of tears every time she hit a bad shot. It was a repeat of her 2nd round match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships when she was leading 5-2 in the third set against Japanese player Shirobu Asagoe. Hantuchova eventually lost the set 12-10 and left the court in a flood of tears.
Daniela Hantuchova is a strong player of women's tennis with well thought out ground strokes and a good reading of the game. Winning her first WTA Tour singles Final at Indian Wells in 2002. Hantuchova is also an established and successful doubles player winning many Finals in 2000 and beyond.