Friday, June 26, 2009
Big babe tennis.
Daniela Hantuchova from Slovakia. I have been a fan of hers for a while, starting when she was around 19 and won Indian Wells in 2002, beating Martina Hingis in the final. Big serve, lethal backhand. Not exactly fleet of foot though, probably due to her nearly six foot lanky frame. Daniela has struggled pretty much ever since that first big title. She got too thin after reaching the spotlight and being hailed as a glamour girl (I resisted the glamour shot, but google...there are plenty!), and then actually got a little chubby trying to recover from that. She appears to be very fit right now, but with Daniela, a lot of the time the struggle comes from between the ears.
Daniela is an excellent doubles player with a couple of Slam titles to her credit there. Despite her height, she has remarkably "soft hands", meaning her net game - where volleying comes into play - is very good. Doubles play will develop that, as it is a fast game with lots of volleys, but generally you have a real talent or you don't.
Anyway, she'll face Serena Williams in the next round of Wimbledon, where I'll definitely be rooting for her. She's very capable of producing the upset in that match.
ADDED: Oooh...forgot to mention the drama involved the last time these two played each other at Wimbles. Dani was playing a spectacular match and then Serena sustained a cramp in her leg and was looking finished, but hobbled through - sometimes just laying on the court clutching her leg - until a rain delay suspended the match. Some thought that was a bit of gamesmanship, and it (natch) got into Dani's head and she fell apart, losing the match after they resumed play. Come on, Dani! Revenge time.