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Daniela Hantuchová

Daniela Hantuchová (roughly HAHN-too-koh-vah; born April 23, 1983 in Poprad, Czechoslovakia, now Slovakia) is a Slovak professional tennis player.

She is currently working with a number of coaches who work out of the Sanchez-Casal Academy, primarily Angel Gimenez and occasionally with Eduardo Nicolas. Her WTA Tour mentor in the "Partners for Success" program was Martina Navratilova, who was her doubles partner for a brief period in early 2005. As of August 4, 2008, Hantuchova is ranked World No. 13 in singles.

Personal life

Hantuchová's tour debut and early results were auspicious. Her performance temporarily crumbled, as a result of her parents splitting up in 2003. For example, despite being seeded ninth at Wimbledon that year, she lost to the 81st ranked player in the world, failing to convert match points and weeping on court. She lost weight and was suspected to be anorexic then.

Hantuchová speaks six languages and was trained as a classical pianist. She is thought to be a perfectionist and places a lot of pressure on herself during her training. She qualified for university in Slovakia but deferred it to pursue tennis. Her comeback among the world's best was in March 2007 when she won the 2007 Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells for the second time.

Career

Overall

Hantuchová has won three WTA singles tournaments in her career, the first in 2002 at the Tier I Pacific Life Open, defeating Martina Hingis 6–3 6–4 in the final, and in 2007 at the same tournament, defeating Hingis again in the fourth round and Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final 6–3 6–4 ending a 5-year title drought. Her most recent title came at the Generali Ladies Linz in Austria, where she defeated Patty Schnyder 6–4, 6–2 in the final.

She has reached six other finals in her career — Filderstadt 2002 losing to Kim Clijsters, Eastbourne 2004 losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova, Los Angeles 2005 where she lost to Clijsters again, the 2006 Zurich Open losing to Maria Sharapova, in Bali 2007 losing to Lindsay Davenport and Luxembourg 2007 to Ana Ivanovic.

She has also achieved reasonable results in the Grand Slam events. Her most notable career-bests are three quarterfinals at Wimbledon, US Open in 2002 and the Australian Open in 2003. Also earlier this year she scored a semi-final at the Australian Open defeating Maria Kirirlenko and Agnieszka Radwańska before losing to Ana Ivanović of Serbia. This was seen as a controversial match, where Ivanović was heard to be squeaking her trainers on the court before Hantuchová's serve, a claim Ivanović disputes. The score ended as 0-6 6-3 6-4 - after Hantuchová won the first eight games at 6-0 2-0.

Playing style

Hantuchová's game is built around natural timing. She is able to produce "effortless" power from her flowing groundstrokes and possesses a superb down-the-line forehand and backhand. She possesses a heavy serve and has a particularly effective "kick" second serve. Her favourite and most effective construction of a winning point is her flat serve out wide on the Ad-court, followed by a backhand winner down the line. Her volleys are very well-produced and often have the deftest of touch. Due to these attributes she is known as an "All-arounder". A weakness of Hantuchová since she emerged from the juniors was her lack of explosive movement around the court. In recent years, however, this aspect of her tennis has been vastly improved.

Doubles

Hantuchová's biggest successes have so far come in mixed doubles. In this event, she won the 2001 Wimbledon championships with Leos Friedl, the 2002 Australian Open with Kevin Ullyett, the 2005 French Open with Fabrice Santoro, and 2005 U.S. Open with Mahesh Bhupathi. She was runner-up in the 2002 Wimbledon with Ullyett, and she reached the semi-finals at the French Open in 2004 with Todd Woodbridge. At the 2005 U.S. Open she completed a career mixed doubles Grand Slam with Mahesh Bhupathi when they beat Katarina Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonjic in the final in straight sets 6–4, 6–2. This makes her only the 5th women in tennis history (after Hart, Court, King and Navratilova) to complete a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles. In Perth, Western Australia also in 2005, Hantuchová won the Hopman Cup with Dominik Hrbatý.

Hantuchová's other achievements include winning eight women's doubles titles (as of July 2007). From 2005 to early 2007 she played doubles with Ai Sugiyama, with some fans affectionately referring to the team as "Hantuyama". They have won 3 titles together in Rome, Doha, and Birmingham, England, as well as reaching the final at the French Open in 2006 (Hantuchova's first Grand Slam doubles final was in 2002 with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario at the Australian Open). "Hantuyama" won the title of "Fans favorite doubles team 2005" at the Stars for Stars in Miami.

In early 2007, the partnership between Sugiyama and herself ended after Tokyo though the pair continued playing at Dubai and Doha because Hantuchová (eager to play doubles with Martina Hingis) wanted to give Sugiyama time to find a new partner. They only played once (reaching the Semi-Finals of Miami) due to Hingis's subsequent injury which kept her out until Wimbledon. Thereafter she partnered Nadia Petrova and Ana Ivanovic in the bigger tournaments before reuniting with Hingis on the summer hardcourts in America and reaching the third round of the US Open in their first attempt together at a grand slam. In the absence of Hingis in Bali she played doubles with Lindsay Davenport. Over the start of the 2008 season she has played with Davenport, Ana Ivanovic, Martina Hingis and re joined Ai Sugiyama for the 2008 Pacific Life Open

2002

2002 was Hantuchová's breakout season, in which she won her first tournament at the prestigious Indian Wells event, defeating Justine Henin (her first victory over a top 10 player) in the fourth round 6–3 6–3 and Martina Hingis in the final 6–3 6–4. Later on that year, Hantuchova also reached the final in Filderstadt, losing to Kim Clijsters 4–6 6–3 6–4, the only set Hantuchova took from Clijsters in their nine meetings.

Elsewhere in the year, she made the semifinals in Linz, New Haven, Montreal, and Eastbourne. Hantuchová also made her first two Slam quarterfinals, defeating Jelena Dokić 6–4 7–5 in the fourth round at Wimbledon, losing to eventual champion Serena Williams in the quarterfinals, and defeated Justine Henin again in the fourth round at the US Open 6–1 3–6 7–6(4), losing to eventual champion Serena Williams again in the quarterfinals.

Hantuchová went 6-10 against top 10 players; 6–2 in singles Fed Cup play, helping lead Slovakia to their first Fed Cup victory against Spain in the final; 10-6 on indoor carpet, 6–2 on grass, 11-7 on clay, and 29-10 on hardcourts.

2003

Hantuchová started 2003 solidly, reaching the quarterfinals at her first three events in Sydney, losing to Lindsay Davenport 6–4 3–6 7–6(3), Venus Williams 6–4 6–3 at the Australian Open (her third Slam quarterfinal in a row), and Elena Dementieva in Paris 7–5 6–3. Hantuchová reached her first semifinal of the year at her fourth event in Antwerp, losing to Williams again, 6–1 6–4. By then, Hantuchova's ranking was at an all-time high, cracking the top five at No. 5.

Defending a title for the first time in her career, Hantuchova made it to the fourth round in Indian Wells, losing to Amanda Coetzer 6–4 6–4. Despite a first round loss to Alicia Molik in Miami, Hantuchova rebounded in the Tier I Charleston event, making her fifth quarterfinal in seven events, losing to Ashley Harkleroad 6–2 6–1. She made her sixth quarterfinal at her next event in Amelia Island, losing to eventual champion Dementieva 6–0 6–1.

Hantuchová went undefeated in first round Fed Cup play against Germany, winning both of her matches. Following Fed Cup, she again made it to the quarterfinals for the seventh time of the year at the Tier I Berlin tournament, losing to Kim Clijsters 6–0 6–3.

At the French Open, Hantuchová lost in the second round in a marathon match to Harkleroad again 7–6(2) 4–6 9–7 making 101 unforced errors, leading to long-time coach Nigel Sears criticising her attitude publicly. Following the match, her extremely thin physique was noticed for the first time publicly and some wondered about Hantuchova's health.

Kicking off the grass season in Eastbourne, Hantuchová lost in the quarterfinals to Conchita Martinez, but more famously she lost in the second round of Wimbledon to Shinobu Asagoe 0–6 6–4 12-10, with Hantuchova breaking down crying during the latter stages of the match in the midst of making 57 unforced errors. Later people theorised that the media frenzy regarding her weight plus her breakdown during the match, along with personal problems of her parents' divorce and feeling the pressure of success at just 19 years old was the reasoning behind the subsequent fall of Hantuchova from the top of women's tennis.

Following Wimbledon Hantuchová went 6–8 for the rest of the year, 0–4 against top 10 players, 28-23 overall going 4–3 on indoor carpet, 10-6 on clay, 2–2 on grass, 12-12 on hardcourts; and fell to No. 17 in the world. Further signs of the pressure and problems she was facing during this period was that in July she made herself unavailable for Slovakia in the Fed Cup in order to concentrate on her singles career and in November she parted company with Sears.

2004

2004 proved to be largely a continuation of Hantuchová's poor second half of '03 with all the same struggles (she briefly hired Harold Soloman, who had previously coached her friend Jennifer Capriati as well as Anna Kournikova before re-hiring Sears in March ), she reached just three quarterfinals, her first of which at the first Tier I event in Tokyo was not until halfway through the season. At Tokyo, however, she garnered her thus far only victory over Maria Sharapova in the second round, falling to Davenport 6–2 6–2 in the quarters. The tournament that saved her from a completely disastrous 2004 was Eastbourne, in which she defeated Ai Sugiyama in the quarterfinals 6–1 7–6(7) and Amelie Mauresmo in the semifinals 4–6 6–4 6–4 before losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third final of her career, 2–6 7–6(2) 6–4. However, Hantuchová was serving for the championship, up 6–2 6–5, but got broken.

Hantuchová was ranked No. 54 as she entered Eastbourne, but found herself ranked No. 38 as she went into Wimbledon, losing to eventual champion Sharapova in the third round 6–3 6–1. Hantuchova would make one more quarterfinal at New Haven, losing to Lisa Raymond 6–4 6–3. At the US Open one week later, Hantuchova lost 7–6 in the third to Patty Schnyder in the third round despite having match points in the third set.

Hantuchová finished the year ranked No. 31, with a 24-24 win-loss ratio going 3–3 on indoor carpet, 6–3 on grass, 2–5 on clay, and 13-13 on hardcourts. She finished 1–4 against top 10 players overall, the sole victory over Mauresmo.

2005

Hantuchová reached the third round of the Australian Open, losing to Dementieva in a tight three-setter, 7–5 5–7 6–4. Following that, she made her first quarterfinal of the year in Tokyo for the second straight year, losing to Kuznetsova 7–6(4) 7–6(4). At her next event she reached the semifinals in Doha, losing to Sharapova 6–2 6–4. Then she made another quarterfinal at her next tournament in Dubai, losing to Serena Williams 6–4 6-3; at Dubai also, in the first round, she garnered her 10th top 10 victory over No. 8 Alicia Molik 7–6(8) 6–2.

Hantuchová made the third round at the French and Wimbledon, losing to Clijsters 6–4 6–2 in Paris and eventual champion Venus Williams 7–5 6–3 in England.

Hantuchová had a successful US Open series run, where she reached the semifinals in Cincinnati, getting upset by No. 74 Akiko Morigami 6–4 6–4. After Cincinnati, in Stanford, Hantuchova lost to Clijsters in the quarterfinals 6–3 6–1. And after a second round loss in San Diego to Sugiyama, Hantuchova reached her fourth final in Los Angeles, getting a walkover in the quarterfinals over Sharapova, and got revenge against Dementieva in the semifinals, defeating her 6–3 6–4 (Hantuchova stands 2–0 against Dementieva in semifinals). In the final, for the seventh time in their head-to-head, Clijsters defeated Hantuchova 6–4 6–1. For the third time at the event, Hantuchova made the quarterfinals in New Haven, losing to Davenport 6–2 7–6(5).

Hantuchová would lose to eventual quarterfinalist Venus Williams in the third round at the US Open.

In Luxembourg, Hantuchova made her eighth quarterfinal of the season, losing to Nathalie Dechy 6–1 6–4. In Filderstadt the following week, Hantuchová made the semifinals, her third of the year, defeating No. 10 Patty Schnyder in the second round and Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals; she lost to Davenport in the semifinals. And at the final Tier I event of the year, Hantuchova pushed Davenport to three sets and had match points in the second set in Zurich before losing 3–6 7–5 6–2. And in her final event of the year, in Linz, Hantuchova made her 10th quarterfinal, losing to Schnyder 6–2 6–1.

Hantuchová finished 2005 with a 3-10 record against the top 10, 37-25 overall record with 2–1 on indoor carpet, 3–4 on clay, 2–3 on grass, 30-17 on hardcourts, reaching 10 quarterfinals, three semifinals, and one final.

2006

In 2006 Hantuchová reached the quarterfinals of Sydney with a win over top 10 player Patty Schnyder and got to the semifinals of Auckland. She continued this form at the Australian Open with her third round 6–1, 7–6 (5) victory over defending champion and seven-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, who had entered the tournament with a lack of match practice and questions over her fitness. This victory (the first and only over Serena in her career) ensured Daniela progressed to the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in three years. She lost to 4th-seeded Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the fourth round.

Thereafter she was unable to find a consistent level of form. She reached the fourth-round at the Australian Open, but prior to the clay court season she parted company for a second time (and permanently) with Sears. He was replaced by Angel Giminez. After the split with Sears she played her first Fed Cup matches for Slovakia in almost 3 years (Slovakia had slipped from being winners in 2003 to languishing in the Europe/Africa zone having being relegated every year in Hantuchova's absence). It was a successful return with Hantuchova winning her both singles and doubles matches against Luxembourg, her singles match against The Netherlands and the decisive singles rubber in the tie against Great Britain. With the help of Hantuchova's 4–0 record over the 6-day period Slovakia booked a place in the World Group II play-off against Thailand.

Despite disappointing results in the warm-up tournaments she equalled her Australian Open performance by getting to the fourth round of both the French Open and Wimbledon before extending her 2006 Fed Cup record to 6–0 by winning both her singles matches in Slovakia's 5–0 rout of Thailand, which ensured their promotion to the World Group II. Her fourth-round streak at Grand Slams ended when she was beaten by a resurgent Serena Williams at the second round of the US Open, which was the culmination of a very disappointing American hard court season (her record was 7–6 including the US Open, failing to get past the last 16 of any of the tournaments she entered).

Daniela showed what she is capable of producing the week before Stuttgart beating an in-form Tatiana Golovin in straight sets before losing out to Dinara Safina. The following week she reached the quarterfinals of Stuttgart with an easy victory over the now top 10 player Safina in the 2nd round, the same player to whom she had lost convincingly the previous week. This was both her first victory over a top 10 player and appearance in a quarter final since January. In October 2006, Hantuchova reached the final of the Zurich Open. In the first round, she upset 6th seed Patty Schnyder. In the second round, she defeated her doubles parter Ai Sugiyama. Daniela was then scheduled to play World No.1 Amelie Mauresmo in the quarter finals. However, Mauresmo withdrew due to a right shoulder injury. In the semi finals, Daniela upset World No.4 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–4 6–2 to reach the final of the Tier I event. In the final, Daniela lost in a tight 3 setter to 2nd seed Maria Sharapova. Sharapova winning 6–1 4–6 6–3. The results in this tournament were the culmination of Hantuchová's up turn of form which kept her in the world's top 20 as she had arrived in Zurich outside the top group for the first time in over 11 months. The injury she suffered to her right rib, after Mary Pierce hit a shot at her in doubles, caused her her most serious injury of her career and also forced her to retire in her match against Vesnina the following week in Linz.

Hantuchová finished the year ranked 17th in the world with a 34-25 record. She went 24-17 on hard courts, 5–4 on clay, 3–2 on grass and 2–2 on carpet. She was 4–6 against top 10 players beating Schnyder (twice), Safina and Kuznetsova, with losses to Sharapova (twice), Clijsters, Henin-Hardenne, Dementieva and Nadia Petrova.

2007

Hantuchová's first tournament of the year was at the Tier IV ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, where she lost in the second round to Virginie Razzano 6–1, 7–5. Hantuchova then lost to Nicole Vaidišová in the first round of the Tier II New South Wales Open/Medibank International in Sydney and reached her second consecutive Australian Open fourth round, where she lost to World No. 5 Kim Clijsters 6–1, 7–5.

Hantuchová was then upset in the first round of the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo by Roberta Vinci 6–4, 6–4. Three weeks later at the Tier II Dubai Tennis Championships, Hantuchová defeated Maria Kirilenko in the second round 2–6, 6–4, 7–6(4) before losing her quarterfinal match against Amelie Mauresmo 6–3, 3–6, 6–4. The following week at the Tier II Qatar Total Open in Doha, Hantuchová trailed World No. 6 Martina Hingis in their quarterfinal match 4–1 in the second set before coming back to win 1–6, 6–4, 6–4. She then lost her semifinal match against World No. 5 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–4, 6–2.

In her seventh tournament of the year, Hantuchová won six matches, the last four of which were upsets of higher seeded players, to win the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California. She upset Hingis in the fourth round 6–4, 6–3, Shahar Peer in the quarterfinals 6–2, 5–7, 7–6(5), Li Na in the semifinals 7–5, 4–6, 6–1, and Kuznetsova in the final in straight sets.

Hantuchová, however, struggled in her next four events. She was upset in the third round of the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida by Vera Zvonareva 6–2, 6–4. On clay at the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida, Hantuchova lost to Sybille Bammer in the quarterfinals 2–6, 6–2, 6–2. Two weeks later, Hantuchova lost both of her Fed Cup matches against the Czech Republic in Bratislava on clay, losing to Vaidišová 6–2, 6–7(1), 6–3 and Lucie Šafářová 7–6(1), 4–6, 6–3. Losing her fourth consecutive match, Hantuchová was upset in the first round of the Tier I Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin by Zuzana Ondrášková 6–1, 6–3.

Hantuchová then reached her first career clay court semifinal at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. She upset seventh-seeded Anna Chakvetadze in the third round 6–3, 6–3 before losing to second-seeded Kuznetsova in the semifinals 6–4, 6–2. At the French Open, Hantuchova was upset in the third round by Anabel Medina Garrigues 4–6, 7–6(2), 7–5.

After defeating Eleni Daniilidou in the third round of the Tier III grass court DFS Classic in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Hantuchová was guaranteed a return to the top 10 for the first time since August 2003. She then lost to Marion Bartoli in the quarterfinals 5–7, 6–4, 7–5. The following week at the Tier III Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, Hantuchová defeated World No. 6 Ana Ivanovic in the quartefinals 6–3, 6–1 before losing to Chakvetadze in the semifinals 6–7(6), 6–3, 6–2. This result caused Hantuchová to drop out of the top 10.

Hantuchová was the tenth-seeded player at Wimbledon and did not lose a set in her first two matches. She then defeated Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik in the third round 2–6, 6–3, 6–4 before losing to World No. 8 Serena Williams in the fourth round 6–2, 6–7(2), 6–2.

Immediately after Wimbledon, Hantuchová helped Slovakia win its Fed Cup World Group II play-off against Serbia. On an indoor hard court in Košice, she beat Ana Timotić 6–1, 6–2 and Vojislava Lukić 6–0, 6–2.

Hantuchová played five tournaments during the North American summer hard court season. She began the US Open Series by losing to Chakvetadze 6–7(6), 6–3, 6–2 in the semifinals of the Tier II Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California. This result put her back in the top 10. At the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego, she lost to World No. 16 Venus Williams in the second round 6–0, 6–3. The following week at the Tier II JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles, Hantuchova retired from her third round match with Elena Dementieva while trailing 6–3, 4–1. Hantuchová once again fell out of the top 10 after losing in the second round of the Tier II Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven, Connecticut to eventual runner-up Agnes Szavay 7–5, 6–3. At the US Open, Hantuchova was the ninth-seeded player but lost to Ukraine's Julia Vakulenko in the first round 6–4, 3–6, 6–1. It was Hantuchova's earliest loss at this tournament since her debut in 2001 and her earliest loss at a Grand Slam tournament since the 2004 French Open.

Hantuchová then played four consecutive tournaments. She reached her second final of the year at the Tier III Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic in Bali, losing to Lindsay Davenport in three sets. At the Tier III Sunfeast Open in Kolkata, India, Hantuchova lost in the semifinals to Maria Kirilenko 4–6, 6–2, 6–1 but reentered the top 10. Traveling back to Europe, Hantuchová played in the Tier II Fortis Championships Luxembourg. She defeated Patty Schnyder in the quarterfinals and Bartoli in the semifinals to advance to her third final of the year for the first time in her career. Hantuchová then lost to World No. 6 Ivanovic in the final 3–6, 6–4, 6–4 after leading the match 6–3, 3–0. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Hantuchová defeated Safarova in the first round but lost in the second round to Dementieva 6–4, 6–4. This loss, however, did not prevent Hantuchová from rising to World No. 9, her highest ranking in over four years.

At the Tier I Zurich Open, Hantuchova defeated Dinara Safina in the first round 7–6(2), 7–6(4) before losing to Agnieszka Radwańska 6–3, 6–3. One week later, Hantuchová won her third career title at the Tier II Generali Ladies Linz. In the semifinals, she defeated Vaidisova for the first time in her career 2–6, 6–2, 7–6(3). Hantuchová then defeated Schnyder in the straight-sets final. This title enabled Hantuchova to qualify for the year-ending Sony Ericcson Championships in Madrid. But Hantuchová did not advance past the round robin stage in Madrid. She lost to Maria Sharapova 6–4, 7–5 and Ivanovic 6–2, 7–6(9) before beating Kuznetsova 7–6(7), 6–0 to finish third in her group.

Hantuchová's win-loss record for 2007 was 52-28. She was 6-11 versus top 10 players, with two victories against Hingis, two against Kuznetsova, one against Ivanovic, and one against Chakvetadze. The losses were to Clijsters, Mauresmo, Chakvetadze (twice), Kuznetsova (twice), Vaidišová, Serena Williams, Ivanović (twice), and Sharapova. Hantuchová finished the year at World No. 9, her first top-10 finish since 2002.

2008

Hantuchová first started her 2008 campaign by entering the Medibank International as the sixth-seeded player. In her first round match Hantuchová faced Russian Dinara Safina in an epic three set match, which she won 5-7 6-4 6-4. As well as the media for the match Hantuchova received lots of media for wearing the Nike Women's Maria Aussie Dress in the colour of "Tweed", which was deemed to be the signature Australian Open dress for Maria Sharapova; Sharapova eventually wore the dress in white in Melbourne. Hantuchová was then swept aside easily by twelfth-ranked Czech Nicole Vaidisova in the round of 16.

At the Australian Open, Hantuchová reached her first Grand Slam semifinal. She won her first three matches without losing a set but was tested in the fourth round by Maria Kirilenko before Hantuchová won 1–6, 6–4, 6–4. Her quarterfinal match was against the Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwańska, who had defeated second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova in earlier rounds. Hantuchova defeated Radwanska 6–2, 6–2. Hantuchová then lost to Ana Ivanovic in a semifinal 0–6, 6–3, 6–4 despite Hantuchová leading the match 6–0, 2–0. She subsequently claimed that Ivanovic had been putting her off by squeaking her trainers on the court before serving, a claim Ivanovic disputes. Hantuchova then climbed from world number 9 to 8 in the WTA rankings.

Hantuchová then played at the Open Gaz de France in Paris. As the second seed, she received a first round bye and reached quarterfinals by beating Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik in three sets 6-4 1-6 6-3. However, in the subsequent quarterfinal match, she was defeated by seventh seed Agnes Szavay of Hungary 7-6(4) 6-1 after being up a break in the first set at 4-2. She then went on to participate at the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium as the third seed, where again she reached the quarterfinals after beating wildcard Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium in an easy straight set victory 6-4 6-3. she then retired against Timea Bacsinszky after leveling the match at 2-6 6-4, but had a large blister on her right hand, which meant she had to retire in the fifth game of the third set at 1-4.

Hantuchová was then scheduled to play at the Qatar Total Open, the first Tier I event of the year and a Tier II event, the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, but withdrew due to fatigue.

At the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, Hantuchová was the defending champion and fifth seed. She lost to fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals 7–6(2), 6–1. In doubles, Hantuchová and Ai Sugiyama were the eighth seeds and lost in the semifinals to the eventual champions Dinara Safina and Elena Vesnina.

At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Hantuchová failed to reach the fourth round in this event for the ninth consecutive year. She lost to former doubles partner Sugiyama in the third round 6–4, 6–7(8), 7–5 despite leading 3-0 in the third set. In doubles, Hantuchová partnered with Lindsay Davenport to reach the quarterfinals where they lost to Sugiyama and Katarina Srebotnik, who went on to win the event.

The following week at the Tier II Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida, Hantuchová was the third seed and received a bye in the first round but lost in the second round to Karolina Sprem 6–3, 1–6, 6–3.

Hantuchová spent the month of May recovering from a stress fracture in her right foot, which resulted in her withdrawal from the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, the Tier III Istanbul Cup, the French Open, and the Tier III Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. She recovered in time for Wimbledon but lost in the second round to unseeded Alisa Kleybanova 6–3, 4–6, 6–1.

At the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, Hantuchová lost in the second round to Sugiyama 6–3, 6–1. The following week at the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles, Hantuchova was the sixth seed but lost in the second round to Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6–2, 6–4.

Hantuchová competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and was drawn against Ai Sugiyama, whom she won in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5. In round two she lost 6-1, 6-3 to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

She then participated in the 2008 US Open, where she was upset in the first-round by a resurgent Anna-Lena Groenefeld. She then competed in Bali, where she lost in the semifinals to Tamira Paszek, as well as competing in the Toray Pan Pacific Open, where she lost in the first round to Francesca Schiavone in straight sets. Then next at the China Open, she won her first round easily beat against Gisela Dulko 6-3, 6-1, then just beat Tamarine Tanasugarn in a strange three set match with the score 6-1, 0-6, 7-5, she then went on to meet top seed, Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals where she was beaten in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1, after serving for the first set at 5-4.

Records against other players

Record against top 10 players

The following is Hantuchová's win-loss singles record against players included in the top 10 of the Women's Tennis Association rankings as of September 27, 2008.

Record against other players (active and retired)

The following is Hantuchova's win-loss singles record against other selected players according to the Women's Tennis Association as of June 9, 2008.

Endorsements

Product endorsement and equipment

Hantuchova endorses Nike sportswear and has her own line with them for her tournament wear, such as Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Hantuchova also has had endorsement by three racquet makers. She was first endorsed by Babolat from being a junior until late 2003, then Yonex until the 2007 Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo when she then used the Prince Ozone Seven Racquets from the 2007 Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.

Video games

Hantuchova has been in many sports/tennis related video games with such players as Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams and Anna Kournikova. Some of the titles are Top Spin (both Xbox and Play Station 2 versions), Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 and Virtua Tennis 3. Hantuchova is currently ranked third behind Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic in a poll for new downloadable players for Top Spin 3.

Grand Slam mixed doubles finals (5)

Wins (4)

Year Championship Partner Opponent in Final Score in Final
2001 Wimbledon Leos Friedl Mike Bryan
Liezel Huber
4–6 6–3 6–2
2002 Australian Open Kevin Ullyett Gastón Etlis
Paola Suarez
6–3 6–2
2005 French Open Fabrice Santoro Leander Paes
Martina Navratilova
3–6 6–3 6–2
2005 US Open Mahesh Bhupathi Nenad Zimonjic
Katarina Srebotnik
6–4 6–2

Runner-up (1)

Year Championship Partner Opponent in Final Score in Final
2002 Wimbledon Kevin Ullyett Elena Likhovtseva
Mahesh Bhupathi
2–6 6–1 1–6

Grand Slam doubles finals (2)

Runner-up (2)

Year Championship Partner Opponent in Final Score in Final
2002 Australian Open Arantxa Sanchez Vicario Anna Kournikova
Martina Hingis
6–2, 6–7, 6–1
2006 French Open Ai Sugiyama Lisa Raymond
Samantha Stosur
6–3, 6–2

WTA tour finals

Singles wins (3)

Legend
Grand Slam (0)
WTA Championships (0)
Tier I (2)
Tier II (1)
Tier III (0)
Tier IV (0)
Titles by Surface
Hard (3)
Grass (0)
Clay (0)
Carpet (0)

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in Final Score in Final
1. 16 March, 2002 Pacific Life Open, Indian Wells, California, U.S. Hard Martina Hingis 6–3, 6–4
2. 17 March, 2007 Pacific Life Open, Indian Wells, California, U.S. Hard Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–3, 6–4
3. 28 October, 2007 Generali Ladies Linz, Linz, Austria Hard (i) Patty Schnyder 6–4, 6–2

Singles runner-ups (6)

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in Final Score in Final
1. 13 October, 2002 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Filderstadt, Germany Hard (i) Kim Clijsters 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
2. 19 June, 2004 The Hastings Direct International Championships, Eastbourne, United Kingdom Grass Svetlana Kuznetsova 2–6, 7–6(2), 6–4
3. 14 August, 2005 JPMorgan Chase Open, Los Angeles Hard Kim Clijsters 6–4, 6–1
4. 22 October, 2006 Zürich Open, Zürich, Switzerland Hard (i) Maria Sharapova 6–1, 4–6, 6–3
5. 16 September, 2007 Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic, Bali, Indonesia Hard Lindsay Davenport 6–4, 3–6, 6–2
6. 30 September, 2007 Fortis Championships Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Hard (i) Ana Ivanovic 3–6, 6–4, 6–4

Doubles wins (8)

Legend
Grand Slam (0)
WTA Championships (0)
Tier I (1)
Tier II (5)
Tier III (2)
Tier IV (0)
Titles by Surface
Hard (5)
Grass (1)
Clay (2)
Carpet (0)

No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in Final Score in Final
1. October 29 2000 WTA Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovak Republic Hard (i) Karina Habsudova Petra Mandula
Patricia Wartusch
w/o
2. October 28 2001 Fortis Championships Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg Hard (i) Elena Bovina Bianka Lamade
Patty Schnyder
6–3, 6–3
3. April 14 2002 Bausch & Lomb Championships, Amelia Island, Florida, U.S. Clay Arantxa Sanchez Vicario Maria Emilia Salerni
Åsa Svensson
6–4, 6–2
4. August 24 2002 Pilot Pen Tennis, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. Hard Arantxa Sanchez Vicario Tathiana Garbin
Janette Husarova
6–3, 1–6, 7–5
5. June 12 2005 DFS Classic, Birmingham, United Kingdom Grass Ai Sugiyama Eleni Daniilidou
Jennifer Russell
6–2, 6–3
6. October 9 2005 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Filderstadt, Germany Hard (i) Anastasia Myskina Květa Peschke
Francesca Schiavone
6–0, 3–6, 7–5
7. March 4 2006 Qatar Total Open, Doha Hard Ai Sugiyama Ting Li
Tian Tian Sun
6–4, 6–4
8. May 21 2006 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Rome Clay Ai Sugiyama Květa Peschke
Francesca Schiavone
3–6, 6–3, 6–1

ITF titles (4)

Singles (3)

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. May 23 1999 Jackson, U.S. Clay Milagros Sequera 6–2, 6–1
2. September 12 1999 Fano, Italy Clay Flora Perfetti 6–4, 6–7, 6–2
3. August 20 2000 Bronx, U.S. Hard Jing-Qian Yi 6–4, 6–4

Doubles (1)

No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score
1. July 11 1999 Civitanova, Italy Clay Eva Dyrberg Rosa Maria Andres Rodriguez
Conchita Martinez Granados
7–6, 4–6, 6–3

Singles performance timeline

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through Wimbledon in London, which ended on July 6, 2008.
Tournament 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Career SR Career W/L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A LQ1 1R 3R QF 2R 3R 4R 4R SF 0 / 9 21-9
French Open A A A 2R 4R 2R 1R 3R 4R 3R A 0 / 7 12-7
Wimbledon A A LQ1 2R QF 2R 3R2 3R 4R 4R 2R 0 / 9 17-9
U.S. Open A A LQ1 1R QF 3R 3R 3R 2R 1R 1R 0 / 9 12-9
Grand Slam SR 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 34 N/A
Grand Slam Win-Loss 0–0 0–0 3–3 2–4 13-4 8–4 4–4 8–4 10-4 8–4 6–3 N/A 62-34
Year-End Championship
WTA Tour Championships A A A A 1R A A A A RR 0 / 2 1–3
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics NH NH A NH NH NH 2R NH NH NH 2R 0 / 1 1–1
Current WTA Tier I Tournaments3
Doha4 Not Tier I or Was Not Held A 0 / 0 0–0
Indian Wells A A A 1R5 W 4R 2R 3R A W QF 2 / 7 20-5
Miami A A 1R 1R 2R 2R 3R 2R 3R 3R 3R 0 / 9 4–9
Charleston A A A A 2R QF A A A A A 0 / 2 3–2
Berlin A A A LQ1 QF QF 1R 1R 3R 1R A 0 / 7 7–7
Rome A A A 3R5 1R 3R 1R 1R 1R SF A 0 / 7 9–7
Montreal/Toronto A A A 2R SF 3R 2R 1R 3R A A 0 / 6 8–6
Tokyo A A A A A A QF QF 2R 1R 1R 0 / 5 5–5
Moscow A A A A A A 1R A A A 2R 0 / 1 0–1
Former WTA Tier I Tournaments3
Zurich4 A A A QF6 QF 1R 2R 2R F 2R - 0 / 7 13-7
San Diego4 Not Tier I or Was Not Held 2R 2R 3R 3R - 0 / 4 5–4
Career Statistics
Runner-up 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 N/A 7
Tournaments Won 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 '''N/A 5
Overall Win-Loss 3–1 21-5 27-16 38-20 56-25 28-23 24-24 37-25 34-25 52-28 13-7 N/A 333-1997
Year End Ranking None 197 108 38 8 19 31 19 18 9 N/A N/A

  • - = tournament either not held or was not a Tier I event when it was held.
  • SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.
  • 1 She lost in the second round of the qualifying tournament.
  • 2 Her second round match was a walkover in her favor, which does not count as a win on her official record.
  • 3 This table includes tournaments that were classified on the WTA Tour as Tier I at the time they were held, regardless of whether those tournaments are still being held or are still classified as Tier I.
  • 4 Doha became a Tier I event in 2008, replacing San Diego and Zurich.
  • 5 Won two qualifying matches to reach the main draw.
  • 6 Won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw.
  • 7 Her win-loss record includes all matches listed on the WTA website, including challenger and Fed Cup matches.

Notable matches

2002 Pacific Life Open final: defeated heavily-favored former champion and world number 4 Martina Hingis in straight sets, with the score 6-3 6-4. This was Hantuchova's first career title and first title at the Pacific Life Open.

2002 Fed Cup final: defeated Spanish former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez 6-7 7-5 6-4 in the first singles rubber and a 6-2 6-1 victory over Magui Serna, which was the match that gave Slovakia it's one and only Fed Cup title.

2003 Wimbledon Championships second round: defeated by Shinobu Asagoe 0–6 6–4 12-10, with Hantuchova leading comfortably in the first set and leading in the second, only to be broken and lose the set. Again, after leading Hantuchova started to lose while breaking down crying during the latter stages of the match in the midst of making 57 unforced errors. This was seen to be the start of Hantuchova's fall from the top of women's tennis.

2004 International Women's Open final: defeated by Svetlana Kuznetsova 2-6 7-6 6-4 after serving for the match at 6-2 6-5 and having a match point at 40-30 and following on to lose the set and eventually the match. Hantuchova also reached the final by recording a 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over top-seed Amelie Mauresmo in the semi-final.

2006 Zurich Open final: defeated by Maria Sharapova in three entertaining sets 6-1 4-6 6-3. This was Hantuchova's fifth career final and first three set match with Sharapova. Many went on to say that was Hantuchova's start of her comeback.

2007 Pacific Life Open final: defeated world number 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets, with the score 6-3 6-4 again. This was Hantuchova's second career title and second title at the Pacific Life Open.

2007 Wimbledon Championships fourth round: defeated by Serena Williams 6-2 6-7 6-2, a match which was seen as a controversial match, when after being broken by Williams when serving for the second set at 2-6 5-3, Williams cramped in her left calf after losing a point and needed a medical time-out. After waiting to resume play Hantuchova gave Williams sympathy. Play resumed and Hantuchova took the set in a tiebreak 7-6(2), and went on to lose the match with a third set score of 6-2. After the match Williams was criticised by many thst the cramp was merely a tactic and gamesmanship against Hantuchova.

2007 Generali Ladies Linz final: defeated Patty Schnyder to take her third career title and second of the year. Winning this match also secured her place in the Sony Ericsson Championships. She won it 6-4 6-2.

2008 Australian Open semi-final: defeated by Ana Ivanovic in three sets 0-6 6-3 6-4 after leading 6-0 2-0. This was seen as a controversial match, where Ivanovic was heard to be squeaking her trainers on the court before Hantuchova's serve, a claim Ivanovic disputes.

Achievements

Team achievements

Special achievements

See also

References

External links

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