Tennis Prose



Biofile Daniela Hantuchova Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

(I did this Biofile with the former world no. 5 and winner of seven WTA singles and nine WTA doubles titles, in the early 2000s at US Open.)

Status: Currently ranked No. 22 on the WTA Tour, Hantuchova has won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles — 2001 Wimbledon (with Leos Friedl) and the 2002 Australian Open (with Kevin Ullyett) — and owns career wins over Serena Williams at AO, Caroline Wozniacki at French Open, Martina Hingis, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Chanda Rubin, Amelie Mauresmo and Elena Dementieva.

Height: 5-foot-11 1/2 Weight: 125 pounds.

Born: April 23rd, 1983 in Poprad, Slovakia

Childhood Heroes: “Well, first of all, Miloslav Mecir, because at the time when I first starting to play, he won the Olympic Games (1988) and that was a big motivation for me. And then of course, all the biggest players — I always watched them playing the big finals. And I was always motivated by them.”

Hobbies/Interests: “Well, I like doing other sports. I like skiing — the only sport I do other than tennis. I started when I was three-years-old [smiles]. So, ice skating, rollerblading, swimming. And going to the beach when I have time. I also enjoy fashion, music, basketball and playing piano.”

Favorite Movies: “I don’t have any.”

Musical Tastes: “Anything that comes from Italy [smiles].”

Favorite Meal: “Anything that my mom cooks [smiles].”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Vanilla.”

Early Tennis Memory: “The first match I ever played, and I beat a girl that was like four years older. And I was very happy about it. And very motivated by it as well. As it was the first match I ever played and won. (I won) 6-2 (I was) 6.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “I’m just trying to be as focused as I can on the ball and think stay calm on the court.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Beating Justine Henin-Hardenne at the U.S. Open, 7-6 in the third (fourth round match in 2002).”

Most Painful Moment: “At the same match when I — the court was slippery — and I fell and I almost broke my finger. After I won the first set 6-1. And I almost couldn’t finish it.”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “Rome.”

Closest Tennis Friends: “Oh boy, well, women’s or men’s? (Both.) Hard to say, there are many…Jennifer, Kim…yeah, those two are the ones, basically.”

Toughest Competitors: “I’d say Lindsay, Justine, Kim, the Williams sisters.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “That makes me laugh, it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, the gentleman’s doubles in Wimbledon when Henri Leconte and Bahrami against Emilio Sanchez and somebody. Yeah, when they had the chairs moving on the Centre Court and they were on the grass. It was the funniest match I’ve ever seen. They were having points, the rallies were like 40-ball rallies. And they were doing all the fun stuff.”

Favorite Athletes To Watch: “Michael Jordan. (Soccer?) No, I don’t watch soccer. (Hockey?) We won the world championship a few years ago so I like all the players on the Czech hockey team. (Boxing?) No. (Golf?) Tiger Woods. (Tennis?) Pete Sampras. (Why Pete?) Oh, because I think he was the greatest player.”

Childhood Dream: “To be the best [smiles].”

Family: Dad, Igor; mom, Marianna; brother, Igor.

Career Accomplishments: Won all four majors in mixed doubles – AO in 2002, French Open in 2005, Wimbledon in 2001, US Open in 2005; Reached doubles finals twice at AO and once at French Open; Turned pro in 1999 and finished her career in 2017 with a total singles record of 570-415; Earned over $10m in prize money; In singles, her best major result was semis at 2008 AO and four other QFs – two at US Open, one at Wimbledon and AO.

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1 comment

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 11, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Hantuchova’s best singles wins were winning Indian Wells in 2002 and 2007.



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