Profile: Daniela Hantuchová
- Published: 11/02/2017
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Date of Birth: 23/04/1983
Birthplace: Poprad, Czechoslovakia
Height: 1.81 m (5′ 11″)
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Career: 1999 – Present
Prize Money: US$ 10,360,596
Daniela Hantuchová is a Slovak tennis player. She was introduced to tennis, aged 6 by her grandmother Helena who is a former Slovak national champion. In 1999 aged 15 she turned professional. 2002 proved to be her breakthrough year, when she won her first WTA tournament, the Indian Wells Masters, defeating Martina Hingis in the final and becoming the lowest-ranked player to ever win the tournament. Also that year, Hantuchová also reached the Wimbledon Championship quarterfinals as well as the US Open, ending the year in the top 10. She was part of the Slovak team that won the 2002 Fed Cup and the 2005 Hopman Cup.
2003 saw Hantuchová reach her highest ranking of fifth, after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Since these victories, she has gone on to win a further 7 WTA tournaments, including the Indian Wells Masters for a second time in 2007 and most recently the 2015 Thailand Open. She also reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in 2008, the furthest she has progressed in a Grand Slam. She is the most successful Slovak tennis player of all time and became only the 37th woman in the Open Era to reach 500 career wins when she beat Laura Robson in the second round of the Aegon Classic in June 2013.
Hantuchová is also an accomplished doubles player. In 2005, she completed the career Grand Slam in mixed doubles, becoming only the fifth female tennis player to do so. She won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2001 with Leoš Friedl, at the Australian Open in 2002 with Kevin Ullyett, at the French Open in 2005 with Fabrice Santoro and at the US Open in 2005 with Mahesh Bhupathi. She has also reached the finals of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2002 with Ullyett and the finals of the women’s doubles at the Australian Open in 2002 with Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, at the French Open in 2006 with Ai Sugiyama and at the Australian Open in 2009 with Sugiyama.
By 2011, Hantuchová had won 5 WTA titles, however 2012 proved to be a poor year as she suffered a stress fracture in her foot which ruled her out for two months and forced her to miss the whole of the clay court season. By the 2012 London Olympics, Hantuchová was back on form and competiting well.
2013 saw her win a 6th WTA Title and reach the US Open quarter-final for the second time. She also return to the Top 50. 2014 was a mixed year with some sucess as well as some frustating defeats.
Her 7th WTA Title was won in 2015 and she finished the year ranked 81. During the Spring, Hantuchová switched her racquet brand from Prince to Head. By the end of 2016, she had fallen out of the top 100 for the first time since 2002 but still managed to qualify at the 2016 French Open. Also in2016, she switched racquet brand again, this time back to Babolat.
She is often described as an “all-rounder” and is known for her natural timing and excellent technique.
Hantuchová is right-handed but uses both hands when playing backhand shots, which is considered to be a strong weapon. She plays a flowing style, hitting deep, accurate groundstrokes as well as performing well when close to the net. She is famous for her long legs which enable her to cover a long distance in a short amount of time.
While her home is Monaco, most of her year is spent on a plane flying between competitions. She is expected to launch a health foods brand “D ONE” in 2017.
Career titles: 7 WTA, 3 ITF
Current ranking: 247
Career titles: 9 WTA, 1 ITF
Current ranking: 1009
2001 WTA Newcomer of the Year Award
2002 WTA Most Improved Player of the Year Award
2003 Laureus World Sports Academy Award nominee for World Newcomer of the Year Award
2014 WTT Female Most Valuable Player
She was trained as a classical pianist (and is still quite good!)
Daniela speaks 6 languages (Slovak, Czech, English, German, Croatian, Italian)
She has modelled for ESPN and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
Her favourite movie is “Love Actually”!
Hantuchová has appeared in many sports/tennis related video games