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Golden Slam
 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 29. May 2021 20:06 
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Dani's Picks: Hantuchova predicts Barty, Swiatek to battle for Roland Garros title

The former world No. 5 also tagged Karolina Pliskova and Bianca Andreescu as players to watch in Paris.
By David Kane

Published May 28, 2021

The second major tournament of 2021 is upon us and the women's draw is replete with big names, all aiming to capture the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen. The last two champions, Iga Swiatek and Ashleigh Barty, look ready to put down their best tennis on the terre battue, but can they outfox the other pre-tournament favorites and double up in Paris? Former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova makes her picks:

The Favorite
Iga Swiatek (POL): When you win a Grand Slam seemingly out of nowhere, it’s easy for the expectations and pressure to take over, but the soon-to-be 20-year-old has quickly found her momentum, and has remains very solid.

She’s been able to be so solid in backing up her results and that incredible run at Roland Garros. It has surely taken a huge effort to find this level of consistency at such a young age. When I watched her play in Rome, I was in awe of how she handled the final but was even more impressed by matches she won earlier in the week—even when she wasn’t playing well.

She has a natural, pure talent reminiscent of a Martina Hingis or Agnieszka Radwanska, and much like those two players, Iga has very little to work on because she’s had it all, right from the start of her career.

The Contenders
Ashleigh Barty (AUS): Ash is another one with so much natural talent and athleticism, and is clearly capable of translating that to other sports beyond tennis. Whatever she touches, she’s going to be very good at because of her feel for the ball and her superior hand-eye coordination.

I think all of that lends itself to adjusting well to any surface, even though I thought her best results would come on grass. When you’re No. 1 in the world, you have a target on your shoulders all the time, but she’s done so well in the face of so many players who’ve brought their best tennis against her this year. She manages to find ways to turn matches around, which we saw in Miami when she was match points down and later went on to win the tournament.

She has so many different options in her game, and it allows her to deal with whatever is thrown at her.

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR): Aryna just has that kind of power where, on a good day, she can beat anyone off the court, and I have to say I’m not surprised to see her as a Top 3 seed at a Grand Slam. When I saw her coming up on tour, I thought she had so much potential. Perhaps she only needed to mature a bit more to gain that consistency.

The power she’s got through those huge groundstrokes and incredible serves, you just knew it was a matter of time before she put it together. When she does, she reminds me very much of Petra Kvitova, where all you can do is move from side to side, trying to pick up balls. I know I wouldn’t want to be facing her on one of her good days!

The Longshots
Karolina Pliskova (CZE): It’s never easy to take a 6-0, 6-0 loss, especially in the final of a big tournament, but I think Karolina has been around for quite some time now, and she’ll be able to bounce back quite quickly. She still has the serve and huge game.

Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP): Garbiñe is another player I’d like to see do well. A former champion, she really had a phenomenal start to the season. As long as she’s healthy, I think she’s very capable of hitting through these courts with the power she has in her arsenal.

Bianca Andreescu (CAN): With all Bianca has been through, physically, it’s tough to say whether her injuries are bad luck, or if her body is simply predisposed to breaking down more easily, because I’m sure she’s doing all she can to maximize her preparation and prevent injuries. Provided she’s back to her best in Paris, I can see her going far.




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Golden Slam
 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 13. June 2021 20:39 
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Dani's Take: Krejcikova's triumph, Djokovic's usurpation, and taking stock of the final 72 hours in Paris

Hantuchova has already witnessed an epic two days of action unfold between the men's semifinals and women's final, and previews Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.
By David Kane

Published Jun 12, 2021

The last three days of any major tournament bring an intrigue unlike any that come before it. At this year’s Roland Garros, the championship weekend began with an epic 58th encounter between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and continued on Saturday with a maiden major triumph for Czech sensation Barbora Krejcikova. Former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova has been there through it all in Paris, and recaps a jam-packed 48 hours while previewing what’s to come on Sunday, when Djokovic takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas for a possible 19th Grand Slam title.

Friday: Djokovic overcomes Nadal for only the second time in Paris

That was one of the most special moments I’ve ever witnessed on a tennis court. It was one of the best matches, particularly when you factor in the emotion from the fans, and the standing ovations from the crowds. The fans were thinking they’d have to leave at 11 P.M., but the announcer surprised us all when it was revealed they could stay. As a tennis player, I admit I sometimes watch Novak and Rafa play and make me think they’re playing an entirely different sport. They’re just from a different planet with the shots that they’re able to make.

This is clearly the time in tennis history where we get to sit back and appreciate everything. I know we’ve been saying things like that since around their 30th match, and here we are after the 58th match of their rivalry, but it’s truly a privilege to be a part of the game right now—whether you’re a member of the media, or you’re a player competing in this kind of field because of what they’ve been able to achieve.


Saturday: Krejcikova sinks Pavlyuchenkova in dramatic first final

It was obviously going to be emotional for both girls, but Barbora Krejcikova was able to do what she’s done so well this tournament, getting though overwhelming situations even when she would get tight. Playing Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, you could see her realize that Nastia couldn’t move that well after injuring herself in the second set, and that put double the pressure on her, leading to her momentarily losing some of her intensity. Nastia picked up her levels big time; it was almost as if she had nothing to lose.

In the third set it could have gone either way, but I’m just so impressed with the way Krejcikova has been able to deal with all of her emotions, being in a territory she’s never been before. I truly believe that her doubles experience, which has put her on big stages like Philippe Chatrier stadium for Grand Slam finals, helped her big time.

It’s hard to believe she will be playing singles at Wimbledon for the first time in her career; it goes to show how quickly things can change in tennis. These next couple of weeks will be a big test for her, with all of the media attention she’s going to get at home in the Czech Republic, but she’s overcome so many emotional moments in the last two weeks and has been able to deal with it. The grass-court season will surely be a poignant part of the year for her, especially given what it meant to Jana Novotna. I’m sure she will provide plenty of inspiration from above; the story of their time together is so beautiful and loved that she was able to share it on court today.

From a tactical standpoint, her variety made her dangerous from the very beginning. She has such beautiful hands honed from her doubles, can hit the high balls—as we saw in her previous matches—and is able to make good use of her slice backhand, which is always going to be effective on clay. I think it was just a matter of putting it all together and with the confidence she now has, she clearly believes in herself so much more. We talk about mental strength in this tournament, and it’s fascinating how many more girls are traveling to major tournaments with sports psychologists.

Tennis has truly become a mental game in the last few years, but even more so since Iga Swiatek won here in October and what she was able to accomplish with a mental coach. They’ve certainly become the fashion these days, but in the best possible way; I absolutely love this development, because it allows the girls to really work on their mental game. Armed with this new confidence, Barbora isn’t afraid to use all of her shots, and use them the correct way.

I was definitely missing this aspect in my own career; I wish I could have had that person to talk to. Nastia discussed how important it is to have someone who will listen to what you’re going through, and helping you become your own person. That can also come naturally with age, but much more slowly. Thankfully, I was very lucky to meet the right people after I retired!

Speaking of Nastia, she should also be very proud of herself even if she couldn’t win the title today. I was her first opponent at a Grand Slam, all the way back in 2007 at Wimbledon. There was so much hype and attention around our match, and I remember all of the agents and sponsors who were watching us play. She was supposed to be the next big thing, and I don’t know why, but I always loved to get up for those kinds of opponents. Maybe I liked the idea of defending the older generation’s territory, of being able to say, ‘I know you’re going to be good, but not yet!’ To her credit, she’s had a long time to wait and she never gave up. I’m so happy for her and the success she’s had this week, because she’s always had the game, the potential, the shots. She has exceptional timing, particularly off the backhand side—it’s one of the best shots we have in women’s tennis.

We really had an amazing day for women’s tennis.


Sunday: Tsitsipas stands between Djokovic and his march toward history

I strongly believe Novak will be able to take the momentum of beating Rafa through to the finals, and I pick him as the overwhelming favorite on Sunday. For him to overcome Rafa in the semifinals at Roland Garros, it couldn’t get better than that for his confidence. Some of the shots he’s hit in his last six matches, you’re watching and thinking, ‘There’s no way he’ll be able to make that,’ and every time he comes up with tennis I didn’t know was humanly possible.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has had an incredible tournament, and the match he played one of his best matches ever against Novak in Rome, but it’s hard to see him winning in final.

If Novak can win a second French Open title, it would put him only one away from tying Rafa and Roger, but it’s still so hard to make any predictions when it comes to the “Greatest Ever…” debates. The time now is better spent enjoying each and every second that the three of them are out there on the court.

What I do believe is that all three are better players because of each other, and that what they’ve achieved is as much because of their rivalries as their individual abilities. Had it just been Roger, I don’t see him reaching the level he has without the presence of Rafa and Novak. Looking towards Sunday’s final, it’s also cool to see the Next Gen challenging this "Golden Gen," and we’ll see how that turns out tomorrow.




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Golden Slam
 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 24. June 2021 21:00 
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Naomi Osaka-Rafael Nadal Resigns, 2021 Wimbledon Prestige Will Not Fade

Kompas.com - 24/06/2021, 16:00
Author Faishal Raihan | Editor Faishal Raihan

KOMPAS.com - Former tennis player Daniela Hantuchova considers that the absence of Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal does not reduce the value of the 2021 Wimbledon competition. Wimbledon 2021 is confirmed to be minus several tennis stars after Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal declared their resignation. Naomi Osaka has decided not to participate in the Wimbledon grasscourt Grand Slam because she needs some personal time. Osaka felt compelled to take time for her mental health after a dispute that occurred at the previous tournament, the 2021 French Open. Although she decided not to play at Wimbledon, the Japanese tennis player will take part in the Tokyo Olympics. "Naomi will not be playing at Wimbledon this year. She is taking private time with friends and family," Naomi Osaka's agent, Stuart Duguid, told AFP on Thursday (17/6/2021).

Prior to withdrawing from Wimbledon, Osaka was also known to withdraw from the 2021 French Open clay Grand Slam tournament. This was because she had a dispute with the organizers regarding her decision not to attend the mandatory press conference after the match. The 2021 Australian Open champion revealed that he was battling depression when he announced his retirement from Roland Garros (French Open).

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has decided not to enter the 2021 Wimbledon Grand Slam for the good of his career. In addition to this year's Wimbledon, the Spaniard has also stated that he will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics which will start on July 23, 2021. "Hi everyone, I have decided not to participate in this year's Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympics in Tokyo," Nadal tweeted on Monday. his personal Twitter account on Thursday (17/6/2021). "This was not an easy decision to make, but after knowing the condition of my body and discussing it with my team, I understand that it was the right decision," added the 20-time Grand Slam winner. "The goal is to extend my career and continue to do what makes me happy, which is to compete at the highest level and continue to fight for professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition."

The absence of Osaka and Nadal will certainly affect the competitive landscape at Wimbledon, but will not reduce the value of the competition in the world's oldest tennis tournament. Former Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova also believes that the prestige of Wimbledon 2021 will not fade just because of the absence of Osaka and Nadal. Because, according to Hantuchova, there are many other top tennis stars who will keep Wimbledon 2021 "alive". "Of course the absence of Osaka and Nadal will affect the Wimbledon tournament and make fans feel disappointed," said Hantuchova to Kompas.com in an interview via Zoom, Wednesday (23/6/2021).

"However, there are other players such as Novak (Djokovic) and Roger (Federer). Then, in the women's sector there are also many good players. So, Wimbledon will still be interesting," said the tennis player who hung her racket in 2017. Hantuchova, who has now switched professions as a commentator, also slipped a few predictions for this year's Wimbledon. In the men's sector, the world number five women's singles favored Novak Djokovic, but he also did not rule out Stefanos Tsitsipas. "Men's sector I think Novak. Mentally and physically he is at the highest level. It makes perfect sense that he won this Grand Slam tournament," said Hantuchova. "Roger Federer is looking forward to waiting after his comeback from injury. Besides that, there is still (Stefanos) Tsitsipas," said the 38-year-old woman added. Djokovic previously won the 2021 French Open last week. He beat Tsitsipas in the final 6-7 (6-8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

With the first podium at the French Open, Djokovic has now collected 19 Grand Slam titles. The Serbian is only one title behind Federer and Nadal, who both have 20 Grand Slam titles. Meanwhile, for the women's sector, Hantuchova put forward the Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari. He also named Simona Halep and senior tennis player Serena Williams. "Maria Sakkari, because she has worked so hard and has a lot of experience, has often come close to winning," said Hantuchova. "Serena is still there, Simona is also interesting to see her ability after recovering from injury," said Hantuchova admits.

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Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Golden Slam
 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 27. June 2021 17:30 
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Tennis: Who among the women can win it all at Wimbledon?
Rosy Mina
Posted at Jun 27 2021 12:47 AM

MANILA—It has been an open field for the women’s game in recent years, without great rivalries even if up-and-coming players have stepped up to clinch a grand slam. Because of this, 23-time grand slam singles champion Serena Williams of the United States remains to be a top contender for the Wimbledon crown, a title she has won seven times.

Williams, eyeing to equal the 24 grand slam singles titles record of Australian Margaret Court, is among the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles frontrunner choices of FOX Sports Asia pundits Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand. Williams, the No. 6 seed, will face Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in the first round.

“Obviously, we’ve got Serena on grass, which you can never underestimate,” reminded former World No. 5 Hantuchova in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News.

Despite mentioning younger players, former World No. 19 Tanasugarn ended with: “Actually, Serena is still there.”

The Thai star added that Williams, who turns 40 on September 26, is out to show her “mother power.” Williams last won Wimbledon in 2016 after overpowering Angelique Kerber of Germany. She was a runner-up to Kerber in 2018 and to Simona Halep of Romania in 2019.

In addition, Tanasugarn mentioned the strong chances of two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic, who was also chosen by Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, the third FOX Sports Asia pundit. The 31-year-old No. 10 seed Czech will go up against 2017 US Open Champion Sloane Stephens of the United States in the opening round.

“She won Wimbledon before and she’s still hungry after the hand incident that happened a few years back,” Baghdatis said, pertaining to the knife attack that injured Kvitova’s left hand in 2016.

Despite that and a freak ankle injury suffered during her Roland Garros post-match press duties that forced her to withdraw with a first round finish, Baghdatis continued, “She still wants to win a grand slam and I think she’s hungry. I believe that her biggest chance of winning a grand slam [again] will be at Wimbledon.”

Former World No. 8 Baghdatis noted that it is difficult to say who could gain success on the women’s side at The Championships, Wimbledon from June 28 to July 11.

“There’s no big difference between the new generations and the old generations, especially now Serena is not out of the game but close to out of the game. It’s very tough to say who will go far. Anything can happen in early rounds as we saw in the French Open,” he said.

Hantuchova agreed that it is tricky to share a lot of possible frontrunners, so she named one more player, 25-year-old No. 15 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece.

“I really like Sakkari's chances just because of how hard she works. She stays really low with her legs on grass, which is one of the keys to play well. She moves incredibly and she was very close to having an incredible Roland Garros as well. I mean, the semis was already a great result.”

Other players with big serves and big groundstrokes will have a greater opportunity to do well in London, added Tanasugarn. She cited No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, and No. 8 seed Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic. “We would like to see Pliskova win one of the grand slams as well,” Tanasugarn said of the former World No. 1.

The historic and elegant slam

Wimbledon is making a comeback this year after its 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The better news is that The Championships is opening its doors to crowds with a minimum 50% capacity. A full capacity of 15,000 spectators was approved for the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles Finals on Centre Court.

“There is something so special entering those gates,” recalled Hantuchova, a career Grand Slam champion in mixed doubles who won the 2001 Wimbledon title with Czech Leos Friedl. “I would say it’s the respect to the tradition and the elegance of the game that I appreciate the most whenever I go there.”

The 2002 quarterfinalist who lost to eventual champion Williams went on, “It’s the beauty and the artistic part of playing on grass. Everyone respects the tradition, plays in white, and it transfers to the elegant styles and the way you have to play on grass. You can’t really get away with not a good technique. I think that’s the part I enjoyed the most as a player, you have to have really nice timing and smooth shots.”

Tanasugarn, the 2008 quarterfinalist who was defeated by the eventual champion, Serena’s sister Venus Williams, treasures her Wimbledon memories. “I didn’t grow up on grass court. I grew up with a really fast hard court so I got used to grass court quite well because it is low and fast. And you don’t have time to think a lot on grass court because every ball was coming so fast,” she said. “I’ve been in the Round of 16 for quite many years and to be in the quarterfinal was really my dream. I’m glad I made it and it’s a good memory for me.”

Baghdatis, the 2006 semifinalist who lost to runner-up Rafael Nadal of Spain, talked about the surreal feeling whenever he entered the Millennium Building at the All England Lawn Tennis Club at SW19.

“Every year going there, for whenever you enter the Millennium Building where they drop off the players, you have goosebumps every time you enter because for me, it’s the history of tennis. Since I was young, Wimbledon was the only tournament that was shown on TV in my country,” shared the Cypriot.

“It’s where every player, every person who loves tennis wants to be and wants to compete one day,” said Baghdatis, who played his last professional match in 2019 at the Wimbledon second round where he lost to Italian Matteo Berrettini. “It was sad because I didn’t wanna leave the sport I love but on the other hand, it was the best gift I ever had in my life to have such a career and finish it at Wimbledon.”

Catch the live coverage of the Wimbledon Championships as it premieres from June 28 to July 11 across FOX Sports channels.




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 28. June 2021 14:37 
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Dani's Picks: Experience to aid Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams at Wimbledon

Former No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova also predicts big results from Greek stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari.
By David Kane

Published Jun 27, 2021

Looking at a pair of Wimbledon draws that featured few certainties, former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova was left looking to phone a friend.

“I almost wanted to ask my Instagram followers for help making predictions!” she joked on Sunday.

A great many players have made major breakthroughs since the last grass-court major took place in 2019; a few will even make their main-draw debut at SW19. Now more than ever, Hantuchova predicts, experience will prevail through the coming fortnight.

“On grass, I always say the more years you play on it, the better you become. I remember playing Martina Navratilova in Eastbourne during one of her singles comebacks in the early 2000s. She was in her 40s at the time, but I was freaking out at the thought of playing this nine-time Wimbledon champion on grass even though I was half her age and the favorite to win. Still, players with that amount of grass court experience just know what it takes in how to cover the court, what shots to choose and when. All of that just comes with years of being on the surface.”

Starting off with one certainty and branching out into the more opaque scenarios, the psychic-adjacent Slovak goes forth with some bold predictions ahead of the third major of 2021:

The Favorites

Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB): I know many people think this tournament will come down to Novak or Roger Federer, but looking at the draw, I’m not even putting Roger in my Top 3 picks. There is nothing like match play, and for Roger, it’ll be so important for him to get through the first week and, if he can manage that, he’ll deserve to be as big of a favorite here as he’s ever been. I just think it’ll be interesting to see how he performs through the first few rounds.

For Novak, there’s a combined advantage for him in that Rafael Nadal is not playing and Roger doesn’t have the same number of matches he’s used to ahead of a Wimbledon Championships; don’t forget, he’s won Halle ten times! With those two factors in his favor, it wouldn’t surprise me if Novak goes on to win all four Slams and the Olympics. He’s absolutely a level above everyone else and it couldn’t have been tougher for him in Paris, beating Rafa and then being two sets down to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the finals, but he still found a way. Seeing him off the court and how he was, emotionally, I sense he’s in a really good place and arguably even fitter than when he was when he first came onto tour.

Even though he’s getting older, he has that much more experience on grass compared to his younger rivals, and that’s huge in helping him feel more confidence. He’s mentally and physically in a different league compared to the field so I’m picking him for everything he plays the rest of the year!

Serena WILLIAMS (USA): You can never, ever write off Serena—especially on grass. For me, Serena at Wimbledon isn’t too different from how Paris turns Rafa into a completely different player. At her best, she was absolutely untouchable on this surface. I remember some years where the serve was working and she could take the returns even earlier than usual; it all combined to make her that much more explosive and aggressive on every point. When she played like that, there was certainly nothing I could do on the court. If she can make it through the first few rounds without wasting too much energy, she’s got a shot because she knows what it takes to win there, and there’s nothing like going back to a place where you’ve achieved that level of success. It all comes down to the serve. In her last few Grand Slam finals, the serve just wasn’t working, and that’s the shot that unlocks the rest of game.

The younger girls are hitting much harder than they were a decade ago—some, arguably, as hard as she can—and that’s making a bit of a difference for her when she, for example, played Elena Rybakina at Roland Garros. Her speed of shot, off the ground and especially on the serve, was once so much greater than anyone else. She also doesn’t necessarily have the same aura she once had at her best because when you lose these kinds of matches, other players begin believing they can win, as well. That locker room respect is hard to gain and easy to lose; and no one’s had it longer than her.

Still, Serena has that undeniable fighting spirit, and there’s nowhere she turns it on better than at Wimbledon. To beat Serena on Centre Court, you really have to come up with something special to take it from her.


The Contenders

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE): Stef is a phenomenally hard worker with incredible discipline. He’s getting more mature with each result, so perhaps two years ago, I might have said a loss like what he took in Paris would take him weeks or even months to recover from. Now, he’s on a different mental plateau and I believe he’s able to take heart in being two sets up on the best player in the world in a Grand Slam final and feel like it only came down to a few points here and there in the third set.

He admittedly has this philosophical side and I like how he feels comfortable sharing his deeper thoughts with us and show his personality. So many fans can relate to him and become part of his life, and ultimately, I feel he feeds off that energy. He enjoys the fan support and it was obvious how well he played with the fans in Paris. Having crowds back at Wimbledon will be huge for him.

Maria SAKKARI (GRE): I’m such a fan of her as an athlete as much as a tennis player—starting with how much effort she puts in off the court. I would never want to be near her at the gym! But it’s so cool to see that hard work finally paying off to defeat Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros. It was obviously a tough learning experience to lose in the semifinals after being so close, but she has to come away from that knowing she can do it; it was literally one point that stood in her way. I hope that gives her confidence instead of putting her down, although I’m sure the days after that match were hard on her.

She’s super prepared for every tournament she comes to play, and she does all the right things to give herself opportunities to succeed; I’m a huge fan of players who maximize their potential the way she does.

Angelique KERBER (GER): She’s one who knows how to win Wimbledon, and has to be high on confidence after winning an emotional title at home in Bad Homburg.

The only thing that worries me is the reality that she isn’t one of the youngest players. Hopefully, she recovers well, and after not winning that much, the muscles may be hurting that much more than if you were coming off a physical week with a lot of momentum. Physically, it takes time getting used to winning so many matches again. If she can move well and be sharp with her footwork, she has that priceless experience on her side.

Matteo BERRETTINI (ITA): I was in Queen’s Club and so I can tell you firsthand just how hard Berrettini can hit the ball on grass. It’s unreal how he can adapt his game to this surface. It’s fascinating to see this group of Italian men, who may traditionally have been more partial to clay, do such a good job adjusting to grass.

His big serve opens up the court for his forehand, but I’m also impressed by how he’s improved his slice backhand over the past couple of weeks—starting in Madrid, where he played so well to make the final. There were some pretty good players in Queen’s Club and I couldn’t believe how comprehensively he outplayed each of his opponents that week.

There’s nothing like the confidence that comes with winning a grass-court warm-up event. I always felt you get those few extra free points off that momentum alone; in years where I won Birmingham or performed well before Wimbledon, I felt like, unless it was Serena Williams or one of the other top players, I can’t lose.


The Longshots

Alex DE MINAUR (AUS): I love the way he was able to play last week to win Eastbourne. His first-round against Sebastian Korda is absolutely on my radar as one of the early ones to watch when the tournament gets underway; whoever comes out of that one could end up being a big challenge for Tsitsipas starting off the second week.

Anett KONTAVEIT (EST): Watching her in Eastbourne, I absolutely love the way Anett is playing at the moment. She can really go deep as long as she remains solid off the ground. She doesn’t have any weaknesses that I can see; she’s a complete player, but it all comes down to belief. She works hard off the court, so the more she can put herself in these situations against top players, the more likely she’ll finally beat one and that will make all the difference. I feel like she’s on the cusp of achieving something really special.

Ons JABEUR (TUN): She’s finally putting everything together, and I think she’s more mature than she used to be, because it requires a certain level of maturity to choose the right shots at the right time. She’s so much fun to watch because of the variety, but being solid is what wins you matches, and that’s a balance she was able to strike so well in Birmingham. Percentages on grass are so important, so as long as she doesn’t start feeling the need to do too much out there, she can keep this momentum going.

Ugo HUMBERT (FRA): I first saw him play last year in Paris-Bercy at the Masters event and really enjoy his game. He’s in a section with Félix Auger-Aliassime, but this Frenchman’s got so much potential, and again, that feeling of winning a title on grass—and your first title at that—you can come to Wimbledon feeling like one of the favorites regardless of where you are in the draw.

Lorenzo SONEGO (ITA): Like Matteo, he’s clearly adjusted his game big-time to the grass and shook off the disappointment of bowing out early in Roland Garros to finish runner-up to de Minaur in Eastbourne. I haven’t had a chance to listen to his song yet, but I have a feeling what the DJ will be playing around the grounds if he goes far this week!

Jelena OSTAPENKO (LAT): Here’s another former Grand Slam winner, and I think winning Eastbourne will be something she can carry to Wimbledon, where she’s made the semifinals in 2018. When you’re in the second week of a Slam and some less experienced players may get tight, I wouldn’t expect her to. It was nice to see how much winning Eastbourne meant to her, because it clearly took her a while to adjust to being a Grand Slam champion, and she’s come a long way. She’s a strong returner and isn’t afraid to go up the line.




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 14. July 2021 15:53 
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Tennis Channel Inside-In 7/8/21: Greg Rusedski & Daniela Hantuchova on The Wimbledon Championships Tennis Channel Inside-In

It's a star-studded episode of Tennis Channel Inside-In this week, as two former top players join the show to preview the final rounds of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. Former US Open finalist and Great Britain native Greg Rusedski breaks down Novak Djokovic's sustained brilliance, Roger Federer's potential farewell at the All England Club, a trio of rising young stars making their first Wimbledon semifinal, and Andy Murray's return to the major he won twice. Then Daniela Hantuchova joins to dissect the parity in the current women's game, Ashleigh Barty's role as top dog and ambassador, Emma Raducanu's tremendous debut, and a look at the women's Wimbledon final. Hosted by Mitch Michals.

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Daniela's @ 32 minutes



Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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