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Golden Slam
 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 27. January 2021 22:06 
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Daniela Hantuchova plays "Buy, Sell, Hold" with Aussie Open favorites

The former world No. 5 analyzes the game's biggest names and rates their chances of taking home the first major title of the 2021 season.

By David Kane
January 27, 2021

Daniela Hantuchova will be analyzing the 2021 Australian Open at a metaphorical deficit, having put most of her chips down on the game's biggest names during an entertaining round of Buy, Sell, Hold.

"I can’t bring myself to sell," she joked. "As we go through the tournament, I think that’s when I’ll start selling."

The former world No. 5 assessed the chances of eight men and women most likely to succeed at the first major tournament of the new season, earmarking who ought to be fastest out of the gate, and who may need a bit more time to get going after a turbulent 2020.

BUY: Sofia KENIN (USA)
"Well, you always have to buy when you’re talking about a defending champion. I often got the feeling that, regardless of how I might have been feeling in practice, when I entered Rod Laver Arena, I was capable of playing my best tennis out of nowhere, because of all those great memories from the past. She’ll have those feelings as well, coming back as a defending champion. She’s definitely a buy."

BUY: Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB)
"I’m definitely buying into Novak. The way he won last year, how he’s trained in the pre-season, and is coming back as defending champion, there is 0.0001% I would think otherwise when it comes to his chances to win, just because of how comfortable he feels in Australia."

HOLD: Ashleigh BARTY (AUS
"I’ll have to hold. I’m a huge fan of her game. I absolutely love her style. The only reason why I would hold is because I haven’t seen her play in some time, and it’s never easy to come back after such a long break.
"Otherwise, I would want to buy because she’s been at home and able to practice at home."


BUY: Rafael NADAL (ESP)
"I think the way Rafa beat Novak at Roland Garros surprised all of us. It was an incredible effort, and one of the best matches I’ve seen from him. He obviously has to feel confident being the most recent Grand Slam champion. He's also put a lot of work into his pre-season, and comes to Australia looking super prepared, as well. As much as the 'Next Gen' are knocking at the door, I still feel like it’s either Rafa or Novak when they're in the draw."

HOLD: Serena WILLIAMS (USA)
"I would hold because obviously, she’s always among the favorites to win every event she enters because of what a champion she is. We just never know these days, and I’ve predicted her to win a lot since she came back after having a baby, and though she's looked really strong at times, it hasn't quite come together in a big final yet."

BUY: Dominic THIEM (AUT)
"If I had to put one man next to Rafa and Novak, it would be Dominic after the incredible season he’s had. He’s matured so much, and his game has become so much more complete. He’s super confident on all parts of the court, where he may have used to only feel that way behind the baseline. Winning the US Open was huge for him because I think many assumed his first Grand Slam title would come on clay. It’s so different going into major tournament as a former champion, that it surely brings extra confidence. He’s another favorite to win."

BUY: Simona HALEP (ROU)
"I think I would always buy when it comes to Simona—especially Down Under, with Darren Cahill waiting for her. They’re such a great combination, and I think she feels like it’s a home tournament as a result, and because of all of the fans that support her there. She’s been so close to winning the title over the years, so she’s another buy for me."

HOLD: Alexander ZVEREV (GER)
"I would have to hold here. If David Ferrer was still around—I felt like he made such a difference in his game—I would feel much more confident. When you’re playing so well and you make changes, I always wonder why, when things seem to be going well? Only he knows, but it gives me pause."




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Golden Slam
 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 29. January 2021 19:40 
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Daniela Hantuchova says the likes of Iga Swiatek, Sofia Kenin and Naomi Osaka are taking over in women's tennis
Polish teenager Iga Swiatek introduced herself in 2020 with an incredible French Open campaign, while Sofia Kenin and Naomi Osaka continued their ascent on the women's stage by winning Grand Slam titles
By Cameron Hogwood

Last Updated: 29/01/21 4:56pm

Who shall step up and assert themselves as frontrunners in the post-Serena Williams era has become a prominent talking point, and in 2020 the women's tennis scene offered more than a mere peak into what looks a prospering future for the sport.

A then 21-year-old Sofia Kenin, who was named WTA Player of the Year in December, won her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open to open the campaign, before 19-year-old Iga Swiatek exploded onto the scene by beating Kenin in the French Open final to become the first Polish Grand Slam singles champion in history.

And then Japan's Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka to win her second US Open title in New York to end a remarkable season.

The tour also saw 21-year-old Elena Rybakina collect her second WTA title in Hobart in January and finish runner-up at four other tournaments, while Aryna Sabalenka, 22, sealed three straight titles after opening 2021 with victory in Abu Dhabi to extend her winning streak to 15 matches.

Daniela Hantuchova, who won seven WTA tournaments and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open during her career, carries few concerns over the apparent changing of the guard.

"I feel more confident about women's tennis than I have in a long time I think," Hantuchova told Sky Sports. "There have been so many inspirational stories and you kind of feel like the new generation is starting to take over.

"I was super impressed personally by Iga Swiatek, she's my favourite with the way she plays and the way she thinks out there. It's a combination of a lot of players in one.

"I believe she's got a little bit from Martina Hingis, Agnieszka Radwański, Jennifer Capriati as far as her shot selection so we're talking about somebody who I think is going to be around for quite some time as long as she can stay healthy.

"Obviously Naomi's story has been incredible, Coco (Gauff) as well, she's taking a little bit more time to fulfil her potential but she's still got a bit of time. These are going to be exciting times for women's tennis for sure."


Swiatek was imperious at Roland Garros, losing just 28 games in seven matches as she capped an impressive campaign with a 6-4 6-1 victory over Kenin to become the lowest-ranked women ever to win the tournament and the youngest French Open women's champion since Monica Seles in 1992.

The Polish teenager's methodical and calculated deciphering of opponents proved a standout feature on her road to the final, which included a 6-1 6-2 statement against top seed Simona Halep.

"We've had so many powerful years where we saw a lot of strong players hit incredibly hard, but to see somebody that thinks so smart out there, has beautiful touch and anticipation, it reminded me a little bit of Ash Barty when she won in Roland Garros," said Hantuchova.

"There is that nice variety that we had 20 years ago and then it kind of went missing, so it's wonderful to see that back and I'm a huge fan of that in women's tennis."

On the other side, Hantuchova is anticipating a familiar look to the men's game in regards to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer leading the way in the Grand Slam hunt.

Djokovic began 2020 by winning at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and Dubai Open, before receiving heavy criticism for staging the Adria Tour exhibition series last summer amid a pause in the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Having prevailed at the Cincinnati Masters upon the season's resumption, the world No 1 was knocked out in the fourth round of the US Open and beaten by Nadal in the final of the French Open either side of victory at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, eventually finishing his year with a semi-final defeat to Dominic Thiem at the ATP Finals.

"I think he's got the motivation and the hunger to win all four slams," added Hantuchova. "I definitely felt at this time last year he was going to be unbeatable just because of the way he was playing.

"Nobody has a crystal ball so we can't predict what's going to happen but I think he's super motivated and he's putting all the right work in and doing all the right stuff off the court so let's see what happens to him, to Rafa, to Roger. These guys aren't going anywhere, so I think we can expect a lot of excitement from their side."

The 2021 Australian Open is due to get started on February 8, with 72 players currently isolated in their hotel rooms after the return of positive cases on their inbound flights.

Hantuchova believes the tough conditions heading into the tournament could be defining, Spaniard Paula Badosa recently admitting hard quarantine had been "far and away" the worst experience of her career.

"I think in Melbourne everyone is hoping Ash Barty can do something special in front of her home crowd, she's been away though for quite a long time so it will be quite interesting to follow her journey because it's never easy to come back after such a layoff," she said.

"Some of the girls I followed in the pre-season all seemed to be working incredibly hard. I also think it's going to be about who mentally can handle this quarantine time the best way.

"At the ATP Finals in London we heard the guys say how mentally exhausting it is and I can't even imagine how hard it is for the players to make all those adjustments. I think at the end of the day it's going to be about who is mentally the strongest."





Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Golden Slam
 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 5. February 2021 14:51 
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Covid-19, the great Australian Open leveller: Daniela Hantuchova
Former world No. 5 believes there are no favourites in the women's draw
Dilenjit Singh
Sub Editor
Feb 05, 2021 06:00 am

With the year's first Grand Slam set to begin on Monday, former women's world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova believes the Covid-19 conditions that the Australian Open will be operating under will remove the favourites' tag and level the playing field.

When asked who the standout candidates in the women's singles competition were, the 37-year-old Slovak told The New Paper: "In these kind of circumstances, it's really hard to talk about stars or favourites... because these conditions really even the field and rankings don't matter as much any more...

"Also when you are top-seed players, there are some advantages... you have your practice courts whenever you want and some little things that can make a big difference in big matches, and that's not going to be happening...

"It's more about who is mentally going to be the star of the next couple of weeks... more than ever, it is going to become more of a mental sport."


Marcos Baghdatis, Melbourne Park finalist in 2006, agreed that the mental aspect will be more pivotal than ever, saying: "As hard as our sport is mentally, it's even tougher this year because of the situation."

For the 35-year-old Cypriot, however, there remains a clear favourite in the men's singles draw - world No. 1 and record eight-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.

The former world No. 8 added: "He's the No. 1 player in the world and he feels like the Australian Open is like his home."

However, things at this year's tournament are markedly different from the last eight times Djokovic triumphed there.

PLAY CANCELLED

This was highlighted by the fact that play at warm-up tournaments yesterday was cancelled, after a worker at one of the quarantine hotels had tested positive for Covid-19.

That caused 500-600 players and officials to be tested and isolated until they receive negative results.

These individuals had previously served a 14-day quarantine after flying into Melbourne for the tournament.

"Just from a player's perspective, mentally I can't even imagine how tough it must be,"
said Hantuchova, who won the mixed doubles crown at all four Grand Slams.

"You get out of the first quarantine thinking, right, now you have the freedom and you are going to play matches and stuff and now you're back to your room...

"Our sport is an individual sport and there is so much time you spend alone already... And now with the quarantine, it just makes it even harder."


She praised tournament director Craig Tiley for constantly communicating with the players and "not hiding", but not everyone has been so complimentary.

Spain's world No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut likened the quarantine to prison "with Wi-Fi", while Djokovic was panned for sending a letter to the organisers asking them for a shorter quarantine period and "private houses with tennis courts", among other requests.

The tournament had already been pushed back by three weeks to allow the Victorian state government and organisers Tennis Australia to come up with a plan that would facilitate the Grand Slam taking place under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.

Said Baghdatis: "If for any reason, something goes wrong and they will not continue with the Australian Open or have another two-three day (delay), we have to accept things...

"It's not just a tennis tournament, it's playing a tennis tournament and keeping a whole country safe."





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 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 8. February 2021 16:13 
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The 2/21: Daniela Hantuchova's AO favorites, contenders and longshots

The player-turned-commentator outlines the players to watch, those that will make waves, and those most likely to come through the draws.

By David Kane

February 07, 2021

After years of shrugging off predictions as a player, former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova finds herself face-to-face with her analytic nemesis in her transition to the commentary booth.

"I really wish I had a crystal ball," she joked after the Australian Open draws were revealed on Friday, "or perhaps a lifeline: could I phone a friend or have a 50/50?"

Since retiring from the WTA Tour in 2017, the 2008 Australian Open semifinalist has had to make those tough calls, made all the more complicated by the circumstance resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"All of that evens up the field so much more, and whoever is mentally toughest and able to accept everything that has been thrown at the players—which, I have to say again, they deserve so much credit and respect because it’s been very tough on them—will have the biggest advantage."

Still, a well-shuffled draw can clear up even the foggiest of visions. Hantuchova previewed the fields as they shook out, and broke down the game's biggest names into three categories of those most worth watching over the fortnight Down Under.

The Favorites

Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB)
It’s so hard to choose between Novak and Rafael Nadal, but I have to give it to Novak in a 51-49 split. With players like him or Nadal, you don’t really think about the draw as much. It’s more about how he has performed in Australia in the past.
It is, by far, his most successful Slam, and I know he worked extremely hard during his pre-season on his fitness. To me, he looks stronger and more muscular, and given the conditions in Australia, that will absolutely be a factor.

He’s as physically prepared as he could possibly be, and mentally, he’s proven capable of putting disappointments behind him, so I doubt he’s even thinking of what happened this year. He’s in a tough section, there’s no question about that, but in a way, I think Novak likes situations like these because they tend to bring out the best in him. He’s starting against an experienced player right away in Jeremy Chardy, so Novak will be keenly aware that he needs to play his best tennis right from the start.

Simona HALEP (ROU)
It’s the toughest that it has ever been to pick a favorite, because typically we’re able to judge on several weeks of warm-up events, and now with everything happening in one week, there’s a much smaller body of evidence.

Between Simona and Serena Williams, I give Simona a similarly slight edge. I wouldn’t worry about her loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova. Her main focus is the big one around the corner, and I can understand, especially since it appeared she was dealing with a small injury, that she may not have wanted to take the risk of playing full out and aggravating it further.

Simona is in a similar situation to Nadal, for me, where it has come down to a little bit of bad luck here and there, because she has everything it takes to win in Australia. I think it’s huge that she has someone like Darren, someone native to the country, in her corner as her coach. I don’t think she’s missing anything in her game, or needs to do anything extra. I know her physical coach, as well, so I know she had an intense pre-season and is physically fit. If she plays her tennis, fights hard—which she’s managed to do over the last few years, playing at a consistently high level—I would make her the favorite to win that third leg of a Career Grand Slam.

The Contenders

Rafael NADAL (ESP)
It’s so strange to think he has only won the Australian Open once, but he’s also had a great pre-season and comes into 2021 feeling very fresh. I was very impressed with how he played indoors last year, so that could help make him more confident on faster courts.
The conditions should suit him, and the fact that it’s a physical tournament should favor him as much as Novak, so I can’t say exactly why the split between them has been so uneven at this event.

When he is at his best on hard courts, he’s much more aggressive, taking the ball early on the return and coming to net more often, but winning a tournament like this can come down to a few points here and there, so all he may need, ultimately, is a little bit of luck!

Serena WILLIAMS (USA)
Like Djokovic, Serena has always performed so well in Australia, which makes it the tournament where she will likely have her best chance of winning that 24th major title. She doesn’t have as much pressure Down Under as she may at home in the States, or even at Wimbledon where everyone just expects her to win. She’s able to enjoy her time more here, looks very fit and hungry.

When I played Serena, I never got the sense that she was ever merely hoping to win; she just knew. In the last few finals, it seems more like she was hoping her opponent would give it to her in those tight moments, whereas in the past she was able to think, ‘I’m Serena and there’s no way I’m losing this.’ It’s normal for her to be going through this given her age, and I think the other players have greater belief when they play her now. There may be just that little bit of doubt holding her back right now; if she can get rid of that, there would be no stopping her.

Dominic THIEM (AUT)
Now that he is a Grand Slam champion, Dominic carries himself with a completely different level of confidence. He no longer feels the same pressure to win that first major title, because he’s already done it! Now he can relax and you can see the improvement he has made over the last 12 months. For sure, he’ll be very hungry to win another; I certainly expect it to happen for him on clay, but he clearly has chances on faster surfaces, well.

I saw him live in London for the ATP Finals, and he looks like a different player; that’s what a Grand Slam trophy can do to you. He’s much calmer between points, and that will make him super dangerous this year. He has that extra pressure off his shoulder and that can make him braver and more aggressive in matches. The adjustments he’s made to his game can make him as effective on hard courts as clay; he’s moving closer to the baseline more often, and he’ll definitely have to do that in Australia.

Naomi OSAKA (JPN)
Naomi obviously knows what it takes to win in Melbourne, so that’s always huge. She has looked strong through her first few matches in Melbourne, but she finds herself in a tough section of the draw from the very first match. I think how she plays against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will be an interesting way to gauge her level going forward.

Her experience counts for so much at a major tournament, more so than anywhere else. It’s nice to win a tournament and come back as a defending or former champion, but at a Grand Slam, you can feel that extra 20-30% confidence.

The Longshots

Karolina PLISKOVA (CZE)
I’m very interested to see how her collaboration with Sascha Bajin will work out. I feel like we’ve spent so much time talking about why Pliskova hasn’t won a Grand Slam yet, but that’s only because I still believe she has everything it takes to win one.

Jannik SINNER (ITA)
I’m a huge fan of his game. He’s got so much potential, and I would not be surprised if he was ranked in the Top 10 by the end of this year. He has a big serve, moves incredibly well for a tall guy, and it just feels like he has it all.

He’s playing in what I think will be one of the best first round matches of the tournament against Denis Shapovalov, and whoever wins that one can really go far in the tournament.

Belinda BENCIC (SUI)
Belinda is one who is always capable of pulling off big upsets. She has the game for it. I got to see a lot of her off-season practice in Bratislava, and she was really putting in the hours necessary to play well. I spoke with her a few weeks ago and I felt she’s in the right frame of mind right now; she has that appreciation where she wants to compete, no matter what it takes. The last 12 months have been tough, but that was the absolute right attitude heading into a major tournament.

Denis SHAPOVALOV (CAN)
He has so much variety in his game that it all comes down to discipline. When he’s focused, he can be so dangerous, because of his timing and easy power off the ground. In hot conditions, he may not have to use the same energy as a player who has to muscle the ball more. He’s so fun to watch.

Maria SAKKARI (GRE)
When you talk about physical preparation, who is fitter than Maria? Her fitness level is frightening, and I wouldn’t want to watch her “Sparring with a Spartan” workouts if I was one of her opponents!

Matteo BERRETTINI (GRE)
I think we could see two Italians make deep runs at the Australian Open! As we saw at the US Open a couple of years ago, he’s another one with a big game, and that always pays off in Australia. When you’re physically strong and hit the ball hard, you’re in with a chance to surprise a top player. I can see him making the quarters and perhaps pull off an upset.



Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Golden Slam
 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 20. February 2021 20:12 
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Hantuchova: Experience aids Osaka, Djokovic in Australian Open finals

The former world No. 5 makes her picks for what promises to be an exciting weekend of championship matches in Melbourne.

By David Kane
February 19, 2021

Two weeks removed from her pre-tournament picks, Daniela Hantuchova still finds predictions as difficult to make as ever.

"It's arguably even harder because all of the finalists are there for a reason," she said after the championship match-ups were revealed.

In two clashes featuring experience against momentum, the former world No. 5 takes stock of what promises to be an intriguing finals weekend at the Australian Open, and makes her picks for who will end the first Grand Slam fortnight of 2021 with titles.

[3] Naomi OSAKA (JPN) vs [22] Jennifer BRADY (USA)

Daniela's Preview: What an exciting contrast of styles we’re going to see between Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady.

Jennifer is having the tournament of her life. Her story is so beautiful to watch and follow. She is so humble and friendly that everyone is so happy to see her in the final. After having been in the hard quarantine, she never complained and used the time positively. I’m so glad she has been able to deliver this kind of message, because there are so many more things happening in the world right now than a 14-day quarantine. It was just so cool of her to go about it that way, and I believe she’s been rewarded for that attitude because that extra mental energy has helped her play so well on the court.

She’s so fit, and so much more disciplined, and I think that comes down to Michael Geserer, her coach. I think she has more of that German kind of attitude instilled in her. She has always had so many weapons to her game, but she’s using them much more constructively.

Playing in her first Grand Slam final, Jennifer's key to success against Naomi will come down to how well she can serve—because one thing Naomi has improved so much is her return. We saw that shot played to deadly effect against Serena, something like 75 percent of returns put back into play.

Speaking of Naomi, we’ve seen how well she’s been able to handle playing under pressure, and just how incredibly mentally strong through the huge matches she’s won over the years. Once you have that kind of confidence, you start to feel like you’re unbeatable, and I think that’s why she’s hitting the ball even harder—not just because of how much stronger she is, but also because of the belief she has. It’s incredible how she’s become such a great champion in such a short amount of time.

I expect her to be able to come out and play her best tennis, and if she does that, chances are she can win another title.

Daniela's Pick: I have to go with Naomi Osaka, because, as much as I think the match will be close, she has been in these kinds of situations much more often. A final comes down to those small details, so having that past experience will help her big time.


[1] Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) vs [4] Daniil MEDVEDEV (RUS)

Daniela's Preview: We are looking at the best player at the Australian Open against arguably the best player on tour at the moment in Novak Djokovic against Daniil Medvedev.

Novak was my pick to win the tournament when the draw came out. I still stand behind what I said before the tournament, but Medevedev fills me with as much doubt as I ever could have imagined after how well he played his semifinal.

The main thing in Novak’s corner is just how many times he has won Down Under before. Like Osaka, he has been in this situation so many more times than his opponent. Unlike Brady, Medvedev has been in a Grand Slam final before, but even more helpful will be the 20-match winning streak he takes into the final. This isn’t 20 Challenger matches; we’re talking about beating the best of the best 20 times in a row! He’s a completely different player than he was at the 2019 US Open—and even there he came very close to defeating Rafael Nadal in that final—so he has every reason to come into this match against Novak believing that he can go all the way.

The more I think about it, the harder it is not to pick Medvedev for the title!


Daniela's Pick: I definitely think it will go five sets, and a couple of points may decide the match, but I still have to go with Novak Djokovic. I picked him before the tournament, and I believe the first instinct is always right.




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 Post subject: Re: News, Articles & Interviews
PostPosted: 24. February 2021 23:20 
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How the Australian Open can set the tone for 2021 – including Tokyo Olympics

Feb 24, 2021 6:49 PM PHT
Beatrice Go


MANILA, Philippines

'I think all eyes are on the Australian Open,' says former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova

Just like the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this year's Australian Open was also marred with COVID-19 issues that initially put the year-opening Grand Slam in peril.

But with the tournament ending successfully and seeing Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic raise their trophies, it gave sports organizers, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organizing Committee, a glimmer of hope that the biggest global sports showpiece can still go on.

"I think all eyes are on the Australian Open," said former world No. 5 and Fox Sports guest presenter Daniela Hantuchova.

"All the organizers from other sports will be watching closely. You know, what kind of things have to be done in order to proceed."

"So I think it's important. The way it's going to start and kind of set up the tone for for the rest of the sports events this year."


The Australian Open initially went ahead welcoming 30,000 fans a day, but when State Premier Daniel Andrews announced the news that the highly transmissible strain of COVID-19 linked to Britain infected 13 people in Melbourne, the tournament had to be closed off for 5 days.

But after the brief suspension, fans were able to catch the major rounds until the finals.

"I think it's a great move from Tennis Australia and the government of Victoria to achieve something like that. It will give some motivation or let's say, inspire some other sports or other events to happen,"
said former world No. 8 and Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.

Compared to the 2020 French Open, this year-opening Grand Slam had negative reception, including the anxieties of Melbourne residents to the hotel staff testing positive for COVID-19, which led to testing of 600 players.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is receiving a far greater opposition from the Japan public, and was further heightened by organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori's sexist comments that led to his resignation.

With new chief Seiko Hashimoto – a woman who has competed in 7 Olympics – now at the helm, the organization and the Japanese government are determined to stage the pandemic-hit Games from July 23 to August 8.

And as the Australian Open had shown, the COVID-19 pandemic may have put the sports world at a standstill, but major tournaments across the globe – through bubble setups and event-wide testings – can slowly return and put life back to sports. – Rappler.com




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PostPosted: 8. March 2021 18:25 
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I woke up and knew I would win the final with Hingis. Not just about tennis with Daniela Hantuchová
Sports news PodcastMarch 08, 2021
Stanislav Benčat

"It never happened to me that I was talking about this conversation and this. We trust each other. We feel where the guardrails are. We can have a lot of fun, we can also analyze serious things, but we know where from where. Journalists sometimes miss this. Our sports do not feel it either. Ask about emotions when you just lost a match. I would never have thought of that and I would not have asked in my podcast. When I'm in the yard as a journalist for television, it's different. I have to ask it there, although I wouldn't normally ask it. "

On March 8, every boy and man should realize and remind us that Adam without Eve would be like a jug without water, a tree without leaves, a song without tones and words, because on this day we celebrate International Women's Day. It is therefore clear that the guest of the special edition of the podcast is a woman. Moderator Stanislav Benčat welcomed a rare visit to the podcast studio, the first lady of Slovak tennis, Daniela Hantuchová.

The former world five has a successful career after a successful career. Hantuchová was one of the best in the world on tennis courts, today she is no less a successful television commentator and tennis analyst. He also records his own podcast.

In the Olympic podcast, she not only talked about current projects, but also recalled the times of great tennis fame. What can you find in the latest Olympic podcast?

How did the idea to record your own podcast come about?
Who has been the best guest so far?
Who would Hantucha like to confess?
How does she work as an analyst?
Who is her best interviewed with?
How did she perceive the specific Austrialian Open at the time of the pandemic?
How did she do analyzes from home?
How do you remember the Indian Wells tournament?
What are her relationships with Barbara Schett or other players from the past?
Today it launches its own perfume, what is the story of its origin?




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Hantuchova launches DNA perfume with Sileno Cheloni
MAR 08, 2021
by David Kane

Player, podcaster, and now perfumer: Daniela Hantuchova marked 2021's International Women's Day with the pre-launch of her DNA perfume, a collaboration with master perfumer Sileno Cheloni.

"The journey to arrive to this day has been nothing but extraordinary," she wrote on her official Instagram, "from the first moment we met with Sileno, and thanks to his incredible knowledge, experience and talent he has been able to create my very own DNA scent, which truly reflects the most special moments and emotions of my life."


Hantuchova, who retired from tennis in 2017 and has since sought to grow a media empire as an analyst and podcaster, traveled to Italy in the fall to begin working on the perfume, and has been teasing the launch of this latest endeavor on social media for the last week.

"It was like getting to work with the Roger Federer of perfume," Hantuchova said of the experience with Cheloni on Monday. "He's a modern-day alchemist."

The scent shares the name with her podcast, but carried deeper inspiration for the the former world No. 5.

"The scent describes all of my emotions, be they victories, tears, or sacrifices. It encompasses everything from my life, the whole spectrum of emotions, and not to mention DNA is short for Daniela!"

Hantuchova promises the first 50 orders will come with a personal message.

"I remember exactly how my first wooden racquet smelled, the clay and grass courts. To me, a scent reflects the deepest and most wonderful memories,"she said.




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Pre-launch of DNA perfume

280,00€ Tax Included

Pre-launch of DNA perfume

The exclusive fragrance of Daniela Hantuchova made in collaboration with the Master Perfumer Sileno Cheloni.

Be among the first to receive the perfume DNA made in specially designed bottle handmade in gold embossing with dépliant autographed by Daniela Hantuchova. After the purchase you will receive the digital confirmation with the personal video message from Daniela.

We carefully prepare each perfume personally, which may take from 30 until 45 days.

Once the perfume is ready it will be sent to you directly from our Ol’Factory.

“This is my DNA, what is yours?”

DNA is a personal code of Daniela Hantuchova, her life captured through scent. The most important turning points and places transmitted through ingredients as anchors in the sea of memories.

“DNA as a time machine immerses me to my earliest memories from taking my first wooden racket from my grandmother on the tennis court, to the taste of the first tournament victory in Indian Wells surrounded by exotic blooming flowers. From the scent of the Tuscan hills, where I used to go in my mind before each match, to my roots in the great mountains in Slovakia where I learned to be brave and overcome any challenge. Now more than ever it is important to turn inward and be true to yourself. In moments of joy and sadness, smiles and tears, remember who you are and listen to your heart. Be in harmony with yourself.” – Daniela Hantuchova




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Match Point Canada
Episode 10 - Daniela Hantuchova
56 minutes | Mar 15th 2021
She was a former world number five, a four time grand slam champion in mixed doubles, and a two time winner at Indian Wells.Tennis star Daniela Hantuchova joins on this week's episode of Match Point Canada, as we discuss her new Real DNA Podcast, moments in her terrific career, and some of the players she loves watching.We also go in depth on Genie Bouchard's run to the finals in Guadalajara, Mexico, the return of Roger Federer, action in Dubai, and much more.Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices






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Daniela Hantuchova predicts Osaka-Muguruza rematch at Miami Open

Analyzing the game for Amazon Prime Video, the former world No. 5 tipped the reigning Australian Open champion to extend her 21-match winning streak at the Hard Rock Stadium, with strong competition from Garbiñe Muguruza and Simona Halep.

By David Kane

March 23, 2021

The Miami Open is the last major hard-court tournament before the tour turns to European clay, and the women’s draw is replete with 2021’s most impressive performers. Compounded by next-to-normal COVID-19 conditions, a championship forecast is difficult as ever to make for Amazon Prime Video commentator Daniela Hantuchova.

“We are going through such strange times that it’s hard to even predict what will happen tomorrow!” the former world No. 5 said over the phone on Tuesday. “We are much better off just taking it one day at a time, whether that’s predicting tournaments, or the way we go about things.

“Ultimately, whoever stays mentally toughest will have the best chance. Jennifer Brady was such a great example of that, having the right approach in Melbourne and taking the quarantine without complaining about it. I still believe that’s the way to approach things this year. Acceptance is the word, and whoever can do that best will win the tournament.”


Hantuchova, who recently launched her eponymous DNA perfume, nonetheless saw three hopefuls stand out above the rest, and a trio of underdogs capable of causing upsets at the Hard Rock Stadium.

The Favorite

Naomi OSAKA (JPN)
Winner of the last two hard court Grand Slam tournaments, it looks as though Naomi has almost forgotten what it feels like to lose. She has won her last 21 matches, and seems to be on another level, not only with her tennis, but also with her mentality

What impresses me the most is how, in the big points and big moments, she has the capacity to step it up and hit the ball even harder. So many other players will get tight and slow down in those situations; Naomi goes the other way, and that’s a great sign of a champion, to be able to come up with her best tennis when she really needs to.

Her maturity impresses me so much. For such a young woman, she handles incredible pressure in a spectacular way. She’s going to win so many Grand Slams and be one of the best players we’ve ever had because of her ability to perform under pressure. The whole world is watching her, and she gets a ton of attention everywhere she goes, but she’s been able to step up and show why she deserves to be where she is.


The Contenders

Garbiñe MUGURUZA (ESP)
I think a lot about Osaka’s match against Muguruza at the Australian Open, how Garbiñe had match points against Naomi. Obviously, she is playing some of her best tennis as well, and Garbiñe is just one of those players where she can win any tournament she enters. She had great runs at the Middle East, won Dubai, and appears she’s also enjoying her life off the court, as well.

The conditions in Miami can be humid and heavy, and from what I’ve seen, the ball bounces quite high. She’s a tall and powerful girl who can handle that.

I think Conchita Martinez is one of the best coaches on tour, and she commands a huge amount of respect from Garbiñe because of what a great champion she was. Whatever Conchi says, Garbiñe listens, but at the same time, she’s so relaxed and chilled outside of tennis, that translates to Garbiñe’s mentality as well. She’s lent a huge amount of emotional stability to Garbi, both on and off the court.

She could play Osaka again in the semifinals. If she plays the same as she did last time, all she’ll need to do is win one more point! Conchita may suggest some new tactics, but the main objective will be to overpower Osaka—which won’t be easy to do, but she has the capacity to do so.


Simona HALEP (ROU)
I’m such a huge fan of Simo’s game that I always want her to do well; she was my pick to win the Australian Open! It seems like she’s in a really relaxed mode. The combination of the high bounce and her not being as tall won’t make things easy. She’ll have to defend well, which she always does at her best.

I honestly liked how she played throughout the fortnight in Melbourne; even in the match against Serena, there wasn’t too much she did wrong there. She’ll come to Miami hopefully feeling confident, as well. As an opponent, she’s not someone who’ll have you freaking out before the match because of her power or serve, but once the match starts, you start to really feel the effects of her game.

From the very first time I played Simona, what impressed me was how she could come up with winners from unexpected positions. I would hit an unbelievable cross-court shot, but she would respond with a backhand up the line, from an angle I couldn’t have thought possible. She’s got that beautiful touch and feel for the ball, and that makes her so much fun to watch. It’s definitely not as much fun to play, but she uses the court so well, incorporating her movement and accuracy.


The Longshots

Iga SWIATEK (POL)
Iga could play Halep in the fourth round, and has been very impressive, mentally, especially when you think that she’s only a few weeks away from defending her Roland Garros title. That’s something that should add more pressure, but it’s just been such a good couple of months for her. She’s been able to prove herself as mentally prepared as she is from a technical standpoint. I think she’s done such a good job of confirming that Roland Garros was no accident; she’s a top-quality player. I feel that she’s even hitting the ball heavier now than she was last fall. That can only help her in Miami, where she can navigate the bounce with her mix of spin and power.

Anett KONTAVEIT (EST)
Anett is in Osaka’s section of the draw, and narrowly lost to Naomi last summer in New York. From my vantage point, she needs to bring more belief to these big matches. She’s doing all the right things, working hard on and off the court. She’s working with my old coach, Nigel Sears, so I don’t worry about her preparation or discipline. I know I needed to be patient before I had my big breakthrough; luckily for me, it happened fairly early in my career, but you need that belief that it’ll all come together one day because when it does, she’ll be very dangerous.

Belinda BENCIC (SUI)
I just think she’s worked so hard, physically; she has a great fitness coach. She has such similar technique to Martina Hingis, and she’s so refreshing to watch when compared to the other players. Her game depends so much on having that timing that it all comes down to confidence for Belinda. If she’s feeling mentally strong, she’s nails on the court, and dangerous for anyone in the draw.




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Daniela Hantuchova sees room to grow in shifting doubles field

Former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova looks back on the 10-year anniversary of her own Miami Open doubles triumph, and previews Sunday's final while encouraging young singles stars to make use of doubles opportunities.

By David Kane

April 03, 2021


The start of the Miami Open women’s doubles tournament saw top teams struck down by singles stars as Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber dethroned defending champions Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka in the first round. Despite the early chaos, the doubles specialists ultimately held court: No. 5 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara will take on No. 8 seeds Haley Carter and Luisa Stefani for what will be the biggest title in either of their careers.

Often on the periphery of their own landscape, the specialist surge in Miami solidifies a post-pandemic shift where those most focused on the discipline are capitalizing on the power vacuum left by teams like Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova—who have split in the wake of Strycova’s maternity leave—and even Mertens and Sabalenka themselves, who won the Australian Open but vow to play less doubles to maximize their singles.

Former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova has been taking in the action as an analyst for Amazon Prime Video, and, on the tenth anniversary of her own Miami doubles triumph with Agnieszka Radwanska, noted the Sunshine State’s unpredictable weather can yield surprising results —especially on the doubles court.

“Just look at me and Agi; I don’t think anyone would have expected us to win; we certainly didn’t!” she said on Saturday morning.

“I think these days, every team has a shot, and it can come down to momentum. You can have a team who has one good tournament together and that confidence can translate into the next few. That appears to be the case with the Japanese team, who has already won twice this year and is into the finals in Miami.”

Aoyama and Shibahara, who played college tennis at UCLA, first paired up in the summer of 2019 to immediate success, winning three titles out of five finals, and have been equally efficient since the lockdown ended with two more titles and back-to-back Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances. Carter reached the 2019 Bogota final with Shibahara before partnering Stefani, and has been on an equally upward trajectory; the American/Brazilian duo are also playing their third final of the season.

“I think what draws fans to doubles teams is the energies and personalities of the players. Sometimes the bigger contrast, the better, because they can combine so well. You see a lot of partnerships where one plays more aggressively and the other has the touch at the net. That’s certainly been one of the more effective combinations of late, but I think the fans want to feel an energy and sense of fun emanating from the team.”

That fun was evident when, in only their fourth tournament together, Hantuchova and Radwanska took Miami by storm in 2011, knocking out established teams like Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina en route to a titanic championship match against Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova, one that was decided by a 10-point tie-break.

“It was one of the most fun weeks I’ve ever had in doubles. Aga and I are very similar as people and had very similar routines at tournaments. I remember how we would practice from 7-9 in the morning so we could spend the rest of the day by the pool or at the beach, having good times! I think that’s one of the reasons why we did so well; we just didn’t mind hanging out off the court.

“We beat some unbelievable doubles team who played so much longer together. That’s what can make doubles so hard to predict because you can have an experienced doubles team on one side of the court, but then the two of show up! So much about success in doubles and mix comes down to having fun, and that’s what we did. I’m sure Agi would agree because we would be laughing so much in practice. We had that fun off the court, but we worked extremely hard during our practices, and in the matches, we just didn’t expect to do much of anything. It’s just one of those moments we both look back on with big smiles on our faces.”


Hantuchova maintained a healthy doubles schedule throughout her nearly two decades on tour, frequently playing singles, doubles, and mixed at major tournaments at the behest of longtime coach Nigel Sears.

“He saw how much it could help me improve. It’s so different from practice, and it’s an opportunity to make the shots you’re working on in a match situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a singles or doubles court when there is still that pressure of competition. A lot of times, I would work on my singles game most by playing doubles. It really helped me use the skills I had in my game in matches, and that made me much more confident to use them in singles.

“It can also give you confidence when you’ve lost early in singles, to still be involved in the tournament. There is just nothing like match play, especially given the circumstances and that we’re grateful for any tournaments we have these days. I think players should be using that opportunity to make the best out of it.”


In the months leading to her 2002 Indian Wells singles breakthrough, a still-teenaged Hantuchova was already halfway to a Career Grand Slam in mixed doubles, a feat she completed in 2005.

“For me, personally, mixed doubles helped me even more because when do you get the chance to practice against guys who serve at 200 km/hr right into the body? That definitely helped improve my return game.

“There’s also the social aspect, because tennis can be such an individual sport that it’s so much fun to be able to make friends and share the court. It was through doubles that I was able to build a friendship with Ai Sugiyama that lasts to this day, and it would have never happened had we not played doubles together. I also enjoyed playing mixed for that reason; it was so much fun playing with the guys. You never know just how much good can come out of a single decision.”


Hantuchova is heartened to see next generation talents like Iga Swiatek, and the popular American team of Coco Gauff, and Caty McNally—otherwise known as “McCoco”—similarly making the most of the opportunity to fortify their development on the doubles court.

“For Iga, being as competitive as she is, any opportunity to be on the match court, she’ll take. I think playing with Bethanie can help her to feel more comfortable on the doubles court. Bethanie is one of the best doubles players we’ve had in the last couple of years, and it can give you so much confidence to share the court with someone who has that level of experience.

“I remember when Ai Sugiyama and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario asked me to play with them, I suddenly felt like a better player just because of their confidence in me! I think Iga must feel the same way alongside Bethanie, and feels a motivation to step up and improve as a doubles player. That can only do her good in singles, as well.”


Swiatek reached the Roland Garros doubles semifinal the same week she captured her maiden major singles title on the terre battue. In Miami, she shrugged off a third-round loss against a resurgent Ana Konjuh to enjoy a successful doubles run with partner former world No. 1 Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Aoyama and Shibahara eventually ended their run after a match tie-break in the semis, and together the rising Japanese stars will aim to score a third win in four meetings with Carter and Stefani in Sunday’s championship match.




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Behind the Racquet

“At age 5, I watched Miloslav Mečíř represent Slovakia and win gold at the 1988 Olympic Games. I asked my parents to buy me a tennis racquet so I could compete in the Olympics too. At a young age, it can be painful to face public scrutiny. I would read gossip magazines about myself and this taught me tough lessons. I was in a serious relationship and it was difficult to spend months apart. This lowered my motivation to train and compete. I wish I had enjoyed more of my time on tour instead of constantly putting pressure on myself. The pressure from within was larger than the external pressure and took my joy away from the game. Young players should never lose sight of why they originally picked up a racquet… to find joy. It is a natural inclination to want to be the best and sometimes that desire leads to disappointment. Success is knowing I gave 100% effort. Effort does not always yield results but the process makes us humble and strong.”




Daniela Hantuchova is right about everything.


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Tennis, Tennis, and More Tennis • Check Out Tennis On Tennis Channel and It’s New App

Tennis Channel today will unveil an updated website and new app that offer more tennis-based stats and information in one place than ever before. With links to live matches embedded in scoreboards, a comprehensive tennis calendar that covers multiple tours, rankings, personalization features, gaming and a first-of-its-kind estimated-match-start-times function, the site ensures tennis fans will never need to look elsewhere to stay on top of the game they love. Anyone in the world can access the site, Tennis.com, or download the new Tennis.com app on iOS or Android platforms.

....

In early 2017, Tennis Channel purchased Tennis Media, which includes website Tennis.com, print magazine Tennis Magazine and the youth-oriented electronic newsletter Baseline. At the time, the network outlined its intention to make the three outlets reflective of Tennis Channel’s on-air and digital brand. In 2019 it unveiled a redesigned Tennis Magazine, with an editorial approach aligned to the channel’s, and an expanded use of on-air and news talent. Today’s introduction of the reset Tennis.com includes a redesigned Baseline electronic newsletter, now housed on the website and app in addition to living in subscribers’ e-mailboxes.

The revamped site will also be home to three new digital series: You Should Know, hosted by Sports Illustrated’s, CBS 60 Minutes’ and Tennis Channel’s Jon Wertheim; Prakash Worldwide, with network analyst and international travel reporter Prakash Amritraj; and Credentialed, featuring different player and former player hosts throughout the year, beginning with retired player Daniela Hantuchova and active player Mischa Zverev at the French Open next week. At the same time, the Tennis.com Podcast will showcase a new host, Kamau Murray, who coached Sloane Stephens to the U.S.Open singles championship in 2017.




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Tennis: Defending champs Nadal, Swiatek lead top picks in French Open 2021
Rosy Mina

Posted at May 28 2021 08:19 PM

MANILA—Following their stellar victories at the Italian Open earlier this month, Roland Garros defending champions Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek are touted as the top contenders in the French Open happening from May 30 to June 13 in Paris.

This is according to former professional players and FOX Sports Asia pundits Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand, and Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, who named their top picks and dark horses in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News.

Nadal of Spain remains the runaway favorite to win what would be his 14th French Open title and 21st grand slam, with former World No. 5 Hantuchova saying, “Honestly, I don’t see anyone coming close to Rafa. There is something about him when he gets to this place that he suddenly becomes ‘not human’ anymore and I still don’t see how anyone will be able to beat him.”

The French Open has been Nadal’s stronghold since 2005, but Baghdatis believes that the young guns, who have been upping their game recently, could pose greater challenges for the King of Clay who turns 35 on June 3. “I don't think it’s gonna be an easy task for Rafa this time, and I think it’s gonna be very interesting,” commented the former World No. 8.

Hantuchova, the 2005 Roland Garros mixed doubles champion with Fabrice Santoro of France, added: “It seems like the guards are shifting and changing slowly but surely. But the Three Musketeers are still there holding strong,” pertaining to No. 3 seed Nadal, top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, and No. 8 seed Roger Federer of Switzerland.

The Big 3 are all in the top half of the draw, and Djokovic and Federer could meet in the quarterfinals. If Djokovic pulls through, he could face Nadal in the semifinals. The Swiss Maestro, however, admitted to Tennis World that he knows he will not win the French Open.

The three pundits believe that World No. 1 Djokovic is the second strongest contender, even if Nadal overcame him in the Rome final. As for the Next Gen players, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece leads the pack after the 22-year-old won the Monte Carlo and Lyon titles.
“Tsitsipas has been having an incredible past couple of months and he was so close to beating Novak in Rome. I think that was one of the best men’s matches I’ve seen recently,” Hantuchova said of the thrilling quarterfinals clash.

Baghdatis and Tanasugarn cited the good chances of two-time Madrid champion Alexander Zverev of Germany and two-time finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria. A surprise choice is second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia. “Not because he keeps saying how much he hates clay,” Hantuchova reasoned with a chuckle, “which I do not understand because I think he can play on it as well, so good, but that’s his choice.”

Out to prove their clay court prowess

Although just the No. 8 seed, Swiatek of Poland is considered as the formidable frontrunner after her masterful 6-0, 6-0 victory over Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic in the Rome final. “I think the way she won Rome was just amazing and I think she's a favorite,” Baghdatis said of the 2020 champion, who turns 20 on May 31.

“I think she’s done so well to handle all the pressure and expectations after winning a slam at such a young age. I think it’s remarkable how she’s been able to just follow it up with great results, which doesn’t happen too often when you win slams at such a young age. So, I definitely feel like she’s got a great chance to defend the title, especially with the way she played the finals in Rome,” stated Hantuchova.

World No. 1, top seed, and 2019 champion Ashleigh Barty of Australia is also deemed as a favorite by the pundits. Simona Halep of Romania, the 2018 champion, would have been a top contender, but she withdrew due to a left calf injury.

Baghdatis adds No. 2 seed Naomi Osaka of Japan, whom he described as someone “who wants to prove something on clay. You know everybody’s saying she’s not very good on clay, and I don't believe that. I think if she gets a couple of wins in the first few rounds, I figured she can be very dangerous in the second week of the grand slam.” He also mentioned Maria Sakkari of Greece because she loves to play in the French Open.

Tanasugarn did not count out 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams of the United States. “I think Serena wants to prove that after she gave birth to Olympia, she wants to prove the ‘mother power’ to win another grand slam after that. I think Serena is among the strongest ones also,” stated the former World No. 19 Thai.

Hantuchova sees two more players who could go far in Paris. First is Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who edged out Barty to claim the Madrid title. “I feel like with her game, if she has a good day, she can hit everyone off the court. So, definitely, she is one of the dangerous players in the draw.”

She also mentioned 17-year-old Coco Gauff of the U.S., who won the singles and doubles titles in Parma. “She has been playing really well the last couple of weeks. I think it’s a little bit too early to talk about her as potentially winning but definitely, she’s on the right path,” the Slovak tennis star noted.
Catch the live coverage of the Roland Garros as it premieres from May 30 to June 13 across FOX Sports channels.

Channel Information

FOX Sports
SKYCABLE: CH 31 (SD) | CH 253 (HD)
CIGNAL: CH 263

FOX Sports 2
SKYCABLE: CH 32 (SD) | CH 254 (HD)
CIGNAL: CH 265

FOX Sports 3
SKYCABLE: CH 140 (SD) | CH 176 (HD)
CIGNAL: CH 92




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