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Going Long: Hantuchova bringing ‘crazy passion’ to Hong Kong

2014-US-Open_Daniela-Hantuchova_AFP_615x400Slovakian Star DANIEL HANTUCHOVA returns to Asia for the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, which will be held at Victoria Park from September 8-14.

 

Boasting long hair, long legs and a long list of achievements since turning pro in 1999, Daniela Hantuchova has won six WTA singles titles, helped Slovakia lift the Fed Cup and reached a career-high of World No. 5. The tall Slovak reached the semis of the Australian Open in 2008, while last year’s US Open quarter-final against Victoria Azarenka was her fifth appearance in the last eight of a Grand Slam singles event.

 

Hantuchova, 31, has also enjoyed plenty of success in doubles. In 2005, she completed a career Grand Slam of mixed doubles titles when she won the US Open with India’s Mahesh Bhupathi. In 2009 she reached her second Australian Open women’s doubles final, partnering Japan’s Ai Sugiyama in Melbourne after the pair reached the final at Roland Garros in 2006.

 

2014_Daniela-Hantuchova_action_300What are your impressions of Hong Kong from your previous visit?

Hong Kong is a sophisticated city with a lot of energy. I’ve been to Hong Kong only once a couple of years ago, so I’m very much looking forward to visiting again. It’s a modern and cool city. I didn’t really see much last time around, but I remember the shopping was amazing, so hopefully this time I’ll get a chance to explore more.

 

What’s the crowning achievement of your career?

Winning the Fed Cup for my country in 2002, Indian Wells the same year and qualifying for the year-end WTA Championships (now WTA Finals). Also up there is repeating my Indian Wells win in 2007 and reaching the semi-finals at the 2008 Australian Open.

 

You’ve been on the tour for a long time. What keeps you motivated and playing great tennis?

It’s simply my crazy passion for the game and competing. I’ll continue to compete as long as I’m healthy and enjoying what I’m doing. I don’t see any reason to consider hanging up my racquet just yet.

 

Why do you think players over 30 like Serena Williams, Li Na and yourself are still doing well on the women’s tour?

I think we as the older generation are using our experience well. We love the sport and all the challenges.

 

2014_Daniela-Hantuchova-hair_300What motivates and inspires you?

To be a better person and a player every single day.

 

Any training tips for tennis fans?  

Having a good sparring partner always helps. And have fun!

 

Any advice for aspiring tennis players looking to turn pro?

I think it’s important to not only work hard but to have fun. You also need to be mentally strong with a good support system.

 

Source: Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open (www.hongkongtennisopen.com); Editing by SportAsia

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