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Daniela Hantuchova

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Daniela Hantuchová (IPA: ) (pronounced: HAHN-too-khoh-vah; born April 23, 1983 in Poprad, Slovakia) is a Slovak professional tennis player. She is currently working with a number of coaches who work under the Sanchez-Casal Academy. Her WTA Tour mentor in the Partners for Success program was Martina Navratilova, who was her doubles partner for a brief period in early 2005. As of October 1, 2007, Hantuchová ranks at No. 10 in singles. She has twice topped the ACE tennis magazine's Hot List of the world's sexiest tennis players.

She has reached six other finals in her career — Filderstadt 2002 losing to Kim Clijsters, Eastbourne 2004 losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova, Los Angeles 2005 where she lost to Clijsters again, the 2006 Zurich Open losing to Maria Sharapova, in Bali 2007 losing to Lindsay Davenport and Luxembourg 2007 to Ana Ivanović.

Defending a title for the first time in her career, Hantuchová made it to the fourth round in Indian Wells, losing to Amanda Coetzer 6-4 6-4. Despite a first round loss to Alicia Molik in Miami, Hantuchová rebounded in the Tier I Charleston event, making her fifth quarterfinal in seven events, losing to Ashley Harkleroad 6-2 6-1. She made her sixth quarterfinal at her next event in Amelia Island, losing to eventual champion Dementieva 6-0 6-1.

Hantuchová finished the year ranked 17th in the world with a 34-25 record. She went 24-17 on hard courts, 5-4 on clay, 3-2 on grass and 2-2 on carpet. She was 4-6 against top 10 players beating Schnyder (twice), Safina and Kuznetsova, with losses to Sharapova (twice), Clijsters, Henin-Hardenne, Dementieva and Nadia Petrova.

In her seventh event of the year Hantuchová won just her second title at the same tournament she had won five years prior in Indian Wells, California. She defeated Kaia Kanepi 6-1 2-6 6-2, Francesca Schiavone 6-2 7-6(3), Martina Hingis 6-4 6-3, Shahar Peer 6-2 5-7 7-6(5), Li Na 7-5 4-6 6-1 and Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-4.

Hantuchová breezed past her first round opponent at Wimbledon Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-1 in less than an hour. She went on to defeat Elena Likhovtseva of Russia 7-5, 7-6(3) in the second round, Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the third before losing to Serena Williams of U.S. 2-6, 7-6 (2), 2-6 in the fourth. Following Wimbledon Daniela participated in Slovakia's Fed Cup World Group II play-off against Serbia. She beat Ana Timotić 6-1, 6-2 and Vojislava Lukić 6-0, 6-2 helping Slovakia retain their place in the second tier of Fed Cup tennis. Daniela started the US Open Series hardcourt season with a semifinal showing at Stanford where she eventually fell to Anna Chakvetadze in three sets. This result put her back in the top 10, where she stayed after reaching the last 16 of San Diego (losing to Venus Williams 6-0, 6-3) and Los Angeles (retired whilst losing to Elena Dementieva 6-3, 4-1) but fell to 11th following New Haven, where following a bye to the last 16 she lost to Hungarian qualifier, and eventual finalist, Ágnes Szávay 7-5, 6-3.


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