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Daniela Hantuchova

Born on 23rd April 1983 in Poprad, Slovakia, Daniela Hantuchova's grandmother was a former Czechoslovakian national player, and it was her who introduced Daniela to the sport when she was just three years old. Like Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova, Daniela spent time in Florida at the Nick Bollettieri tennis academy. In fact, it was Kournikova who beat her in Daniela's first Grand Slam tournament, the 2001 Australian Open.

Hantuchova is more renowned on the tennis court for her doubles ability than her singles. At the age of 18, she won the 2001 Wimbledon mixed doubles title partnering Leos Friedl, and the 2002 Australian Open mixed doubles title partnering Kevin Ullyett. Still, Daniela has enjoyed some success in the singles game, beating Martina Hingins in the final at Indian Wells in March 2002 to win her first professional singles title. She also made it to the quarter finals at both the US Open and Wimbledon.

Her beauty and famously long legs made her a popular pin-up throughout the world, which combined with her on-court success was beginning to make her one of the most popular and most recognised person on the ladies' tour. However, just as her career reached these new heights, Daniela failed to achieve further success, and rumours of an eating disorder began to circulate as she began to look thin and unwell, most notably when she began shedding tears half-way through a match at Wimbledon which would see her knocked out of the tournament. It remains to be seen if she can come back and get back to the heights of success she enjoyed once before in her career.

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