Pattaya Perfection! Hantuchova makes it a hat-trick in Thailand

Pattaya on a plate – Does this early triumph point to more success in 2015?

On a day which saw arguably much bigger stories within the sport (I’m thinking of Wawrinka’s bullish win over Berdych in Rotterdam or Petkovic’s triumph in Antwerp including a very special exhibition match) I will instead focus on a favourite of mine.

The clue is in the section of this blog after all, so you know, deal with it!

2015 is shaping up to be a little exciting of the only player to rival Henman and subsequently Federer in my affections these past fifteen years.

A solid start in Australia has led to Daniela Hantuchova returning once again to Pattaya City in Thailand which – after three titles in four attempts is becoming something of a second home to the Slovak.

For a long time Hantuchova’s credentials (apart from the No.5 ranking and full set of mixed doubles major titles) was her double victory at the Premier Event at Indian Wells; in 2003 (def Hingis) and 2007 (def Kuznetsova).

With today’s victory in the significantly less prestigious Tier V event, the 32 year old has suggested herself capable of an evergreen consistency of sorts and points to a career more akin to a Schiavone, Pennetta, Li Na and Date-Krumm survivor¬†than a Kournikova, Vaidisova, Kirilenko glitzy whimper.

I for one hope that such a comparatively minor triumph (but huge in the context of this forever fragile player) can allow for many more years on tour – her class, grace and humility will be sorely missed when she does retire.

Lastly, this performance is worthy of a post for its objective quality; Dani’s new pairing with Carlos Rodriguez is resulting in a positivity and solidity which I haven’t seen since 2008. At times it was the pre-meltdown player showing up once more.


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