Hantuchova Looks To End Year On A High
MADRID, Spain - Daniela Hantuchova has enjoyed a quietly impressive year on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2007 and an impressive title run in Linz last week secured her place at the season-ending showpiece in Madrid. The popular Slovak is one of a select band of players to have recorded over 50 wins this year and this, allied with a morale boosting European indoor season, will see her arrive at the Sony Ericsson Championships in high spirits.
After a slow start to the year, Hantuchova's game finally clicked into gear on the hardcourts of Indian Wells where she defeated Martina Hingis and Svetlana Kuznetsova en route to the Tier I title. Despite slightly disappointing performances in the Grand Slams, the 24-year-old was remarkably consistent for the remainder of the year, finishing runner-up in Bali and Luxembourg, breaking back into the elite Top 10 and rounding it off in style with her victory in Austria on Sunday.
Hantuchova will be making just her second appearance at the year-end finale next week and will be eager to improve on the first-round defeat she suffered in 2002. While she may have left it late to secure qualification, the world No.9 comes to the Spanish capital in fine form and will be looking to end a wonderful season on an even higher note.
"It's definitely a dream come true for me this year and I know I did everything possible to qualify for the Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid," Hantuchova said. "All my hard work this year will make this a great reward and I'm just going to enjoy every single match so much. I'm thrilled to be a part of it and am really looking forward to going to Madrid."
Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships standing: No.8
2007 Win-Loss Record: 51-26
2007 Highlights: Won (2): Indian Wells, Linz; R-Up (2): Bali, Luxembourg; SF (5): Doha, Rome, 's-Hertogenbosch, Stanford, Kolkata
Championships history: Second appearance at this event; in 2002 fell in first round to Magdalena Maleeva