Photo: Srdjan StevanovicDaniela Hantuchova (SVK)
There is no question that the hype is building ahead of the Olympic tennis event at London 2012 despite that fact that there are still more than four months to go until the summer showpiece kicks off.
Roger Federer has gone as far as to say “it’s going to be a massive Olympic Games for our generation” and for one player in particular the Swiss’s words ring oh so true. x
Daniela Hantuchova, the 28-year-old from Slovak Republic, credits the Olympic Games for her interest in a sport that has seen her rise to fame as well as a career-high singles ranking of No. 5 in the world.
“The first time I watched tennis on TV was when Miloslav Mecir won the gold medal in Seoul in 1988 and that was the reason why I started to play tennis,” she said. “It’s the most special event for me and I don’t think you can ask for more than having the Olympics in Wimbledon.”
Hantuchova’s favourite surface is grass and she has reached the quarterfinals of both the singles and doubles events at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Being in the final throes of her career, the Slovak knows that this could be her last chance to win an Olympic medal and she is not going to let anything distract her – even with such a lot going on in London come Games-time.
“I go there to perform well so obviously during my event I will be very focused on just tennis,” she explained. “I think it’s going to be awesome and the English public are always great and they always treated me very nicely so I’m really looking forward to playing in front of them.”
Once her event is over Hantuchova revealed she would love to go and watch the swimming and the athletics – her two favourite events – and that she will be keeping an eye out for a chance to meet the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt.
She will also be supporting her fellow countrymen in their quest for a medal, adding: “We are a very small country with many great athletes so it will be interesting, hopefully I’ll be one of the ones to do well.”
Follow all of the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic Tennis Event at www.facebook.com/ITFOlympicTennis and https://twitter.com/#!/olympicstennis.