Eastern beauty: Daniela Hantuchova is rated ninth in the field

Near midnight for a balmy Miami and the floor of one of the city’s hottest nightclubs is heating up night. All eyes are drawn to a collection of blonde ьber-goddesses who are dancing up a storm, attracting lascivious glances from every red-blooded man in the room as the DJ cranks up the music. However the girls, who will be uniformly blonde, leggy and flaunting their perfect systems in barely-there dresses, are not the ubiquitous supermodels which is why Southern Beach is famed. No, they are the increasing movie stars for the ladies’ tennis circuit enjoying a unusual particular date while they make an effort to get to be the next Maria Sharapova – whom, incidentally, is within the center of this flooring, waving her hands around wildly despite whining of the neck injury early in the day.

The event could be the kickoff celebration for the Sony Ericsson Open. This can be one of many planet’s biggest tennis tournaments after the Grand Slams, but in addition usually the absolute most relaxed as a result of its location on Key Biscayne, a palm-fringed area simply south of downtown Miami but a million kilometers out of the pressures of Wimbledon.

Probably the most promising player associated with the team is Daniela Hantuchova, a 24-year-old Slovakian that is rated ninth in the field. As with any the girls, she speaks in faltering English, is reserved and it is utterly dedicated to the one thing – winning. Tonight she walks the red carpeting alongside one other young hopefuls through the previous communist countries of Eastern Europe who decided to be interviewed and photographed exclusively for Live.

Intriguingly, girls, whom include Russian-born Maria Kirilenko and Michaella Krajicek, the sibling of 1996 Wimbledon champ Richard Krajicek, studiously avoid one another from the dancefloor, each establishing court using their very very very own set of salivating guys in a variety of spots across the venue that is lavish the Opium Garden. Them all fantasy of emulating the achievements of Sharapova, the Russian-born Wimbledon winner who may have channelled her success in to an empire that is multimillion-pound to sponsorship relates to corporations such as for instance Nike, Canon, Land Rover, Colgate and Sony Ericsson. These earn her an approximated Ј20 million per year.

‘People see all those girls from Russia and Eastern Europe and so they think there is certainly a factory that turns us down,’ claims Hantuchova in a barely audible throaty purr. ‘But I think the actual answer is that people all spent my youth in a tradition that encourages efforts.

‘we knew once I ended up being 5 years old and first found a racket that we desired to be described as a tennis player that is professional. From an extremely very early age that is all we centered on. It really is good for folks to just simply just take a pastime due to the method We look, but We guarantee you that tennis is my primary focus.’

Face-to-face, Hantuchova appears 5ft 11in inside her bare foot, of which 44in are her perfect feet, stretching as much as this smaller mortal’s neck. She talks four languages – Slovak, German, English and Spanish – and studied classical piano for eight years.

Operating her fingers that are pink-tipped her locks, she claims, ‘It is strange in my experience whenever individuals give attention to exactly just just how we look. It really is nice to be complimented, but i’m an athlete, a professional sportswoman. I concentrate on my tennis.’

Her face clouds once I talk about the topic of the negative press she encountered at the beginning of her job. In 2002, she reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon as well as the United States Open and had been lauded while the next thing that is big. Then again arrived a time period of quick weight loss that left her body searching shockingly skeletal. Rumours of an eating disorder observed and also by Wimbledon 2003 she had been a wreck, crashing call at the round that is second.

Of this painful time, she states, ‘It had been very hard.

I happened to be young and I also read exactly what ended up being discussed me personally. A lesson was learned by me from that, which can be that people prefer to build you up only to tear you down once more.

‘I have always been prepared now and I also am a stronger individual.

I do believe far a lot of focus is placed on just exactly how ladies look. You never hear people speaing frankly about padraig harrington’s fat or just exactly what David Beckham consumes.

However with the girls there is certainly this focus that is huge appearance. Individuals should concentrate on the game.’

Three more girls with Eastern vow

MARIA KIRILENKO: Age 21. POSITION: 32. From Moscow, Russia. Height 5ft 8in. ‘Stella McCartney needed a model when she had been approached by Adidas to develop tennis gear. She seemed through photographs of girls in the trip and picked me. We suppose I will be her muse. I’m not sure any one of her dad’s music. I am aware he had been in team called the Beatles, but that is more my father’s generation. I love contemporary Russian pop music We began playing at seven when my father took me personally to view a competition. We fell so in love with tennis, but We also love soccer – We help Chelsea. I take a soccer it helps me warm up and stay supple and quick with me everywhere. I meet Stella twice an in london year. We practise in every the prototypes of her clothing and advise her on the best way to cause them to much more comfortable.’

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