Hopman Cup Spoiler

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by el_mago, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. el_mago

    el_mago Semi-Pro

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    It was a great chance for Argentina to win but they were just outplayed. Dulko breezed through her first set against Hantuchova and then Hantuchova fought back to win. Guille was just demolished by Hrbaty. :sad:

    Final - Slovak Republic 3 d Argentina 0

    Daniela Hantuchova d Gisela Dulko 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
    Time: 111 minutes Umpire: Sandra De Jenken

    Dominik Hrbaty d Guillermo Coria 6-4, 6-1
    Time: 60 minutes Umpire: Carlos Ramos

    Hantuchova/Hrbaty d Dulko/Coria 6-0, 6-0 walkover

    Slovaks Claim the Hopman Cup
    8 January 2005

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    THE Slovak Republic has won this year’s $1-million Hyundai Hopman Cup with two singles victories over Argentina at Perth’s Burswood Dome.

    The third-seeded pairing of Daniela Hantuchova and Dominik Hrbaty won the ITF international mixed teams championship with singles wins over Gisela Dulko and Guillermo Coria.

    Hantuchova, seeded 31 and ranked two spots ahead of Dulko, overcame a slow start when the Argentinian won the first set 6-1 in just 27 minutes. But Hantuchova fought back in a topsy-turvey match to win the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 in a match time of 114 minutes.

    The world No. 14 Hrbaty kept the Slovakian machine rolling with an emphatic 6-4, 6-1 win over eighth-ranked Coria, taking just 58 minutes to clinch his country’s second Cup win, following on from Karina Habsudova and Karol Kucera in 1998.

    The Slovaks reached the Final after round-robin victories over the USA and the Netherlands, following a first-up loss to Australia. Argentina reached the Final from their group with wins over Italy, Russia and Germany.
     
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  2. el_mago

    el_mago Semi-Pro

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    Here's the Associated Press' article, maybe Hantuchova can finally get back to the playing level that took her to the top ten and she can better her '03 quarters performance at the AO:

    Slovakia wins Hopman Cup over Argentina

    1/8/05 2:07 PM



    PERTH, Australia (AP) _ Slovakia won the Hopman Cup on Saturday, beating Argentina in the final behind victories by Daniela Hantuchova and Dominik Hrbaty in this Australian Open tuneup.

    Hantuchova defeated Gisela Dulko 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Hrbaty topped French Open finalist Guillermo Coria 6-4, 6-1. Slovakian also won the mixed doubles in a walkover when Coria withdrew because of a strained back.

    Slovakia's other Hopman Cup title came in 1998 with Karol Kucera and Karina Hadsudova.

    Hrbaty did not drop a set in any of his four singles matches.

    Hantuchova lost the first set in 17 minutes before recovering against Dulko, who was beaten in all four of her singles matches. Hantuchova lost last year's final with Kucera against the United States,

    ``I'm just so happy that I got through this,'' she said. ``I didn't really feel like I was playing my best, and I just tried to hang in there and fight for every point.''

    Hrbaty said he had received text messages of support all week from Slovakian Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda. Hantuchova called this an important day for her European homeland.

    ``It's been like a dream week for me,'' she said. ``I had so much fun with Dominik and I can't tell you how happy I am to be here winning the Hopman Cup. It's something special and it's amazing for our country because there's just 5 million people.''

    Hrbaty said he lifts his game whenever he represents his country.

    ``I'm the kind of guy who likes to go in the team competitions,'' he said. ``When I play Davis Cup I can get out 120 percent out of myself, I don't know how. If I could play like I do in Davis Cup every time I came to a tournament, I would be for sure top 10 all year round.''
     
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  3. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Hrbaty OMG

    Hrbaty said "I'm the kind of guy who likes to go in the team competitions,'' he said. "When I play Davis Cup I can get out 120 percent out of myself, I don't know how. If I could play like I do in Davis Cup every time I came to a tournament, I would be for sure top 10 all year round.''

    Hrbaty played that final against Coria really well - it was like an Agassi d. Schuettler at the AO. Hrbaty takes the ball early and wheels Coria left and right making him run, run, run.

    I was astonished at Hrbaty's depth, consistency and heavy hitting. Unbelievable, he made Coria look like a journeyman. With his Fischer racquet, no-nonsense approach, all-white ATP garb, he might not have looked it but he just brought the goods. He whacked Coria. Weird, I heard Hrbaty hit hard but had never seen it. Both wings, hit hard.

    Hrbaty's got a top-10 game - is it just on hard courts? What's been holding him back?
     
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  4. el_mago

    el_mago Semi-Pro

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    Hrbaty's already in the top 20. If he can continue to play like he did against Guille today when he plays at the slams, he may have a chance of getting into the top 10 by year's end.
     
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  5. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    He's so damn unassuming but he was the assassin on-court. He wins Hopman Cup, he wins the money, he wins a diamond-encrusted jewel in the shape of a tennis ball, he wins a kiss from Daniella.

    I was surprised because I really like Coria and then Hrbaty minced him (and everyone else at Hopman).

    Look he's very low-profile, no observable habits or tics, no flashy clothes, a closed stance, traditional grips, and then boom off he goes and plays real hard. He has explosive speed, a fantastic work ethic, a conservative way to build a point but then can really execute the winners. Simply said he's got game.
     
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  6. el_mago

    el_mago Semi-Pro

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    I am huge fan of Guille so I was very disappointed when he and Gisela lost today. But Hrbaty did what you said "minced him". This isn't the first time Hrbaty's done this to a top ten player. Remember last year when he recorded some upsets over top ten players. NOTE: Roger Federer was one of those players.

    I am still very hopeful for El Mago's season. He showed good form throughout the Hopman Cup and I'm hoping for Guille to advance far into the draw of the AO.
     
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  7. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    Hrbaty actually plays better on Clay!

    He has had some very good results at the French, I think he did well in 1999? and in 2000 at Monte Carlo.

    He may cause some damage at the AO this year. I just love his game, amazing backhand and an excellent serve, he was hitting faster than Philippoussis in one match this week.
     
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  8. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    It's nuts. Crazy. His hard-pounding consistency. Speed. Strength. How does clay suit his game?

    He hits harder than Poo. I scarcely could believe that but now that I've seen him win against a not insubstantial opponent in Coria I can see how he is one of the harder hitters around.

    You have to marvel at his mechanics.

    el mago agree with you that Guillermo is in fine form and barring anything happening with that shoulder he is going to be real good at the AO. His feet gave a little out on him. He varied his game plan about half way in the first set against Hrbaty - hitting higher loopy to try and slow the pace down, get better court position rather than doing all that running and catching up - but it didn't help.

    Yet it's Hrbaty that could go further at AO. Scarcely credit it beforehand.
     
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  9. el_mago

    el_mago Semi-Pro

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    I've also noticed that he is volleying more. It seems to be helping his overall game a lot and playing mixed with Gisela Dulko also helped in Guille's volleying.
     
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  10. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    do we need to create a separate forum for spoiler results?

    The above text spoiler is what was displayed when my mouse briefly hovered over the thread link, while navigating to click another link.

    Very disappointing accidentally knowing who won! Please stop posting the result in the first couple of sentences...which are displayed in the thread link! :x
     
    #10
  11. el_mago

    el_mago Semi-Pro

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    Since you are from Australia, then you were the first to know the results of this match and as you know this match was completed only earlier this morning here. So that means this match happened live at your time early in the morning and at my time it was late night. You should have been the first to know this match since it was probably already broadcast in Australia. If you did not watch this match when it was broadcast or you did not know the results until you read this thread, I am sorry and I will adhere to what you posted next time I post a spoiler.
     
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  12. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    It was decided yesterday here, no worries el magoand is old news therefore.
     
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  13. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Hrbaty's one of the purest (i.e. interpreted as a "flat" ball striker) ball strikers on tour. To me, his style of play/technique off the ground is very much like a modern day Jimmy Connors, extremely economical, efficient motions but they really go after the ball and strike it cleanly and take it on the rise.

    His nickname when he first came up was "the dominator," simply put, because when he was on, he could just really dictate with his groundies.

    Has a pretty decent first serve, but his toss is SKY high, perhaps the most exaggerated high ball toss on tour.

    He once made the French Open semis and defnitely had his chances against Agassi there.

    I think clay helps him in the sense that it gives him more time to properly set his feet, and cleanly strike the ball. As I said recently; there is no reason whatsoever that clean, traditional technique ball strikers can't do well on clay as well the spinners. As I said, since when is having MORE time to set-up for your shots a bad thing? It all just comes down to execution. If you properly execute, flat ball strikers will have more time to cleanly set-up their shots, which of course results in a greater quality of shot...which, in turn, helps counteract the effects of the slower surface.

    There are plenty of more traditional grip/technique style groundstrokers who've excelled on clay, guys like Lendl, Pioline, Rios, Arazi, Kafelnikov, Medvedev, etc., etc. The reality is that clay does not just favor topspin, it favors ALL baseliners ASSUMING that you're comfortable with the lack of traction under foot on clay. Not everyone is comfortable with that kind of loose footing, slip and slide action. That's why Hewitt doesn't do well on clay, his biggest advantage, foot speed, suddenly becomes average on the red dirt, because he doesn't feel comfortable moving on the stuff, navigating the red stuff doesn't come naturally to everyone (Srichiphan, for example). To those that it does (Courier), or to those that grew up on the stuff, however; clay is a real blessing to ANY groundstroker...even a slice 'em and dice em one like Santoro. Like I said, it's NEVER a disadvantage in tennis to have more time to set-up for your shots. Because Santoro is comfortable moving on clay, it allows him ample time to BEST execute his chop shots, which if you're a pro, that's all you can and should hope for...ample opportunities to execute your technique to the best of your ability. And you just hope your best is good enough. Provided you're comfortable moving on clay; clay gives you that time, that luxury of hoping your best is good enough, more than any other surface. You can look at clay as setting yourself up for your best (Hrbaty), or setting yourself up for failure (Srichiphan, Enqvist). It's a state of mind, not a condition.

    As far as Hrbaty's danger factor to other top players, it's always been there ever since he first debuted. Anyone remember his out of nowhere debut against Sampras at the Australian Open? He took him to five sets, and came THIS close to knocking Sampras out; but he got "a little tight in the end," in the words of Cliff Drysdale.

    Simply put, when Hrbaty's seeing the ball cleanly with his groundstrokes just about anyone is going to find themselves on their heels all match long. He's absolutely relentless. I really do see him as a big match player.

    It's the inbetween and consistency from match to match that can hurt him. He's got very little margin for error on his groundies and lacks a varied net game or touch to give him other options if Plan A isn't working. As such, his results tend to be hit or miss; but still never be surprised when he occasionally cleans the clock of an elite player on one of his "good days."

    Anyone remember his victory over the then golden boy Marat Safin at the Australian Open a few years ago? Safin was definitely trying, but he was just on his heels all match long. He simply just had no answers to Hrbaty's groundies that day. Hrbaty plain and simple struck the ball better, earlier, cleaner, harder AND more precisely than Safin all day long...on this day. Always the caveat with Hrbaty.

    He kind of reminds me of a Thomas Enqvist type player without the prince charming good lucks (hence, fan fare and media visibility...Hrbaty's basically always been an invisble player despite his obvious quality) that get even a serious chick like Mary Carillo all a flutter and giggling like a school girl in her business suit.

    Hrbaty initially looked like a sure, rapid-fire, top ten prospect, but kind of just faded into anonymity after that. Jeff Tarango said the reason was because Hrbaty lost his drive and hunger...in other words, he simply stopped practicing as hard. He alluded to the fact, though that Hrbaty was again starting to take his tennis intensely serious again, and that this is a good thing; because he's a TREMENDOUS player when fully commited.

    As you've no doubt discovered just this week...but the evidence was always there lurking and ready to resurface at any time.
     
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