It was at the Wimbledon venue, wearing a nice polka-dot dress, that Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia decided to officially announce her retirement from tennis. The 34-year-old emphasized that she’s leaving just the competition, but tennis will forever remain part of her life in one way or the other.
Being part of the WTA, ITF, the Slovak Fed Cup and Olympic team has been the biggest blessing and privilege and words are not enough to explain all the thankfulness towards everybody that takes care of us in the tournaments, fellow players, our stuff and teams around the players, and most importantly you guys…Being able to share this journey with all of you means the world to me and we are not finished here…
When we close one chapter of our life, the next one opens up and I’m so excited about being able to share it all together with you!
Hantuchova turned pro in 1999 and only three years later she beat Martina Hingis in the final of Indian Wells, becoming the youngest player to win that event. In her fruitful career, Hantuchova won a total of seven WTA singles titles, including two at Indian Wells and three at Pattaya City, nine doubles titles, and four mixed doubles titles spreading over all four Grand Slams! The successes materialized in her highest ranking of No.5 in both singles and doubles.
Hantuchova sticks in our memory as Adidas‘ player, but en route to her best Grand Slam result in singles, the 2008 Australian Open semifinals, the Slovak was endorsing Nike and I actually have an overview of all her dresses from that year, as part of my famous Fashion Retrospections. Later into the 2009 season, Hantuchova started wearing Adidas and I also have a nice collage of photos of her and Ana Ivanovic sporting the Adizero and Adilibria lines throughout 2011.
The retirement news has gone by largely unnoticed in the WTA world, with only Jarmila Wolfe and Marion Bartoli wishing their colleague all the best in her new life on Twitter (if I missed someone, please correct me!).
Will miss you !!!!!! You are and always will be amazing player and even more amazing person I am very lucky to call you my friend !!
— Jarmila Wolfe (@tennis_jarkag) July 6, 2017
— Marion bartoli (@bartoli_marion) July 6, 2017
This is also a nice opportunity to look back at some of Dani’s really old photos, like these black-and-whites I shared in my Little Tennis Stars series, and to add a couple of new ones, like this photo from Dani’s first visit to Foro Italico and from Slovakia’s first Fed Cup title win in 2002.
I’m wishing you success and joy in your new chapter, Dani!