CINCINNATI, Ohio – Daniela Hantuchova has had much success on the WTA Tour since turning professional in 1999. To start, she has won all four Grand Slams in mixed doubles, becoming just the third female in the Open Era to accomplish the feat, joining Martina Navratilova and Cara Black. The former world No. 5 also owns eight career singles titles, including two titles at Indian Wells, Calif. in 2002 and 2007. Currently ranked No. 35 in the world, the 29-year-old Slovak recently caught the attention of sports fanatics around the world when she was among 27 world-class athletes to pose nude in ESPN’s annual Body Issue 2012. The 5’11” blonde, who is known for her perfect physique and stunning looks, sat down with me this week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.
What is your most proud achievement off the court?
Running my own charity in Cambodia for a couple of years now with my brother. It makes me extremely proud being able to help kids other places in the world.
What is your favorite sports team?
New York Rangers. I love hockey!
If you had one last meal, what would you choose and why?
Pancakes (Laughs). I just love sweet stuff!
If you could play a mixed doubles match with one ATP player, who would it be and why?
Roger Federer. (Laughs) He is the best in the history and he is just an awesome guy!
What is your favorite location on Tour and why?
Rome, because it is my most favorite city in the world. I just love being there.
What is your opinion of Cincinnati?
I do love coming back here. I have been here for so many times. I love the conditions here. The courts are very quick. Plus we have the golf course right across the street which makes it very nice.
What are you short-term and long-term goals?
Long-term (long pause). Just being the best person I can be for my family and for the people around me. Hopefully helping more people around the world. Short-term goals as far as my career are to get back to the Top 10.
One piece of advice you would give to an aspiring tennis player?
Just to have fun with it and not to put too much pressure and expectations on themselves.
What is the toughest challenge you have ever faced?
Having to deal with the losses every week except when you are winning the tournament. Trying to figure out the fastest way to bounce back and be ready for the next tournament.
How would your family and friends describe you in three words?
Very stubborn (laughs), very loving and caring.
What are your hobbies when you are not on the tennis court?
I love playing golf, it is my favorite sport. I love skiing, swimming and just basically any active things to do. But of course, going shopping with my friends, going to the cinema. Just normal things.
Did you golf at the course next to the tennis center?
I went to the driving range.
How did you do at the driving range?
Yeah, it was not bad.