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’re uniformly blonde, leggy and flaunting their perfect systems in barely-there dresses, aren’t the ubiquitous supermodels which is why Southern Beach is famed. No, these are the increasing movie movie stars of this women’s tennis circuit enjoying a night that is rare because they attempt to end up being the next Maria Sharapova – whom, incidentally, is within the center associated with flooring, waving her arms around wildly despite whining of the neck damage earlier.
The event could be the kickoff celebration for the Sony Ericsson Open. This is certainly one of several earth’s biggest tennis tournaments following the Grand Slams, but in addition traditionally the absolute most relaxed because of its location on Key Biscayne, a palm-fringed area simply south of downtown Miami however a million kilometers out of the pressures of Wimbledon.
The essential player that is promising of team is Daniela Hantuchova, a 24-year-old Slovakian that is rated ninth worldwide. As with any the girls, she talks in faltering English, is reserved and it is utterly centered on something – winning. Tonight she walks the carpet that is red one other young hopefuls through the previous communist nations of Eastern Europe whom consented 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 on the dancefloor, each starting court along with their very very own band of salivating guys in a variety of spots all over 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 into an empire that is multimillion-pound to sponsorship handles corporations such as for instance Nike, Canon, Land Rover, Colgate and Sony Ericsson. These earn her a believed Ј20 million per year.
‘People see all of these girls from Russia and Eastern Europe plus they think there clearly was a factory that turns us down,’ claims Hantuchova in a barely audible throaty purr. ‘But I think the true response is that people all spent my youth in a tradition that promotes work that is hard.
‘we knew whenever I had been five years old and first found a racket that we wished to be a tennis player that is professional. From an extremely very early age that is all we dedicated to. It’s good for folks to simply just take a pastime due to the method We look, but We guarantee you that tennis is my focus that is primary.
Face-to-face, Hantuchova appears 5ft 11in inside her bare legs, of which 44in are her perfect feet, stretching as much as this lower mortal’s throat. She talks four languages – Slovak, German, English and Spanish – and studied classical piano for eight years.
Operating her pink-tipped hands through her locks, she claims, ‘It is strange for me when individuals concentrate on exactly exactly how we look. It really is good to be complimented, but i’m an athlete, a expert sportswoman. I give attention to my tennis.’
Her face clouds whenever I talk about the topic of the press that is negative encountered at the beginning of her profession. In 2002, she reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon together with US Open and had been lauded given that next thing that is big. Then again came a time period of fast weight loss that left her body searching shockingly skeletal. Rumours of an eating disorder accompanied and also by Wimbledon 2003 she had been a wreck, crashing out in the round that is second.
Of this time that is painful she claims, ‘It had been very hard.
I became young and I read precisely what had been discussing me personally. A lesson was learned by me from that, which can be that people love to build you up only to tear you down once again.
‘we have always been prepared now and I also am a much more resilient individual.
I do believe far a lot of focus is placed on just exactly how ladies look. You never hear individuals referring to padraig harrington’s fat or just what David Beckham eats.
However with girls there was this huge concentrate on appearance. People 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 required a model whenever she had been approached by Adidas to create tennis gear. She seemed through photographs of why not check here girls in the trip and picked me personally. I suppose I am her muse. I do not understand some of her dad’s music. I understand he had been in team called the Beatles, but that is more my dad’s generation. I love modern pop that is russian We began playing at seven whenever dad took us to view a competition. We fell deeply in love with tennis, but We additionally love soccer – We support Chelsea. We take a soccer it helps me warm up and stay supple and quick with me everywhere. We meet Stella twice an in london year. I practise in every the prototypes of her clothing and advise her about how to cause them to become more content.’