Daniela Hantuchova: Serena Williams is a great champion who keeps evolving

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Daniela Hantuchova: Serena Williams is a great champion who keeps evolving

Former World No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova was one of the most popular players on the tennis circuit during her time. She is now a leading tennis analyst and will be covering the US Open Grand Slam tournament for Amazon Prime. While 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams remains one of the top favourites in the women's draw, Kim Clijsters, who will be playing her first Grand Slam event in more than seven years - is a sentimental favourite.

The Slovak played both the champions several times in her career - she ended up with a 2-9 record against Williams while she was 1-11 against Clijsters.

Daniela Hantuchova says Serena Williams keeps evolving and improving her game

In a column for the WTA Tour, Hantuchova says the 38 year old Williams has improved over the year and become a better player.

“It’s absolutely a different formula to beating Serena now than it was when I played her. She’s such a great champion who keeps evolving and improving with the game. Certain things may have worked against her back then, but she’s a much better player now, and so opponents have to find different ways to beat her.

The sport has become much more physical, so she may still have to adjust to the fact that players are better able to stay with her, whereas she may have been able to hit them off the court in the past. “Ultimately, she’s such a great champion, and it’s what I admire about her and Venus: they just get better as time goes on.

Personally, knowing how much effort she’s put in, I would love to see her win”. Speaking on Clijsters, Hantuchova says she hopes the Belgian can stay healthy and at times, the comeback of the Belgian makes her wonder if she should also consider a return to the tour.

“Kim is the one that kind of makes me wonder if I should be on the court instead of in the studio. I’m so happy for her. It’s such a great story, and I hope she does as best as she can. I just hope she can stay injury-free because obviously the sport is very demanding on the body.

With the lockdown and everyone being away, it feels like everyone is starting from the beginning. For players who’ve been away with injuries or retirement, they want that match practice, but now all of the players are in that same boat”.

The US Open begins in New York on August 31st. Serena Williams is seeded No. 3 in the women's draw and plays Kristie Ahn in the first round while Clijsters will take on Ekaterina Alexandrova in her first match.