Saturday, January 21, 2006

Glam Slam

Glamour Returns To the WTA
I've been staying up way past my bedtime to watch the late-night broadcasts of the Australian Open - 2006's first WTA Grand Slam tournament - and for a tennis fanatic like me, it's been great. Amidst all the blowhard blather by broadcasters like Mary Joe Fernandez and Luke Jensen about the heat, the Swiss success story (Roger Federer, as usual, on the men's side and now the return of 3-time Australian Open champion Martina Hingus on the ladies' side), and the lack of fitness/dedication regarding the Williams Sisters, the big story for me has been the return of Glamour to the women's game. No, I'm not talking about Maria Sharapova. That's too obvious. I'm talking about how the Iron Curtain has been pulled back to reveal its crushed blue velvet lining, one covering a model's runway of attractive Eastern European divas clad (rather skimpily, at that) in style and beauty. Like Daniela Hantucho (pictured above left). What's love got to do with it? Everything.


I used to think the most photogenic women on the WTA Tour were Russians, but after seeing the ascendence of two model-pretty players from the former Czechoslovakia, Iveta Benesova (Czech Republic) and Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia), I think the Hottie Torch has been passed. To a new generation of long-legged Hip-sters whose dearth of clothing has gained them, and their games, an excess of exposure.

Hips Hips Hooray!

At 5-11 and 121 pounds, 22-year-old Daniela Hantuchova (shown at left and above) looks light as a feather - almost anorexic - and many pundits thought she might be blown off the court by her gargantuan Third Round opponent, Serena Williams. But lean prevailed over mean, as she proved Giant Killer in her 6-1, 7-6 dethroning of the defending Australian Open champion. And for all the press given Serena's tres gauche fashion over the past few years (the boot sneakers, the self-designed jewelry-adorned tops), I was surpised that no one commented on Hantuchova's sartorial splendor.
Wearing a halter top with low-rise, hip-hugging Daisy Duke hot pants, the first thing I noticed was her exposed, taut tummy and - the truly sexy part - the Pelvic V. Yes, you could actually see her pelvic bones forming a V, pointing down to reveal the upper-most region of her pubis zone. I felt like I was watching a teen at the mall. I'm talking about hips, gentlemen. The new Erogenous Zone. In fact her outfit was the same as the Nike ensemble worn by Anastasia Myskina in the second round (see photo), though Myskina didn't show as much Pelvic V.

Then 22-year-old Iveta Benesova, Second Round upsetter of the resurgent Mary Pierce showed early promise (going up 3-1 in the first set) - and inimitable sexiness - in her Third Round loss to the newly resurgent Martina Hingus before succumbing to the heat and erratic serving in a 4-6, 2-6 loss to the Tour Comeback Kid.

Just like Hantuchova, Benesova wore a tiny halter top that showed off her flat belly and Pelvic V area, though her bottom of choice was a miniskirt in place of hot pants. Benesova is a tad meatier and curvier than her Czech mate in the hip area, possessing what what one might call "child bearing hips" on her slender frame. She comports herself with a laconic grace, carefully arcing her swan-like neck up as she prepares to toss and serve, and moving with a elegant, stately composure between points. Facially her Slavic square jaw and the steely-blue intensity of her eyes make her resemble Charlie Sheen (stay with me here, it's not what you think and I'm NOT gay!), but her physique and the way she wears her hair made me think of a another Czech beauty, Mrs. Ric Ocasek, Paulina Porizkova.

Reet & Petite

Beyond their Eastern European good looks, these women also are incredibly fit and share an attractive style of play. I think the message is clear: fitness matters and will be rewarded. (Are you listening Serena? Let me spell it out for you: GET FIT, FATTY! You've got youthful vigor and talent, but it only goes so far. At a certain point, a hurler has to become a pitcher; a big swinger has to become a hitter. Tennis is a rhythm sport and you can't just play an intermittent schedule and hope to blow people away with your raw physical power and abilities. Practice does make perfect!)

Martina Hingus retired from the game in 2001 mainly because of her foot and heel injury problems, but also because the Swiss Miss sensed she was unable to compete at the highest level with the big heavy-hitting gals like the Williams Sisters, Lindsey Davenpprt, and Jennifer Capriati. But the heavy guns have been inconsistent over the last few years as the little gals have caught up with fitness and wiles - some even beefing up, as Justine Henin-Hardenne did, when she hired a personal trainer and added some muscle to her diminuitive frame. Henin-Hardenne was the first Giant Killer, knocking off Serena Williams to win the French Open several years ago, an unthinkable accomplishment at the time. She was petite, had a one-handed backhand and did not have an overpowering serve. Yet she found a way to knock off a number of hard-serving, baseline bangers. The door was opened.

Anyway, here's my list for the Top Tennis Hotties currently on tour. And yes, I included an Argentinian and some Swiss Misses. And no, there is no mention of Anna Kournikova because that fat-faced little prima donna under-achiever never won a WTA singles title in 130 attempts - what a loser! (OK, she did win 16 doubles titles, including one of her two Australian Open doubles titles with Martina Hingus, back when they were known as the "Spice Girls of Tennis." But doubles titles are shared and she couldn't win a title herself other than "best looking" - and that only from men's magazine hacks!)

THE WTA GLAMOUR GALS: Tennis' Top Hotties

1. Elena Dementieva (Russia)- Her glutes are maximus and miraculous (there is no female tennis player who I enjoy watching more as she receives serve), but it is her long legs that are to die for. Alas, she is plagued by a serve to die from, the weakest first serve on the circuit.

2. Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) - From's Blog: Daniela, the Slovakian hottie who is often compared to Anna for her good looks as much as her game, is often considered the supermodel of tennis due to her height and beauty. But unlike Anna, tennis seems to be the number one priority for Daniela. "I'm just enjoying every minute on the court. I know what it takes to be the best, to work hard every day. That's what I'm trying to do ... And yes, I'm single." For a great profile of Daniela, see ESPN Magazine's "Glam Slam" article.
3. Iveta Benesova (Czech)
4. Maria Kilienko (Russia)

5. Maria Sharapova (Russia) - She is cute, I'll give her that.

6. Anastasia Myskina (Russia) - I loved her when she won the 2004 French Open, a rail-thin gazelle with that beautiful backhand and quick as a hummingbird, but lately she's starting to remind me a little too much of Marilyn Manson. Like her namesake, Anastasia has run into a little trouble in her past. Like a nude photo session when she was 20 that included a tribute to Catherine the Great. To see these equestrian photos, click here: Useless Junk.Com. Below is a photo from the session that looks like a tribute to the import cover of 1969's Blind Faith album.

I like this pensive photo, as well:

7. Martina Hingus (Switzerland) - Still rather cute at 25,especially when she smiles.

8. Gisela Dulko(Argentina)

9.Ana Inovic (Serbia)

10. Patty Schnyder (Switzerland) - Since her 1998 breakthrough, the nutty Swiss Miss fell under the influence of not one but two German rogue boyfriends (including bogus "faith healer" Rainer Harnecker), fired her coach, alienated her family and friends, and put her career in jeopardy with weird training regimens like a diet consisting of nothing but orange juice. But hertalents are undeniable and she has great legs, possibly second only to Dementieva's. For more on her troubled past, see Patty Schynder and Her "Faith Healer" Coach.

11. Tatiana Golovin (Russia) - Here she is showing camel toe at the Dubai Open.

12. Nicole Vaidisova (Czech Republic) - Another model-pretty, soft-skinned star from the land of the Velvet Revolution.

13. Karolina Sprem (Croatia)

14. Barbara Schett (Germany) - She looks like a young Nicole Sheridan in the first photo below:

15. Jana Kandarr (Germany) - I say "Ja!" to Jana!

Related Links:

Daniela Hantuchova "Glam Slam" article (ESPN Magazine)

The New Babes of Tennis ( Blog)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woodies were a many times winner Grand Slam masculine double, and only an idiot would say they are bad tennis players for not to win individual tennis matches, as you say about Kournikova.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

schett is from austria

8:26 AM  
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