Near midnight for a balmy Miami evening therefore the flooring of just one of this town’s hottest nightclubs is warming up. 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. Nevertheless the girls, who will be uniformly blonde, leggy and flaunting their bodies that are perfect barely-there dresses, are not the ubiquitous supermodels which is why Southern Beach is famed. No, they are the increasing movie movie stars associated with women’s tennis circuit enjoying a night that is rare because they make an effort to end up being the next Maria Sharapova – whom, incidentally, is within the center of this flooring, waving her hands around wildly despite whining of the neck damage early in the day.
The event could be the kickoff celebration when it comes to Sony Ericsson Open. That is one of many planet’s biggest tennis tournaments following the Grand Slams, but in addition usually probably the most relaxed compliment of its location on Key Biscayne, a palm-fringed area simply south of downtown Miami but a million kilometers far from the pressures of Wimbledon.
Probably the most promising player regarding the team is Daniela Hantuchova, a 24-year-old Slovakian that is rated ninth on earth. As with any the girls, she talks in faltering English, is reserved and is utterly dedicated to something – winning. Tonight she walks the carpet that is red one other young hopefuls through the previous communist countries 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 cousin of 1996 Wimbledon champ Richard Krajicek, studiously avoid each other regarding the dancefloor, each establishing court making use of their very own number of salivating guys in several spots across the luxurious location, the Opium Garden. Them all dream of emulating the achievements of Sharapova, the Russian-born Wimbledon winner that has channelled her success into a multimillion-pound kingdom many thanks to sponsorship addresses corporations such as for instance Nike, Canon, Land Rover, Colgate and Sony Ericsson. These earn her a predicted Ј20 million per year.
‘People see every one of these girls from Russia and Eastern Europe and so they think there was a factory that turns us away,’ states Hantuchova in a barely audible throaty purr. ‘But I think the true response is that individuals all was raised in a tradition that encourages time and effort.
‘we knew once I had been 5 years old and first picked up a racket that we wished to be a expert tennis player. From an extremely early age that is all we centered on. It really is good for folks to just simply take a pastime due to the means We look, but We guarantee you that tennis is my focus that is primary.
Face-to-face, Hantuchova appears 5ft 11in in her own bare foot, of which 44in are her perfect feet, stretching as much as this smaller mortal’s throat. She talks four languages – Slovak, German, English and Spanish – and studied classical piano for eight years.
Operating her fingers that are pink-tipped her hair, she states, ‘It is strange for me when individuals give attention to exactly how we look. It really is good to be complimented, but i’m an athlete, a sportswoman that is professional. I consider my tennis.’
Her face clouds whenever I talk about the topic of the negative press she encountered at the beginning of her profession. In 2002, she reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon together with United States Open and had been lauded because the 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 happened to be young and I also read exactly what had been discussing me personally. We discovered a course from that, that is that people prefer to build you up only to tear you down once again.
‘I have always been prepared now and I also am a much more resilient individual.
I do believe far emphasis that is too much placed on just exactly how females look. You never hear individuals speaing frankly about padraig harrington’s weight or exactly exactly what David Beckham consumes.
However with girls there is certainly this focus that is huge appearance. Individuals should concentrate on the singlebrides game.’
Three more girls with Eastern vow
MARIA KIRILENKO: Age 21. RANKING: 32. From Moscow, Russia. Height 5ft 8in. ‘Stella McCartney required a model whenever she ended up being approached by Adidas to develop tennis gear. She seemed through photographs of girls in the tour and picked me personally. We suppose I will be her muse. I do not know any one of her dad’s music. I am aware he had been in a combined team called the Beatles, but that is more my father’s generation. I love modern pop that is russian We began playing at seven whenever my father took me personally to view a competition. We fell so in love with tennis, but We additionally love soccer – We support Chelsea. We have a football it helps me warm up and stay supple and quick with me everywhere. We meet Stella twice an in london year. We practise in most the prototypes of her garments and advise her on the best way to cause them to more content.’