EXCLUSIVE – Daniela Hantuchová believes tennis leads the way in one key area

Kevin Palmer
Amazon Prime Video Greg Rusedski, Daniela Hantuchova, Catherine Whitaker

Former world No 5 Daniela Hantuchová believes tennis has led the way in ensuring equality is at the top of the agenda, as she sat down for an exclusive interview with Tennis365.

The Amazon Prime Video Sport analyst has made a smoother transition from a highly successful career on the court to the TV commentary booth and in part one of our interview, she expresses her belief that tennis is more open to female pundits than any other sport.

Female pundits have often been questioned when working in football, but Daniela told us those snipes would never be seen in tennis:

How have you enjoyed the transition from your tennis career to working in TV?

I’m so lucky to have had the chance to work in this job. It is a blessing to be allowed to see so many matches and it is amazing how this has worked for me. After I played my last match, I walked straight into a TV studio and started my career in this new role at Wimbledon. It was the most smooth transition possible and to talk about something I have done all my life, this is something I have enjoyed since the first day.

Female TV analysts in men’s football have been criticised at times, but that does not appear to be an issue in tennis. How do you feel about that?

We have incredible equality in tennis and that is why I am so proud to be part of this sport. Everything that the WTA has done for us in the past is the reason why I am able to do what I’m doing today. We have great equality and that is such a special thing to have. All players really appreciate it so much.

So can other sports learn from tennis on this issue?

For sure. We are the leading women’s sport and there is so much everything can learn from the way we have done things in tennis. Even though this is an individual sport, we are a community that looks out for each other and there are not many sports where men and women all play in the same tournament.

What is it like to work for Amazon?

It has been an amazing experience. They have such an amazing team to work with and I said when I finished my playing career that I never wanted to walk away from the sport I love.

Was it hard to come to terms with your retirement from tennis in 2017?

It is so important to any athlete to have different options to turn to when their career ends. I say this to any sports person I speak to. When you have done something all your live, since you were four or five years old, it is not easy to wake up one day and suddenly all that has gone. You don’t want to finish playing and then have no idea what to do next. One of the reasons I decided to stop playing is I wanted to do something different, to be challenged in a different way. You need to be open minded, to be humble and to be ready to try something different at times. Thankfully, I love TV and this has worked out well.

Amazon Prime members in the UK and Ireland will have exclusive access to live tennis coverage from the Nitto ATP Finals 2020, from Sunday 15th to Sunday 22nd November.

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