2002 Britannic Asset Management

Hantuchova storms into semi-final

Hantuchova steams her way into the semis

Daniela Hantuchova became the first ace to book a semi-final berth at Devonshire Park after brushing aside plucky Qualifier Amy Frazier 7-6(4) 6-1.

And although the Slovakian teenager stuttered through the opening set, snatching the advantage on a tie-break, she steamed past the American with aplomb.

Hantuchova, who hadn’t played competitively on grass until the Eastbourne event, got off to a nervous start by double-faulting on the opening point of the contest.

And the 19-year-old failed to find her rhythm until the seventh game of a poor first set, when she finally held her serve that seemed to inject some much-needed confidence.

She held her service game to take the lead for the first time at 6-5 but was unable to break Frazier in the next game, yet sneaked the tie-break 7-4 after 56 minutes of a scrappy topsy-turvy battle.

Frazier, in her 10th Eastbourne appearance, crumpled after trailing with #3 Hantuchova breezing to victory in a match that featured 11 breaks of serve.

Hantuchova, who stunned American wildcard Martina Navratilova in the 2nd Round, explained: “I was really hanging on in the first set, trying to fight for every point. I was much more confident after winning the first set and started to play much better.

“But it was only my second match on grass so I’m still getting used to it. I am hitting the ball really well but I still need to get used to the low bounce.”

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