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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Hantuchova 'needs a break'
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Daniela Hantuchova
Daniela Hantuchova should be "taken out of the game" following her on-court breakdown on Wednesday, according to former Wimbledon finalist Christine Janes.

Hantuchova broke down in tears several times as she lost to Japanese player Shinobu Asagoe in the second round after missing three match points.

And Janes, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals at the age of 16 in 1957 under her maiden name of Truman, was shocked at the 20-year-old's disintegration.

"I would have taken her off court last night," she told the BBC. "I could not have sat and watched her crying. I could not help feeling sorry for her."

Speculation has surrounded Hantuchova's weight in recent weeks, but she insisted afterwards that she had suffered no physical problems during the match.

"I just played one of the longest matches I ever played, and physically I felt like I could have gone on for another two hours," she said.

"But I think the mental side is the one I have to really work hard on."

Hantuchova's coach acknowledged there was a problem
Annabel Croft

But Janes believes the Slovakian's slide down the rankings and emotional problems can only be halted by a break from tennis.

"She has to be taken out of the game, but this is where it becomes difficult because she will have huge contracts (to fulfill) and agents involved," said Janes.

"It was terrible listening to her after the match where she said she needed to learn from for her mistakes.

"She needs to be refreshed in some way, not learn from her mistakes."

And BBC commentator Annabel Croft revealed that Hantuchova's coach, Nigel Sears, has admitted the player has had a weight problem, but claims she is over the worst.

"I had a chance to talk to her coach before the match and I apologised for the fact all of us have been asking about her weight problems in the build-up to Wimbledon," said Croft.

"He said they were so fed up with talking about it, but acknowledged there was a problem there and said things do not happen overnight.

"He felt she was at her lightest back in March and she was slightly heavier now, and that they were trying to rectify the situation as soon as possible."

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