WORLD-RANKED tennis pro Daniela Hantuchova captivated beachgoers when she swapped the heat of the hardcourt for the soft sand and cool waters of Coolum, and a private lesson with surfing pro Julian Wilson.
The conditions were less-than-ideal at Wilson's home break, but the world tennis number 32 persevered with her patient tutor for around an hour, managing to stand up briefly on the mini-mal just once, before emerging from the waters with a big smile and the satisfaction of trying something new.
"It was a lot of fun," she said with a laugh. "One more hour and it would have been great." It was only her second time on a board.
Wilson, one of the region's best in the Coolum waves, was also supportive. "It was pretty challenging out there; that was about as tough as it gets," he said of the messy chop.
Hantuchova has been at Palmer Coolum Resort on a working holiday, preparing for the Brisbane International and the Australian Open.
Having left subzero temperatures of home just 10 days ago, and touching down to blistering heat locally, a chance to enjoy the cool surf yesterday was a no-brainer.
"It was pretty brutal, coming from Europe we had minus 10, and it took us a few days to get used to it, but I got over it now and I'm feeling good," she said.
"If I had more time I would be spending every day on the beach but, you know, I still have to wait for that after I finish my career."
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