Nicole Vaidisova has definitely retired! The former world No.7 and two-time Grand Slam semifinalist broke the news on Instagram, saying that the decision is heartbreaking, but inevitable, due to recurring injuries.
The Czech first quit tennis at the young age of 20 in 2010 and it was a big disappointment to tennis fans, as she had both the game and the looks to make it big on the court and in off-court ventures. However, she distanced herself from the public eye and married fellow tennis player Radek Stepanek, 11 years her senior, famous for having been engaged to Martina Hingis. The marriage lasted three years and following the divorce Vaidisova expressed a wish to come back to competitive tennis.
In July 2014, Vaidisova posted on Instagram a video of her practicing serve, announcing that she's working on a comeback. Two months later, Vaidisova did come back, winning a match against Sesil Karatantcheva at an ITF tournament in Albuquerque. Fast forward two years, and the 27-year-old unfortunately has to make a tough decision to hang up her racquet for good:
This has been one of the hardest words for me to write. After months and months of thinking and agonizing about this, I have decided to retire from professional tennis. It has been one of my hardest and most emotional decisions of my life. As many of you know, I have been struggling with various injuries on/off for the better part of the last two years and it has gotten to the point where I have spent more time in hospitals, physical therapy and doctors offices than on the court, playing the sport I love. This has been painful and exhausting, not just on my body, but on my mind as well and I have reached the point where I did not want to put my body through it anymore. Coming to this final decision took me months, as even through all the ups and downs, it is a game I grew to love for what it is.
During her second career, Vaidisova won a number of ITF matches, but recorded just one match win in a WTA main draw, against Timea Babos in the first round of Miami in March 2015. The winner of six WTA titles played her last match in Hungary in May this year, retiring after being bageled in the first set.
Among other people, Vaidisova thanked her boyfriend Daniel for his unconditional support. When it comes to WTA reactions on Vaidisova's retirement, Michaella Krajicek and Anna Chakvetadze shared their emotions in social media.
I just want to take a minute and congratulate my dear friend @nicolevaidisova on her incredible tennis career. You have been my friend, sparing partner, opponent and inspiration since we were 9 years old. What you have achieved on the tennis court will never be forgotten, the talent and work ethic you had will forever be tough to match! But personally what I love and respect about you even more, is the person you have become today. Despite all the things you have been through, you have found yourself and your happiness, and I feel really lucky to call you my friend ❤️ S láskou Míša
Oh. Nicole Vaidisova retired ;( 🙏🏻 amazing and talented player
— Анна Чакветадзе (@achakv87) July 20, 2016