Nicole Vaidišová quits tennis at 20

Nicole Vaidišová, foto: ČTK

The Czech Republic’s Nicole Vaidišová – once ranked seventh in women’s tennis but currently 176th in the world – is retiring at the age of 20, reports have stated citing sources close to the player, including Aleš Kodet her stepfather and former coach. Vaidišová, who is the girlfriend of Czech men’s number one Radek Štěpánek, suffered a downward spiral over the last two years, after reaching two Grand Slam semi-finals in 2007. According to sources, the once promising player grew tried of losing matches and lost her drive to compete.

Nicole Vaidišová, photo: CTK
Just a few years ago, Nicole Vaidišová was the Czech Republic’s brightest star in the world of tennis, winning her first WTA title at the age of just 15, later reaching the semis at the Australian and French Opens. But somewhere along the way, her career began to sputter and then limp from defeat to defeat. The situation didn’t improve when she changed her former trainer, her stepfather Aleš Kodet after 2008, eventually, sources say, losing any desire to return to the court. Jan Jaroch covers tennis for the Czech daily Sport:

“I don’t think it was a big surprise because she was struggling over the last two years and she didn’t get the results she wanted and she was used to having. So I don’t think it’s a big surprise. You know, she made a big splash when she entered professional tennis at just 15 and she earned really quick successes, so it can be very difficult later for such young players. From what I heard, she was less and less happy with tennis over the last few years and it can be very difficult to maintain the motivation as well as the desire to be better and better.”

But in Jan Jaroch’s view, Vaidišová had what it took to take her game further, perhaps one reason some will be hoping for a comeback from her some day, no matter how unlikely that may appear at present.

Radek Štěpánek, photo: si.robi, CC BY-SA 2.0
“Many people said that she could be No. 1 in the world because she has great talent, a great serve, a great forehand and was a really aggressive player. She could definitely have been No.1 in the world. She could still make a comeback but on the other hand she wasn’t developing her game over the last while and was no longer a complete player.”

According to reports, Vaidišová’s nearest upcoming plans will include marrying fellow tennis player Radek Štěpánek – the country’s men’s No. 1 – in July.