Tennis player wins first-round match is rarely a reason for much celebration - unless your name happens to be Nicole Vaidisova.
Few players have made such an impact so young as the tall Czech, but even fewer have dropped off the radar in such a spectacular way.
At the age of 18, Vaidisova had reached two grand slam semi-finals and two quarter-finals and risen to number seven in the world rankings.
Swiftly labelled the new Maria Sharapova, the striking 6ft blonde seemed destined for major honours at the very top of the game.
But only two years later she is mired in one of the game's most astonishing slumps and surely wondering just how it could have gone so wrong.
Incredibly, Vaidisova's 6-4 6-2 triumph over Laura Granville in Memphis this week was the first WTA Tour match she had won since a first-round victory in Barcelona fully 10 months ago.
And, with her ranking now down at 177, she had to rely on a generous wild card simply to get a taste of main tour action.
Since that Barcelona victory, Vaidisova has won only four matches of any kind, two in qualifying and two on the lower-level ITF tour.
She lost in the first round at the first three grand slams of 2009 and then lost her opening qualifier at the US Open - the first time she had been absent from the main draw of a major since 2004.
The details of her fall from grace are there for all to see but the reasons behind it are altogether more baffling.
Popular belief would identify the turning point as the start of Vaidisova's relationship with ATP Tour player Radek Stepanek - a fellow Czech who was previously engaged to Martina Hingis.
There certainly might be some truth in it in that the teenager's focus may have wavered from tennis, followed by a crisis of confidence when results took a turn for the worse.
The player herself, though, blames a lingering right wrist injury, which first affected her in 2007 - the same year she struggled to overcome a bout of glandular fever - and caused her to take three months off at the end of last year.
"For the most part now, I have it under control," said the 20-year-old. "I'm happy about that. It's always hard when you have to worry about your wrist, or your health."
Time is still on Vaidisova's side, of course, but it will be a long road back, particularly for a player who sailed into the top 100 when she was only 15.
She ended last season by swapping coaches, replacing her stepfather, Ales Kodat, with Eric van Harpen, who has previously worked with Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Conchita Martinez, Anna Kournikova and Patty Schnyder.
That indicates she is still hoping to reverse her slide, and the victory over Granville was a step in the right direction - even if it was swiftly followed by defeat against Kaia Kanepi in round two.
Vaidisova said: "I haven't been playing much this year yet. I've been trying to practice and work out and get back into things. I'm going to try and play indoors and see how it goes."
It is certain to get worse before it gets better, with Vaidisova set to drop outside the top 200 in the next month, but there surely must be signs of improvement soon after that if the Czech is not to become one of tennis' great lost talents.
thanks, can the name of the thread be only **News and Articles** tho? :p :angel:
Feb 28th, 2010, 05:21 PM
however I think that most of the articles we'll see here will look like that one. :unsure:
I don't understand why Nicole doesn't give an interview about her "fall". I thought she was pretty big in your country. I thought that she would make a photoshoot (cover) + a big interview about what's happening with her... For some girls, being famous is a dream, but I think that Nicole doesn't give a damn :lol: At least it shows that she is not a stupid attention whore :worship:
Feb 28th, 2010, 06:04 PM
Nicole is not attention whore for sure, well, she probably doesn't want to talk about it and forget about her big fall, she wants to do everything to get back and that's important for us, fans :D
Feb 28th, 2010, 06:19 PM
Oh, and I was wondering... Before she seemed really involved in her outfits (like Maria S.). But all of a sudden, when she started dating Radek , and when she started slumping, I think she wasn't involved anymore in her outfits.
Maybe, she never was but they told her to tell this. But I think, when she started to slump, she was really uninterested in everything
Rising ( and still rising.. ) Czech star Nicole Vaidisova has decided to marry boyfriend and compatriot Radek Stepanek according to the sources.
What the hell are they smoking?
It seems, Radek Stepanek is quite a charmer, and a very lucky one...!
They got that part right, though. ;)
Mar 10th, 2010, 09:33 AM
Mar 30th, 2010, 08:04 PM
Speaking to reporters at the recently completed BMW Tennis Championships challenger event in Sunrise, Fla., Radek Stepanek said he wouldn’t rule out a mixed doubles partnership with recently retired fiancé Nicole Vaidisova.
ATHLETES: American skier Lindsay Vonn, New Zealand's women's cricket captain Aimee Watkins, Czech tennis player Nicole Vaidisova and Aussie swimmer Stephanie Rice have been rated among the world's 64 hottest female athletes.
Aimee Watkins is more accustomed to featuring on scoreboards so New Zealand's women's cricket captain admits surprise at being nominated as one of the world's sexiest sportswomen.
The 27-year-old from Taranaki has been rated by website Yahoo!Xtra as one of the world's 64 hottest female athletes, alongside American skier Lindsay Vonn, Aussie swimmer Stephanie Rice and Czech tennis player Nicole Vaidisova.
"I didn't know anything about it," Watkins said. "I've seen it now. Mum gave me a call and she was pretty excited and told me to go on and have a look. Since then I've had a bit of stick but, oh well. It's all a bit foreign to me."
Apart from deflecting verbal barbs from team-mates, Watkins has been planning for the Twenty20 World Cup, which starts on May 5 in the West Indies.
The White Ferns fly out on Thursday and Watkins was confident of her side's chances after a clean sweep of Australia in this year's Twenty20 Rosebowl series.
"To beat Aussie 5-0, we're pretty happy with our Twenty20 form and our plans. We're pretty clear on what we need to do."
New Zealand coach Gary Stead has taken an analytical approach to try to get a jump on the opposition.
"I think some women's teams are still finding their feet with Twenty20 because we don't play it as much as the men," Watkins said.
"Gary has done quite a bit of research and looked at stats and numbers and what kind of things correlate to winning. We know if we hit those marks then we're going to win games."
Watkins was preparing to play on low and slow pitches in the Caribbean and although that wasn't the team's preference, felt New Zealand were well equipped with four spinners.
"We've talked about the possibility of spinners opening the bowling. We'd prefer to have a little bit more pace in the wicket, to be honest.
"But we've done a lot of work on playing spin and in Twenty20, you can't get too caught up on who the bowler is because every ball is an opportunity to score a boundary."
Wellington boasts four players in the squad: Lucy Doolan, Sophie Devine, Sian Ruck and Liz Perry.
"Lucy just offers a totally different skill set to anyone else in our team. Her ability to access different areas of the field is going to be a valuable asset to us," Watkins said.
"And Soph has been in outstanding Twenty20 form and can hit the ball as hard as anyone."
After the World Cup Watkins will take up an English county contract with Devon.
New article I found... Originally, it can be found on website http://isport.blesk.cz/galerie/tenis/74453/?foto=0
I used google translator, so it's bad translation.
Line, forget the Serbs. You have the seductive Nicole
This was a very sad way, but when waiting at the end of such beauty, we can forget everything. I lost the Davis Cup semifinals. Czech tennis players on Monday morning, returning from Belgrade, tired and sad, but Radek Stepanek is just as good comfort women took his wife Nicole Vaidisova. Tomas Berdych had it home alone ...
Nicole if she wanted to make up for huge disappointment Štěpánek, which lived after losing Sunday's decisive duel with Janko Tipsarevic, and arrived at the airport as a princess in a dark outfit with fashionable sporty metal patinovaným trench coat.
Indeed, former tennis star had always gravitated to the more moderate than the elegance of the spectacular parádičkám cheap.
Stepanek but also in the presence of mare relaxed. She then tired of your parents is a man drove a black Mercedes home and you can plan to enjoy two weeks off.
This Štěpánkův partner Tomas Berdych to his sweetheart has to wait. Lucie Šafářová still played on the weekend tournament in Quebec, and so had home alone ...
There were some photos, which I posted in her photo tread.
Sep 1st, 2014, 10:52 PM
Former Czech tennis star Nicole Vaidisova, who retired in 2010 aged 20, is set to make her comeback, her agent Olivier van Lindonk said on Monday.
Vaidisova, who won six tournaments and reached the semi-finals of the French Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2007, has received a wild card entry for the ITF tournament in Albuquerque starting on September 15, van Lindonk told the Prague daily Sport.
Vaidisova, 25, reached a world number seven ranking in May 2007, and won six WTA titles, before retiring citing lack of motivation after slipping to 176th.
Vaidisova won her first WTA title in Vancouver in 2004 aged just 15 and also notched up 12 Fed Cup wins in 14 matches played.
"It's especially important that she regains her lost passion because the return will be far from easy," Czech Fed Cup team captain Petr Pala said.
Eight years ago, Nicole Vaidisova was in the WTA Top Ten. Now, after more than four years away from the game, she is back competing, and after a difficult start to the year, the 25-year-old from the Czech Republic has qualified for the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic.
In the first three tournaments Vaidisova competed in this year, all $25,000 Pro Circuit events in Florida on Har-Tru, she failed to make it out of qualifying, losing to teenagers Anna Bondar, Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Tena Lukas. But on a wintery Tuesday morning, in front of a sparse crowd inside the Midland Community Tennis Center, as far removed from the atmosphere at in her Australian Open semifinal eight years ago as can be imagined, she looked every bit the top player she once was, defeating Nicole Melichar 6-0, 6-3.
But as well as she played, serving well, hitting big, making few errors, Vaidisova said it is way too early in her comeback to take any win for granted.
"I've been off the game for almost five years, and no match is an obvious win for me at this point," said Vaidisova, who began her comeback last fall and is playing in her eighth tournament since then. "Any match I win, for me is great. I had two shoulder surgeries, and it was a combination of a lot of factors, but a long time of it was because of my injuries."
As for what changed between last month in Florida and this week, when she won all three of her qualifying matches in straight sets, Vaidisova mentioned two possibilities.
"I think this surface suits me better, and just match play," she said. "I obviously haven't played in a long time, and a lack of matches is a huge factor for me, so the more I play the better for me, obviously. Of course it feels good. That's why we're here, to win matches and get as far as possible."
As for getting back to the top of the game, Vaidisova is cautious about making any predictions.
"I've just played five or six tournaments, so we'll see how it goes each week, but so far I'm healthy, which is the biggest factor for me. How well I'll do, I don't know and I don't really set myself up for a goal at this point. For me, it's playing the best I can, performing and feeling good about my body, my matches, my performances and being patient. I need to be patient."
Such is the interest in her comeback that she has been given the prime evening feature match for her second round Wednesday against unseeded Nao Hibino of Japan. Admission is free to the tournament during the day, but the evening session, played on the stadium court surrounded by corporate boxes, draws large crowds out for an evening of dinner and tennis, producing an atmosphere that Vaidisova surely remembers from her years on the WTA tour.