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sorry if somebody already posted this somewhere else, but I saw that Jon Wertheim featured a question about Patty in his column last week (Apr. 14) at

What's up with the Swiss lefty Patty Schnyder? Is she having personal problems or is she just in a slump? Either way, she gets far less media attention than a player of her ranking and caliber deserves. Last year Schnyder single-handedly knocked out four of the biggest names at the Family Circle Cup, while at this year's tournament she lost her first match to a virtual unknown. She seems to have quite a dark side to her. I love watching her clever, artistic game and I bet her story would make a fascinating read. Do you have the skinny on her?
—Rick, Columbia, S.C.

"In late 1998, when she cracked the top 10 as a teenager and her career was on the upswing, someone described Schnyder to me as a "the female Rios." Both left-handed; similar clever, artistic game; similar temperament; and, it turned out, a similar career trajectory. Schnyder has never been the same player since she hooked up with that self-styled "guru," Rainer Harnecker, in early 1999. From there the story took even weirder turns. It seems that Schnyder's parents hired one Rainer Hofmann as a private investigator to help extricate Schnyder from Harnecker's clutches. He did. So much so that he and Schnyder subsequently fell in love and became engaged. Hofmann traveled with Schnyder, sometimes served as her coach and was a fixture on the WTA Tour.

Hofmann, however, recently was found guilty of defrauding a German telecommunications company of $1.3 million and was sentenced by a Frankfurt judge to 18 months in jail. (His lawyer told the German media that he pleaded guilty to spare Schnyder the embarrassment of a trial.) Recent reports also suggested that Schnyder's estranged parents were launching a defamation action against Hofmann. I'm not sure whether Hofmann has begun his sentence, etc., but it's easy to see how this could all be a bit, um, distracting to Schnyder." (Jon Wertheim)

Is this news any different from what was in Tennis Week a couple months ago?
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