One-time phenom Vaidisova retires from tennis—again

by: Kamakshi Tandon | July 21, 2016

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The Czech, 27, reached the French Open semifinals in 2006 and the Australian Open semifinals in 2007. (Wikimedia Commons)

Nicole Vaidisova has announced her retirement from tennis once again, citing frequent injuries since she decided to return to the game.

The former world No. 7 and two-time Grand Slam semifinalist stopped playing in 2010 at 21 years old. She had two shoulder surgeries married fellow player Radek Stepanek, but then, single again, she decided to make a comeback two years ago.

Despite winning a main-draw match in Miami as a wild card a year ago, the former phenom has played only intermittently, and mostly at the International Tennis Federation level. 

Following what she described as "months and months of thinking and agonizing about this," the 27-year-old Czech said on social media, "I have decided to retire from professional tennis."

 

So...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 2 years and it has gotten to the point where I have spent more time in hospitals,physical therapy and doctors offices then 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 throught it anymore.Coming to this final decision took me months,as even through all the ups and dows,it is a game I grew to love for what it is.Ever since I decided to come back 3 years ago,it has been a roller coaster ride of huge highs and lows,on and off the court.I am forever grateful and feeling so incredibly lucky to have had the unwavering support and uncoditional love of my family,friends,Daniel,as well as my medical and tennis team.Without them,it would have been imspossible to come back.My tennis career has been anything but ordinary,but above every opinion,comment and what ifs,I can proudly say it has been MINE.I do not regret any decision,good or bad,as it has made me the person I am today.As I close this chapter of my life,I look back in amazement at everything I was able to do.I am proud to have been able to compete with the best athletes in my sport and represent the Czech Republic,the country I love,in many fed cups and Olympics,it has been an honor.Finally,I can never thank all of you enough for all the support and words of encouragement that I have received over the years,it has meant the world to me and kept me going when I wanted to give up.Thank you,from the bottom of my heart,I will never be able to express enough gratitude to every single one of you,I am so honored. 20 years ago, this little girl had a dream,and today, I can say it has come true

A photo posted by Nicki Vaidisova (@nicolevaidisova) on

Vaidisova had climbed back into the Top 400—she’s currently No. 427—but described the injuries as physically and mentally exhausting.

"[I]t has gotten to the point where I have spent more time in hospitals, physical therapy and doctor’s offices th[a]n on the court, playing the sport I love,” she said.

She has retired with injury in two of her six ITF events this season.

"Ever since I decided to come back three years ago, it has been a roller-coaster ride of huge highs and lows, on and off the court," she said. "My tennis career has been anything but ordinary, but above every opinion, comment and what ifs, I can proudly say it has been mine.

"I look back in amazement at everything I was able to do. I am proud to have been able to compete with the best athletes in my sport and represent the Czech Republic … 20 years ago, this little girl had a dream, and today I can say it has come true."

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