From the news

Love changes everything for Vaidisova

  • dgec
  • 26 May 2008
  • 08:05

Nicole Vaidisova, the forgotten blonde pin-up of women's tennis, endured a performance to match her declining profile on Sunday when she was knocked out of the French Open by compatriot and best friend Iveta Benesova.


Vaidisova, the leggy Czech 15th seed, was a semi-finalist here in 2006 and made the last eight in 2007, but her miserable recent form, which has seen her without a win since Dubai in March, was compounded by her 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 loss to Benesova.


Nineteen-year-old Vaidisova has made some drastic changes to her life and career in recent months turning to David Felgate, the former coach of British number one Tim Henman, to help turn her game around.


Felgate was hired after the Czech girl split from Alex Kodat, her stepfather who had been her coach since she was six years old.


Vaidisova has also been romantically linked with Radek Stepanek, who this time last year was engaged to former world number one Martina Hingis.


But she refused to blame all the upheavals for her slump.


"I'm happy with the decisions I took. They are not distracting me," said the sombre former world number seven.


"I'm more independent than I was two years ago. I make my own decisions. I think I have grown up a lot."


Benesova is convinced her friend has other things on her mind.


"She's in love, so she's happy," she said.

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