Former teen phenom Nicole Vaidisova won her first match in over four years yesterday defeating another former young prodigy Sesil Karatancheva 63, 64 in the first round at the Albuquerque USTA circuit event.
“It was surreal,” Vaidisova said to the Albuquerque Journal. “It was the first time in four years I played a match. It was a little nerve-racking, but I’m so glad I got through.
Vaidisova was a former Top 10 standout who retired from the game at just 21 in 2010 citing a lack of interest. She was married for a time to ATP star Radek Stepanek before the two got divorced in 2013.
Now at 25 she’s attempting a full comeback to the sport.
“I can’t be arrogant to think that after four years out of the game and have the health issues I’ve had that I can just come back and win everything,” Vaidisova told the paper. “I still have a long journey ahead of me. No matter if I’m winning or losing right now, this is part of that journey, part of the plan to get back to this.”
Vaidisova made the French and Australian Open semifinals and twice was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon. She has six career WTA titles and reached a career-high ranking of No. 7 in 2007.
The Czech will play on Thursday in the second round against the Johanna Konta and American Julia Cohen winner.
“Its one tiny step at a time,but so happy the 1st was a winning one. Thank you for all the encouraging messages and congratulations,It means so much to me,” she wrote on Instagram.
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