Radek Stepanek said goodbye to tennis at the age of 39. Spinal problems had become too serious for the Czech, and prevented him from expressing all his potential on the court again. In addition, even his age left him with a few questions.
Stepanek was one of the last representatives of the fine old style tennis, in which skills like touch and sensitivity were much more important than the technological evolution of racquets. Famous for his offensive and spectacular style of play, Stepanek was also a real Casanova off the court.
His love stories were over on all the first pages of sports newspapers and magazines. He has had a completely respectable career. Ranked as high as eighth in the world in singles, he won five titles in men's singles, in 12 finals played.
But he gave the best of himself in doubles; he won 18 titles (including two Majors, at the Australian Open 2012 and the US Open 2013) in 33 finals played. He also won the bronze medal at Rio Olympics mixed doubles, along with Lucie Hradecká, and helped Czech Republic win two Davis Cups, in 2012 and 2013.
The 2012-2013 seasons were certainly the best in the Czech player's tennis career. In these two seasons he got the most prestigious achievements of his career. His matches must be an example for younger generations, whose game is physical and played mostly from the baseline.
His dropshots, volleys, slices and unbelievable winners with forehand and backhand, and some of his challenges (like the first round of the 2016 French Open 2016, lost after five amazing sets against Andy Murray), are unforgettable.
Rumors have been circulating about the future. The most insistent concern a future partnership with Novak Djokovic. The Serbian tennis player will be followed in Grand Slams by Andre Agassi, but he will need a new full time coach.
Before, Mario Ancic was chosen. But the future could be in collaboration with Radek Stepanek, one of the last knights of fine old style tennis. Source: YouTube .