Stepanek defends 'black widow' Hingis
An American magazine dubbed Stepanek's fiancee Martina Hingis as 'the black widow of tennis' as she has dated a number of players.india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 15:53 IST
Radek Stepanek was adamant he had avoided being struck by the curse of the 'Black Widow'.
American Tennis magazine dubbed Stepanek's fiancee Martina Hingis as 'the black widow of tennis' as she has dated a number of players on the men's circuit. Unfortunately for them, their union with Hingis unwittingly resulted in professional suicide.
Czech Stepanek dismissed the article, saying he had enjoyed the best season in his 10-year professional career since hooking up with Hingis early in 2006.
"I'm not paying much attention to those comments because everybody is different," Stepanek told reporters after bowing out in the third round.
"For me, this relationship so far is great. For the last year-and-a-half, I'm playing my best tennis. So these comments don't (relate to) our relationship."
However, the evidence suggests otherwise.
The 26-year-old Hingis's list of suitors include Justin Gimelstob, Julian Alonso and Sweden's Magnus Norman.
American Gimelstob has suffered from chronic back injuries since going out with the Swiss briefly in 1997.
Spain's Alonso was hailed as newcomer of the year in 1997 and reached 30th in the world in 1998, the year he began dating Hingis. By 2001 his career was effectively over.
Norman was ranked second in the world after reaching the French Open final in 2000, when he began seeing Hingis. He injured his hip the following season and disappeared from the circuit in 2003.
In 2006, Stepanek won his first ATP singles title in Rotterdam and climbed to a career-high eighth in the world last July.
His good fortune did not last long. The following month he injured his back and was on the sidelines for the rest of his season.
Despite the ominous signs, Stepanek refused to acknowledge that his slice of bad luck had anything to do with Hingis.
"My doctor he said 'you can have it already for a couple of years'," Stepanek said.
"Suddenly, there is a million things that can bring up your injury and affect my right hand. So it is nothing to do with the private life or anything else."