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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, April 25, 2024

Less than a year after ascending to a professional peak, Marketa Vondrousova is enduring personal anguish.

The Wimbledon winner announced she and husband Stepan Simek are in the process of divorcing—and her husband has taken her beloved cat Frankie.

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"I'm definitely not having a happy time in the last few weeks. My marriage with Stepan ended a few weeks ago, we broke up," Vondrousova told Czech website Blesk. "He moved out with the cat."

The divorce ends a near eight-year relationship. The couple, who began dating as teenagers back in 2006, got engaged around the 2020 Olympics. They wed on July 16th, 2022.

"It just didn't work out for us," Vondrousova said. "It wasn't what we both imagined, so we agreed not to be together anymore.

"Now we are formally resolving the divorce, but we have agreed on everything."

During her Wimbledon title run last summer, a phone call to her husband helped calm Vondrousova's nerve to dial up a classic comeback.

Olympic silver medalist Vondrousova battled back from a 1-4 deficit, streaking through five straight games to stun fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 and reach her first Wimbledon semifinal in a stirring comeback conquest on No. 1 Court.

Facing a 1-3 deficit when play was suspended by rain to close the retractable roof, Vondrousova didn't consult her coach. Instead, the 24-year-old Czech got busy pushing buttons.

Vondrousova called her husband, Simek, back home in Prague, who encouraged her by telling her she was playing a tremendous match and urged her to keep fighting.

"[My husband said] it was a good match, [you're] playing great," Vondrousova said. "He just said, Try to fight. You are playing good. You are playing great match.

"Yeah, that was it. I mean, I think the break helped actually. It was good."

Photo credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty