Some incredibly sad news about Virginia Razzano: her fiance and coach, Stéphane Vidal, has passed away at age 32 due to a brain tumor. In a statement published in L’Equipe, Razzano paid tribute to her fiancé:
Stephen was at his parent’s home when he left at noon today (16/05/2011). I was next to him. I stayed with him in his last moments, until the end. He would have done the same for me.
In her statement, Razzano said that Vidal had hidden the extent of his condition from her so she could continue to play in April.
He knew that his tumor was too big. He knew he would die soon. Knowing that I was playing [tennis] gave him energy. My wins restored his strength. I almost couldn’t say goodbye.
When I came back from Miami and arrived at Montpellier Airport, it was his mother and sister who came to meet me. While we drank coffee, they told me the truth: I took a huge blow.
When the time came to say goodbye:
He heard me but couldn’t respond. I spoke to him. In the end, I told him it was wonderful for me. He taught me many things, he made me stronger.
I had been raising mountains since the age of thirteen. Before I met Stephen, I had a very difficult adolescence, and at some point, you say “this is too hard, I’d like a bit of luck!” I had never met anyone as good and as strong as Stephen. It’s hard, but with the strength he gave me, I’m alive once more.
Razzano will play Roland Garros as a tribute to her man, and because it was one of his dying wishes that she play the French Open.
Condolences to Virginie Razzano and Vidal’s family. It’s so obvious from her statement that she’s in a whole world of pain right now. I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of strength and inspiration she’ll need to walk onto a tennis court at this point in her life.
All the best for the French Open.