Nicole Bradtke

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Nicole Bradtke
Country (sports)Australia
ResidenceMelbourne
Born (1969-09-22) 22 September 1969 (age 50)
Melbourne, Australia
Turned pro1986
Retired1997
PlaysRight-handed (two handed backhand)
Prize money$1,298,912
Singles
Career record243–191
Career titles3 WTA, 4 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 24 (24 May 1993)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open4R (1989, 1993)
French OpenSF (1988)
Wimbledon4R (1995)
US Open3R (1987)
Doubles
Career record222–164
Career titles9 WTA
Highest rankingNo. 11 (6 April 1992)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open3R (1992, 1996)
French OpenSF (1988, 1990)
WimbledonSF (1989)
US OpenSF (1989)
Mixed doubles
Career titles2
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1992)
French OpenF (1990)
WimbledonF (1987)
US OpenW (1992)

Nicole Bradtke (née Provis) (born 22 September 1969) is a retired professional tennis player from Australia.

Bradtke won three singles and nine doubles titles on the WTA Tour. She reached the semifinals of the 1988 French Open, and won a bronze medal in doubles at the 1992 Summer Olympics, partnering Rachel McQuillan. In mixed doubles, she reached four Grand Slam finals, winning two of those partnering Mark Woodforde. Bradtke reached career-high rankings of No. 24 in singles and No. 11 in doubles. She retired from professional tennis in 1997 after a shoulder injury.

Professional career[edit]

The young Nicole Provis (Bradtke) started playing tennis at the age of seven, the child prodigy taking after her mother Lois who it is said had a blistering serve and her father Doug who was a baseballer of some prominence.

She was schooled at Mentone Girls Grammar School, where she was shy and had very few friends. Fortunately a young Michelle Read took pity on her and they formed a strong friendship based on Mich doing her homework for her. Luckily for Nicole she had found tennis, because academic pursuits were not her strong point. Whilst still at school, she played her first professional tennis match in 1985, and made her debut at the Australian Open later that year. She found early success in mixed doubles, finishing runner-up at the 1987 Wimbledon Championships with Darren Cahill. At this point she decided to focus on tennis rather than go back to school, primarily because she said the Mentone Girls Grammar uniform which was dark brown, did not align to her brand.

Bradtke burst into prominence in 1988, when she made the semifinals of the French Open as a relative unknown. She beat other relative unknowns Sybille Niox-Château, Emmanuelle Derly before defeating two seeded players, Claudia Kohde-Kilsch and Sylvia Hanika, as well as Arantxa Sánchez Vicario (who had earlier beaten Chris Evert) before losing to Natasha Zvereva, despite holding two match points.

One great outcome from the success in France was a sponsorship from LaCoste - one of the few non-French players to have represented the famous Brand.

In early 1989, she reached the top 30, but failed to fulfill her early promise and quickly settled into the lower top 100 range, despite making further fourth rounds at the 1989 Australian Open and the 1990 French Open and winning her first title at home in Brisbane in 1992. That victory was largely the result of the wonderful support she received on the sidelines from her bestie. Their “special” relationship saw them travel the European tour together for the next four months - with many a raised eyebrow as to the true role of Nicole’s new travelling companion. To this day the two of them will say “what goes on tour stays on tour”.

She then went on to great success in mixed doubles, winning both the 1992 Australian Open and the 1992 US Open with her partner, Mark Woodforde; and women's doubles, earning a bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. She later conceded that she should have won the gold medal but was exhausted having met basketballer Mark Bradtke in the athletes village that week. She had been absolutely besotted by his broad shoulders and the most majestic mullet she had ever seen. She would go on to wed him, and she continues to drive him mad every day.

She enjoyed a minor resurgence in singles in 1993, winning her second tour title in Kuala Lumpur and reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open. She also earned her biggest career victory during that year, beating world No. 1 Steffi Graf in a Fed Cup tie.[1] Bradtke later helped Australia to reach the final, where they lost to the Spanish team.

After playing only eight events in 1994, she dropped out of the top 100, before recovering in 1995, earning another big victory over Gabriela Sabatini at the tournament in Berlin and returning to the top 40 in the world.

Bradtke retired after the 1997 Australian Open. Whilst disappointing, this was a huge relief for Doug and Lois, who had for many years borne the brunt of Nicole swearing at them from the side of the court.

She has gone on to live a quiet and reclusive life in Melbourne’s Bayside suburbs, and is most often seen running 20km’s per day along Beach Road, or shopping in Church Street darling.

She is the mother of two incredibly handsome young boys, one who will play in a Premiership for Melbourne, the other who will be drafted to the NBA in his fathers footsteps.

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Mark Bradtke, a former Australian professional basketball player, since 1994. Together they have two boys, Austin (born 2000) and Jensen (born 2004), and run an indoor sports centre in Melbourne. She previously served as a coach for the Australian Fed Cup team, as well as undertaking private coaching. She has worked with fellow Australians Samantha Stosur and Alicia Molik. In 2007, she joined the National High Performance Academy team.

Her sister Natasha is married to Todd Woodbridge, making him her brother-in-law.[2]

Her eldest son Austin was selected by the Melbourne Football Club as a category B rookie and will join the club from 2019.[3]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Mixed doubles: 4 (2 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1987 Wimbledon Grass Australia Darren Cahill United Kingdom Jo Durie
United Kingdom Jeremy Bates
7–6(12–10), 6–3
Loss 1990 French Open Clay South Africa Danie Visser Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
Mexico Jorge Lozano
7–6(7–5), 7–6(10–8)
Win 1992 Australian Open Hard Australia Mark Woodforde Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
Australia Todd Woodbridge
6–3, 4–6, 11–9
Win 1992 US Open Hard Australia Mark Woodforde Czechoslovakia Helena Suková
Netherlands Tom Nijssen
4–6, 6–3, 6–3

WTA career titles[edit]

Singles (3)[edit]

Legend
Grand Slam (0)
Tour Championships (0)
Tier I (0)
Tier II (0)
Tier III (0)
Tier IV (3)
Tier V (0)
No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
1. 5 January 1992 Danone, Australia Hard Australia Rachel McQuillan 6–3, 6–2
2. 19 April 1993 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Hard (i) United States Ann Grossman 6–3, 6–2
3. 30 January 1995 Auckland, New Zealand Hard United States Ginger Helgeson 3–6, 6–2, 6–1

Doubles (9)[edit]

Legend
Grand Slam (0)
Tour Championships (0)
Tier I (1)
Tier II (0)
Tier III (1)
Tier IV (5)
Tier V (2)
No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
1. 16 May 1988 Strasbourg, France Clay Netherlands Manon Bollegraf Australia Jenny Byrne
Australia Janine Thompson
6–3, 6–2
2. 14 August 1989 Albuquerque, United States Hard South Africa Elna Reinach Italy Raffaella Reggi
Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
4–6, 6–4, 6–2
3. 14 May 1990 Berlin, West Germany Clay South Africa Elna Reinach Australia Hana Mandlíková
Czechoslovakia Jana Novotná
6–2, 6–1
4. 21 May 1990 Strasbourg, France Clay South Africa Elna Reinach United States Kathy Jordan
Australia Elizabeth Smylie
6–1, 6–4
5. 20 May 1991 Geneva, Switzerland Clay Australia Elizabeth Smylie Switzerland Cathy Caverzasio
Switzerland Manuela Maleeva
6–1, 6–2
6. 10 June 1991 Birmingham, United Kingdom Grass Australia Elizabeth Smylie United States Sandy Collins
South Africa Elna Reinach
6–1, 6–2
7. 17 February 1992 Oklahoma, United States Hard (i) United States Lori McNeil United States Katrina Adams
Netherlands Manon Bollegraf
3–6, 6–4, 7–6(8–6)
8. 11 January 1993 Melbourne, Australia Hard France Nathalie Tauziat United States Cammy MacGregor
United States Shaun Stafford
1–6, 6–3, 6–3
9. 20 May 1996 Strasbourg, France Clay Indonesia Yayuk Basuki United States Marianne Witmeyer
United States Tami Jones
5–7, 6–4, 6–4

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bookies favour Stosur to lift French Open crown".
  2. ^ Daffey, Paul (13 February 2005). "Best sporting love matches". The Age. Melbourne.
  3. ^ Cleary, Mitch (23 May 2018). "Demons win race for sporting thoroughbred". AFL.com.au. Telstra Media. Retrieved 3 August 2018.

External links[edit]