Razzano to play at French in honor of fiance

By the Associated Press | May 17, 2011 | 10:28 AM EDT

PARIS (AP) — Virginie Razzano will play at the French Open despite the death of her fiance and one-time coach Stephane Vidal.

Razzano told Tuesday's edition of L'Equipe newspaper that the 32-year-old Vidal, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor nine years ago, said a few days before his death Monday that she had to play.

"Four or five days ago, I asked him: 'Do you want me to go and play at Roland Garros?'," Razzano said. "He answered: 'Yes, you need to play.' Because his intention is that I keep on going in my life, that I play for him and that I continue to be strong and to fight."

The 93rd-ranked Razzano said that Vidal didn't tell her that his condition recently deteriorated, also convincing her to play in a Fed Cup tie against Spain in April.

"The most beautiful thing we achieved in our lives was not a match," Razzano said. "We were a couple, but we became one person."

Razzano added she had a "very difficult adolescence" before she met Vidal.

"It's hard, but thanks to the strength he gave me I'm still alive," Razzano said.

The French Open begins Sunday.