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Barbora Strycova shouts out “two champs,” Marketa Vondrousova and son Vincent at final US Open
The former WTA doubles No. 1 is feeling the support as she plays her final tournament in Flushing Meadows.
Published Aug 31, 2023
FLASHBACK: Strycova checked in from pre-tournament quarantine in Australia.
NEW YORK—Barbora Strycova is feeling the love at the US Open.
The former WTA doubles No. 1 has enjoyed many highs in what has been a wildly successful farewell tour—including an emotional Wimbledon victory with Hsieh Su-Wei—and is making the most of her last dance in Flushing Meadows, flanked by doubles partner Marketa Vondrousova and son Vincent.
Strycova went on maternity leave to give birth to Vincent in 2021, and though she initially dreamed of a one-off farewell at the All England Club, the two-time Grand Slam champion expanded her plans into a summer revival, culminating in one last trip to New York.
“I was looking at my son, I was crying, at the same time I was laughing,” she said of her emotions after losing her last singles match against Kaia Kanepi. “I didn't want to cry because it was kind of a happy moment, even though I lost the match. But the emotion takes over you. You’re kind of like realizing, ‘Wow, it's really my last match here. I won't be coming back here ever. Maybe like a spectator, but…’
“Yeah, it was both, but more I felt like I'm happy.”
But the farewell didn’t end with singles and Strycova has two chances to end her career with another major title, in women’s doubles with Vondrousova, who is coming off her own Wimbledon victory in singles, as well as mixed with Santiago González.
“I wasn't sure if I want to really come back after giving birth,” she admitted in her post-match press conference on Tuesday. “I am so happy that I kind of decided to do so because I didn't miss tennis at all. I didn't want to come back because I was missing it, I just wanted to come back because I was feeling like I need to close this chapter from my side.
“I feel like the tennis, I need it, and also my tennis needs that. I did it. It was challenging, and it is still challenging. But I am happy that I'm done. I love tennis. It's a great sport. Also, I love my life without it. I have so many things what I want to do, what I did, with my son what I want. I can't wait to come back to my life without tennis.
“Maybe I will one day write a book about a lot of things,” she added, laughing at the thought of penning an explosive tell-all.
It goes without saying that her writing career would be as unforgettable as her tennis.