FLASHBACK: Former doubles No. 1 Barbora Strycova last played at the 2021 Australian Open.


The last time Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova were on-court at the Caja Mágica together, they were raising the Mutua Madrid Open trophy. Three years later, the fan-favorite doubles team is readying for a much-anticipated comeback.

After two extended breaks from tour-level tennis, the affable 37-year-olds are hitting the ground running at the first WTA 1000 event of the clay-court season.

The event will be Strycova's first of any kind in more than two years, and first as a mother; she last played at the 2021 Australian Open, and gave birth to a son, Vincent, in October that year. But Hsieh, too, has been sidelined since the end of that season; she last saw action at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2021, where she reached the doubles final with Elise Mertens.

Little Vincent was on hand for his mom's first day back at work when Hsieh and Strycova reunited for a pre-tournament practice session in Madrid on Saturday, and both players joked in subsequent social media posts that their support team has grown by one.

"We are back with new coach," Hsieh wrote on Instagram, captioning a smiling snapshot of the trio.

Hsieh and Strycova were a fan-favorite doubles partnership since they first teamed up in triumph at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. As full-time partners from 2019 to 2021, they won eight titles together, including at Wimbledon in 2019, and each held the doubles No. 1 ranking. They also played for the title at the WTA Finals in 2019.

Their reunion, and the addition of little Vincent, has been met with similar fanfare.

"This is like a Destiny’s Child reunion but involves fuzzy balls," wrote one fan on Instagram.

"Dream team +1 are back!" exclaimed another.


Strycova teased earlier this year that she was preparing for a comeback, posting training videos with Petra Kvitova on her Instagram account, before officially announcing that she'd return in Madrid. It's unclear just how long her and Hsieh's reunion tour will last, but the Czech is also entered in Rome and Roland Garros with her protected ranking this spring, and is on the record saying that she wanted to "feel the energy" of tennis' biggest crowds again before stepping away from tennis for good.

One thing's for sure: With these two good friends, and hot-shot artists, on the same side of the net, entertainment is all but guaranteed.