FLASHBACK: Strycova played some of her best tennis in front of a home crowd.

NEW YORK—Barbora Strycova is done. But she’s not done yet.

The former WTA doubles No. 1 finds herself at the end of what has been a wildly successful farewell tour, none of which has been enough to convince her to reconsider hanging up her racquets following the US Open.

“David, I’m sorry,” she teases as I try to reconcile the imminent end of her 20-year career with the Wimbledon title she won in July and an as-yet unbeaten run in Flushing Meadows that has seen her topple seeds in both women’s and mixed doubles.

And I’m not the only one: Marketa Vondrousova has also done all she could to keep her doubles partner on the court even a little longer.

“I wanted her to play Billie Jean King Cup, and she was like, ‘No!’” laughed the Wimbledon singles champ, who readily agreed to partner Strycova in her final tournament. “She’s done!”

“I’m so happy to play with Marketa because we have the same vibe, we’re on the same page with our characters, but no,” Strycova confirms. “I’m enjoying every moment here. Every match here, I will give my best and give my all, but no.”

In fairness, Strycova left a pretty full life to give a proper goodbye to tennis, having enjoyed a two-year maternity leave following the birth of son Vincent with partner Petr Matejcek.


I’m so happy to play with Marketa because we have the same vibe, we’re on the same page with our characters...I’m enjoying every moment here. Every match here, I will give my best and give my all, but no. This is it. Barbora Strycova

“He likes tennis,” she said, perhaps envisioning a future mixed partnership with Caroline Wozniacki’s similarly-aged daughter Olivia. “He has tennis racquets. I’m trying to show him and bring him on site.

“He’s too small to know if he likes it or not, but he can kind of grab the racquet by himself. I would like for him to play.”

Vincent has gotten to watch plenty of his mom on the court this summer since she played her first tournament since 2021 at the Mutua Madrid Open. After reuniting with longtime partner Hsieh Su-Wei to play through a fairytale fortnight at the All England Club, Strycova is both at the end of the road and arguably better than ever.

With Vondrousova, she stunned top seeds and fellow Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova; in mixed with Santiago Gonzalez, she thumped No. 8 seeds Yang Zhauxuan and Kevin Krawietz, serving out the upset in 54 minutes flat.

“I did my preparation well,” smiles Strycova, who is in incredible shape. “I was really training, not so much quantity, but the quality was great.

“I may be a little surprised that I’m hitting the ball this good. I’m also mentally ok, feeling happy to be here and playing and enjoying. It helps me a lot…”

Vondrousova interrupts: “She’s thinking, ‘It’s all good, I’m done after this tournament!’”

The calmer Strycova is perhaps different from the player Vondrousova grew up watching compete for numerous Fed Cup (now Billie Jean King Cup) titles, but the two are very much on the same wave length in Flushing Meadows, finishing each others’ sentences and fondly recalling their shared journey to their respective Wimbledon victories.


“We had lockers on the same side of the locker room, so we were always talking,” says Strycova, who first approached Vondrousova for this Last Dance doubles in London.

“Then we got to meet at the Champions Dinner, which was something else,” continues Vondrousova. “We have great memories, all very special. We have similar jokes, and really get along both off the court and on…

“We can talk about anything…” Strycova picks up.

Well, almost anything.

“She won’t even let me ask anymore,” Vondrousova sighs. “It’s just ‘No!’”

But that finality has done nothing to dim Strycova’s focus on the task at hand. Asked if the two friends have had a chance to explore the city, she demurs with a knowing smile.

“Not yet,” she says. “We will, but we have some business to do…”

Vondrousova can't help herself, shouting: “Trophies to win!”