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Barbora Strýcová

Barbora StrýcováBarbora Strýcová, born on the 28th of March 1986 in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia - now Czech Republic, formerly known as Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová, is a retired Czech tennis player.

Her highest WTA rankings were No. 16 in singles which she achieved on the 16th of January 2017 and No. 1 in doubles on the 15th of July 2019.

Her best singles and doubles Grand Slam performances both came at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships, where she reached the singles semifinals - having previously reached the quarterfinals in 2014, and won the women's doubles title alongside Hsieh Su-wei.

Strýcová has won 31 doubles titles and two singles titles on the WTA Tour, as well as the bronze medal in women's doubles at the 2016 Olympics with Lucie Šafářová as her partner, having defeated defending gold medalists Venus and Serena Williams in the first round.

She was also a member of the Czech Fed Cup team that captured the title in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018.

Strýcová announced her retirement on the 4th of May 2021, whilst leaving open the possibility of a final match at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, or at a tournament in the Czech Republic.

Barbora StrýcováIn her early years Strýcová was a very strong junior player, winning two Grand Slams in girls' singles, the 2002 Australian Open, and then defending that title the following year.

She also won three Grand Slam girls' doubles titles between 2001 and 2003.

She reached world No. 1 in both singles and doubles on the junior rankings, achieving both in 2002, and was named the ITF Junior World Champion that same year.

In her junior career, she beat several players who went on to become notable professionals such as Maria Sharapova, Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Maria Kirilenko.

When she turned professional in 2003, Strýcová had already worked her ranking into the top 300 with some good results in ITF Women's Circuit events during 2002.

She continued to play mostly ITF events throughout the year, and made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, qualifying and losing in the first round to Tatiana Perebiynis. She finished that year ranked world No. 161.

2004 was the year that Strýcová stepped up her game considerably. She began the year by qualifying for the Australian Open and then reached the fourth round at the WTA tournament at Indian Wells.

Barbora StrýcováIt was there she beat seeded player Eleni Daniilidou before losing to Justine Henin - a result that broke her into the top 100 for the first time.

She recorded another notable win over Anna Smashnova on Amelia Island, and won her first two Grand Slam main-draw matches at both the Australian Open and French Open.

After experiencing some rough going in the middle part of the season, she finished the year strong by reaching her first WTA Tour semifinal in Guangzhou and winning an ITF event in Saint-Raphaël, France. She was then able to finish the season ranked world No. 56.

Strýcová's progress took a step backward in 2005, dropping out of the top 100 in the world after failing to back up her breakthrough season and winning just 17 matches throughout the season.

Despite this, she achieved some notable results in doubles, reaching four WTA Tour doubles finals and winning the title on two of those occasions.

2006 also started poorly for her in singles, as she struggled to string together wins and subsequently dropped out of the top 200 of the world rankings in April 2006 before recovering slightly with some good results in ITF events.

She married her coach between the 2006 and 2007 seasons. In 2007, Záhlavová-Strýcová played mostly on the ITF Circuit once more and achieved some good results, reaching several semifinals throughout the season, but still remained outside the top 100.

Barbora StrýcováAfter a few years of what seemingly looked like being in limbo, Záhlavová-Strýcová's chipping away at ITF events finally managed to bring home some results.

By 2008, winning titles in Fort Walton Beach, Redding (both American events) and Szczecin, Poland, as well as reaching the second round in WTA events in Amelia Island and Charleston she was on a roll.

She qualified for Wimbledon and made the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career thus returning to the top 100, where she remained until the end of the season, her second top-100 year-end finish.

Záhlavová-Strýcová failed to make any progress in her first five tournaments of the season, including at the Australian Open where she lost to Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro, but later she enjoyed a little success in two WTA tournaments in Mexico.

She reached the semifinals in Acapulco and the quarterfinals in Monterrey, beating top-20 player Flavia Pennetta at the latter event.

Following that, she returned to the struggle - losing her opening match in all but three tournaments up to July.

She fell out of the top 100 after Wimbledon, where she was defending third-round points, by losing in the first round to Ekaterina Makarova.

Záhlavová-Strýcová's match results improved during the latter part of the year, starting with a quarterfinal showing at the WTA Tour event in Bad Gastein, as well as reaching the doubles final in Prague.

Barbora StrýcováShe then played a $25k in Trnava, Slovakia, where she reached the semifinals, before qualifying and winning her first-round match at the US Open, losing to Victoria Azarenka in the second round.

She built on these performances in ITF Circuit events at the end of the season, winning the $100k+H event in Ortisei, Italy, and a $50k+H event in Ismaning, Germany, and worked her way back into the top 100 for the end of the season.

In doubles, she won two straight events at the WTA tournaments in Quebec City and Luxembourg - claiming her fourth and fifth WTA doubles titles.

In February of 2013, Záhlavová-Strýcová was banned for six months, backdated to the 16th, of October 2012 until the15th of April 2013, after testing positive for the stimulant sibutramine.

Strýcová had alleged gotten the substance into her system accidentally through the ingestion of the supplement ACAI Berry Thin.

Despite the ITF not disputing her account of the events and concluding that she "bore no significant fault", she was given a ban for negligence, which disqualified all results during the period of the ban and mandated the return of all prizes won during that period.

Záhlavová-Strýcová made her return at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart where she lost in the first round of qualifying to Mirjana Lučić-Baroni.

Barbora StrýcováIn doubles, she and partner Julia Görges lost their first-round match to Liezel Huber and Janette Husárová.

In May, she won the Slovak Open, a $75k event, it was her first tournament win since coming back from her ban.

At the Wimbledon Championships, she defeated reigning Australian Open champion Li Na in the third round, in soon-to-be last professional match for world No. 2.

She also beat Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round, in straight sets, after some difficulties at the end of the second, during which Wozniacki defended four match points.

Advancing to a Grand Slam singles quarterfinal for the first time, she lost in straight sets to eventual champion, compatriot Petra Kvitová.

In 2015 Záhlavová-Strýcová started the year strongly, with a semifinal finish at the Auckland Open and a quarterfinal showing at the Sydney International, losing to Caroline Wozniacki and Tsvetana Pironkova, respectively.

Seeded 25th in the women's singles draw of the Australian Open, she lost in the third round to former two-time champion Victoria Azarenka.

Unseeded in the singles draw of the Diamond Games in Antwerp, she lost in the semifinal to eventual winner Andrea Petkovic.

Barbora StrýcováUnseeded in the singles draw at Dubai, she lost in the second round to eventual runner-up, Karolína Plíšková and she also lost her second-round match in Doha to former No. 1, Venus Williams, after failing to convert a match point.

On the 2nd of March 2015, she achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 20. It was the first time in the Open Era that the world's top 20 featured four Czech women - also with Petra Kvitová at No. 4, Lucie Šafářová at No. 11, and Karolína Plíšková at No. 15.

In 2016 after a couple of early losses at Auckland and Brisbane, Strýcová got as far as the last 16 of the Australian Open, where she was beaten by Victoria Azarenka, and in February to the final at Dubai, where she came runner-up to Sara Errani.

This latter success took her back to within the top 40. In her next tournament Qatar Open, she defeated Kristina Mladenovic in the first round, and then lost to compatriot Petra Kvitová in straight sets.

In October, she won the Linz Open, beating Magdaléna Rybáriková in the final. This was her second WTA Tour title.

During 2018 in the third round of the Australian Open, she defeated Bernarda Pera in straight sets before losing against Karolína Plíšková in a three-setter.

At Indian Wells, she lost in the second round to Petra Martić in singles. But in doubles, she won the final with Hsieh Su-wei against Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Barbora StrýcováStrýcová reached the doubles final of Rome, Tokyo, and Wuhan. She won New Haven and Beijing, partnering Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková. In singles, she lost the semifinal in Birmingham and the quarterfinal in Tokyo.

In January of 2019, Strýcová and her doubles partner Markéta Vondroušová reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, but were defeated by Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai.

In July, Strýcová reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in singles and, together with Hsieh Su-wei, won the title in doubles.

This was, at the age of 33 her career best in a Grand Slam tournament for both singles and doubles.

She beat four seeded players until she was defeated in the semifinal by 23 time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

Strýcová kicked off her 2020 season at the Brisbane International. She upset seventh seed Johanna Konta in the first round, but then lost in the second round to Alison Riske.

In doubles, she and Hsieh Su-wei won the title by beating Ashleigh Barty and Kiki Bertens in the final.

Playing at the first edition of the Adelaide International, she fell in the first round to qualifier Bernarda Pera.

Barbora StrýcováSeeded 32nd at the Australian Open, she was defeated in the first round by Sorana Cîrstea.

Strýcová started her 2021 season in February at the first edition of the Grampians Trophy. She lost in the first round to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

At the Australian Open, she was defeated in the first round by Svetlana Kuznetsova then on May 4th, 2021, Strýcová announced her retirement from tennis.

Strýcová was married to former tennis player Jakub Záhlava, a cousin of Sandra Záhlavová. He was also her coach, having been in that position since 2007.

Since the couple divorced in 2015, she uses her birth name, Barbora Strýcová, again. She was once married for nine years, and today her partner is Petr Matějček, editor-in-chief of Esquire Magazine.

A photo was taken of her in 2020 at the Ball in Rudolfinum, where the tennis player donated her tennis racket to a charity auction.

On the 26th of March 2021, Strýcová announced her pregnancy on social media. Her great sense of humor was evident when she casually remarked:

"I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, but if the white runs out, I’ll drink the red.” - Barbora Strýcová

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