As one of the most impressive athletes to ever emerge from the Czech Republic, Barbora Strycova has been at or near the top of WTA tennis for many years. However, the hands of time wait for nobody, even the best professionals. With that in mind, the news that Strycova has decided to retire might come as a shock to some. However, as a veteran of the WTA tour, the Czech star had enjoyed a very impressive eighteen months prior to retirement.
Now, though, the end has arrived, bringing to an end one of the best tennis careers of any Czech to ever pick up a racquet. Her incredible form in recent times might have convinced some that she would be sticking around, but that is not to be. Indeed, she qualified for her first WTA Titles, won her first Grand Slam tournament, and reached her maiden position as the No.1 on the WTA circuit all within the last eighteen months of play in the Doubles tournaments.
An outstanding Doubles player, she also began to really impress at the WTA Singles events. In 2019, she reached the last four at Wimbledon, and looked set to reach the Tokyo Olympics and compete there. However, the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic made this near-impossible, and the postponement now means that the Olympics will take place a year out of sync.
A year too long, then, for one of the finest in the modern history of the Doubles game. She will retire holding the heady position of No. 2 on the Doubles rankings; an incredible achievement. However, despite that, the chance to have played at an Olympics will be a sorely missed opportunity for a player who had already achieved so much on and off the court.
What next for Barbora Strycova?
At the moment, who knows? She has produced previous little detail about what comes next for her career or for her future. Like many athletes who have committed so many years to reaching elite excellence, though, Strycova might decide to take some time away from the limelight and from the court. However, a career in either coaching or in media could wait for her.
Eloquent and focused, she would make the ideal partner for just about any player looking to develop their skills and their mental faculties. As a true student of tennis, too, she would make a wonderful pundit, offering her insight and knowledge of the game in a way that few other players are capable of doing.
And while the end of her competitive playing days are here, it is unlikely that we’ll not see her hold a racquet again at some opportunity. From charity events to exhibitions, many Czech females who have grown up inspired by her play will no doubt continue to watch her footage and learn from a player who was a sublime professional.
Retirement comes for us all, and for Strycova she has managed to bow out at arguably the best period of time in her career.