Wimbledon doubles champion Barbora Strycova revealed Wednesday that while motherhood was a major contributor to her success, it would prevent her from playing again at the All England Club.
The 37-year-old Czech lifted the trophy together with Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei, who is the same age, in a repeat of their 2019 triumph.
Strycova announced her retirement before giving birth to her son Vincent in September 2021, but returned for one last season, planning to wind up her career at the US Open starting on August 28.
“Motherhood helped me a lot,” said Strycova, who also reached the Wimbledon singles semi-finals in 2019.
“Being a mum is more than being a Wimbledon champion,” she told reporters in Prague, adding: “But it’s great that I can do both: be a mum and do my job.”
She said Vincent had seen her play in the second round.
“But he then wants to go to me and doesn’t understand that he can’t,” said Strycova to explain why he missed her other games.
He also missed the late-night final after being put to bed by Strycova’s mother.
“We went to play in the Wimbledon final, and I was nervous, but I knew my son would be there after the game, and he doesn’t care if I win or lose,” she added.
“I was thinking of him in the final... and it helped me a lot because I stopped thinking about the game,” said Strycova, who has won two WTA singles and 32 doubles titles in her career.
Although she is grateful to her mother and mother-in-law for their help taking care of Vincent, she said it was impossible to go on like this for long.
“They help me a lot, but the kid is simply there with me, and I sleep with him, and Vincent is not much of a sleeper, so it’s really tough.”
“The idea that I would have to get ready for the next season is unrealistic,” she continued.
“I want to be with him and take it easy, use the baby-sitting for myself, go and get a massage nice and slow and not rush to a training session.”
Strycova managed no more than three rather short training sessions on court and four in the fitness centre a week in the run-up to Wimbledon.
“Motherhood will completely change your life and training too. I had three days a week and didn’t care it wasn’t six. I wanted to be with my son,” she said.
Strycova confessed there were times when she wanted to give up.
“You come home from training and there’s the little boy and you want to spend time with him but you’re absolutely exhausted. That was tough.
“And so I am determined to quit. It’s all wonderful, I’m really happy, our win was unbelievable, but there’s this huge amount of work behind it,” she said.
She said perseverance was key in combining motherhood and sports.
“I think mothers have a strength in them with which they can achieve absolutely everything.”
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