FLASHBACK: Hsieh and Mertens were a formidable pair while Strycova was on maternity leave, winning the 2021 Wimbledon Championships and finishing runner-up at that year's WTA Finals.

Barbora Strycova got her fairytale ending on Centre Court, the new mom reuniting with partner Hsieh Su-Wei to defeat Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens, 7-5, 6-4 to win their second Wimbledon title as a pair.

“I couldn't ask for a better finish, right?” she said during her on-court interview. “I don't want to talk too much because I don't want to get so emotional!”

Strycova promised to play at the All England Club one last time after leaving tennis to give birth to her first child in 2021, and after returning to action earlier this spring, blitzed the field alongside Hsieh, dropping just one set en route to a one-hour, 50-minute victory on Sunday.

“I want to come back and play one more match in front of spectators,” she said after first announcing her pregnancy two years ago. “I want to feel their energy, from the crowd, from the club, all of that love.”

The fan favorite, whose initial exit from the game came at a time when the pandemic limited crowd capacities, has enjoyed plenty of love since playing her first matches at the Mutua Madrid Open, where she and Hsieh—who took an extended hiatus of her own at the end of 2021—reached the quarterfinals.


But it was all about Wimbledon, where the two won their first major title as a team in 2019, a result that hastened Strycova’s accession to No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings—matching a career-high that Hsieh, now a four-time Wimbledon champion, earned back in 2014.

Unseeded at SW19, Strycova and Hsieh knocked out No. 13 seeds Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi and lost just five games to Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo in the semifinals to book a championship clash against Hunter (née Sanders) and Mertens, who were yet to drop a set all tournament.

Champions in Rome, Hunter and Mertens—who partnered Hsieh to win Wimbledon in 2021—teamed up at the start of the season, making a strong impression by reaching the Australian Open quarterfinals earlier this season.

But Strycova and Hsieh were undeterred, emerging from an early exchange of breaks on even footing with the Aussie/Belgian duo, and shook off a loss of three straight set points in the tenth game to continue pressing two games later, nabbing the set on their sixth opportunity.

The second set looked to be more decisive when the former champs raced ahead 4-1, but Hunter and Mertens rallied, turning the tables when they stood a point from 5-2 and ultimately leveled the contest at four games apiece.

Regaining momentum with a strong serve at love, Strycova earned championship point with an impressive overhead. Hsieh backed up her partner from the baseline, clinching the fairytale with a forehand passing shot.