Playing her first match since 2021 Australian Open and since welcoming her first child in 2021, veteran Barbora Strycova lost to Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-3 7-6(5) in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Italy’s Cocciaretto, currently ranked world No.50, won three consecutive games from 3-3, two of which were breaks, to clinch the first set. In the second set, Strycova managed to break back twice, including when Cocciaretto was serving for the match at 5-3. The former Top 20 player Strycova saved a match point before forcing a tiebreak, where she continued to show her resilience by saving two more match points before eventually succumbing to the fourth one.
Despite the loss, the Czech, who is now 37 years old, is not leaving Madrid yet. She and her doubles partner, Hsieh Su-Wei, are the 2019 Madrid doubles champions and are set to play against Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-Ching in the first round of the doubles tournament.