Strycova wins 1st singles match since maternity leave
ROME (AP) — Barbora Strycova won her first singles match since returning from maternity leave, beating Maryna Zanevska 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the opening round of the Italian Open on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old Strycova returned to the tour two weeks ago at the Madrid Open after more than two years away following the birth of her son, Vincent. After beating Zanevska, Strycova was handed her 1-year-old son, who she told to “wave to daddy” in front of a TV camera.
In Madrid, Strycova lost her opener in singles and reached the quarterfinals in doubles with partner Hsieh Su-wei.
Strycova, who will next face ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari, is planning to retire after this year’s U.S. Open.
Also on the red clay of the Foro Italico, Anna Blinkova rallied past Mayar Sherif 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. Sherif was coming off a breakthrough run to the quarterfinals in Madrid.
Nuria Parrizas Dias defeated Jule Niemeier 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
The men’s tournament, headlined by Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, begins on Wednesday.
Like Madrid, Rome features expanded 96-player draws for both men and women this year.
Strycova and Hsieh are also entered in the doubles tournament, which they won in 2020.
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