2019 Wimbledon semifinalist and doubles World No.1 Barbora Strycova has announced an end to her successful two-year partnership with veteran coach David Kotyza.
Formerly the coach to Czech standouts Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova, Kotyza joined Team Strycova ahead of the 2018 season. With Kotyza in the coach's box, Styrycova proceeded to have the best season of her career in 2019, where the 33-year-old from Plzn made her first major singles semifinal at Wimbledon and finish the year as the World No.1 in doubles.
In a post on Instagram, Strycova thanked Kotyza for his support and explained why keeping on would have been nothing short of a selfish act:
"Dear fans, I have a message from my team for you. After two amazing seasons, after the final at the Champions' Tournament, David Kotyza and I hugged each other as a player and coach. We decided to end our cooperation.
"David and I set goals two years ago. I used to call it "real tennis dreams." And although there is always room for better, of course, all the great goals I wanted to achieve under David's leadership were successful. For example, this year we headed for Wimbledon and it was the most beautiful tournament in my life.
"David is one of the best coaches in the Czech Republic and because my tennis retirement is approaching, I found it a little selfish to keep him at all costs.
"David, thanks for the hard work, for all the advice, and for your patience. It was a ride, it was up and down and it was great!"
That retirement is on Strycova's mind is of no surprise. Strycova publicly announced the end of her Fed Cup career last fall after helping the Czech Republic continue their dynastic dominance of the ITF competition with a win over the United States in the final in Prague.
Over the fortnight of her Wimbledon run over the summer, Strycova broached the subject again, acknowledging that she may not be back at Wimbledon as a competitor in 2020.
"Tennis gave me so much good stuff, so many memories, emotions and moments that I want to also give it back," Strycova said at Wimbledon. "I don’t know if it’s going to be this year or next year the finish, but I want to finish with the respect for the sport."
After finishing her season with a run to the doubles final with partner Hsieh Su-Wei at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen to finish the year at No.1, Strycova was asked for an update on her retirement plans. After joking that she had no idea what she was doing in a week let alone in two months, Strycova confirmed she plans to play Australia in singles and doubles with Hsieh. Past that, she's not sure.
"I don't want to think so in the future," Strycova said. "I just want to take step by step. I don't want to think in a rush.
"Yes, I will be playing. I will try my hardest. We'll see.
"I think I'm a person who will know when it's time to go. But it's not yet."