After a terrific 2019, Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova got off to a flying start in 2020, as their stellar season has them holding the top spot in the Porsche Race to Shenzhen doubles leaderboard.
Thus far this season, Hsieh and Strycova have compiled an astounding 17-1 win-loss record on tour, claiming the title in three of the four tournaments they have contested. In addition to their standing as the top team in the Porsche Race to Shenzhen, they also currently hold the top two positions in the WTA Doubles Rankings, with Hsieh at World No.1 and Strycova at World No.2.
"It feels unreal, kind of," said Strycova, after they won their third title of the season in Doha. "I always say to myself that it's awesome, it's really great, it's a great effort what we are doing on the court, but we have to also appreciate it as well and not to take it like it's like normal."
Before the global sporting calendar was put on pause, Chinese Taipei's Hsieh and the Czech Republic's Strycova were on track to exceeding the accomplishments of their 2019 season, where they won the Wimbledon title and finished the season as one of the top teams in the world.
The moment of victory!— wta (@WTA) February 28, 2020
.@BaraStrycova and Hsieh Su-wei beat Dabrowski and Ostapenko 6-2, 5-7, 10-2 to become the 1st team to achieve the Middle East sweep in the same season since @lisaraymond73 and Liezel Huber in 2012. pic.twitter.com/MlZfSti7Ki
This year, Hsieh and Strycova started superbly Down Under, where they clinched the crown at the Brisbane International, defeating Ashleigh Barty and Kiki Bertens in a closely contested final. The pair then moved on to Melbourne, where they reached their second Grand Slam final as a team, before falling to Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic.
That loss in the Australian Open final would prove to be Hsieh and Strycova's only defeat of the year so far, as they continued onward to dominate the Middle East swing. First, they defended their title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, outlasting Barbora Krejcikova and Zheng Saisai in the final.
Hsieh and Strycova then hoisted their third trophy of the year the very next week, at the Qatar Total Open 2020, defeating Gabriela Dabrowski and Jelena Ostapenko in the championship match. Due to their pristine record in the Gulf states, they were named February's Doubles Team of the Month.
As the tour prepares to resume in August, this year's Porsche Race to Shenzhen doubles leaders are looking ahead to the remainder of the season. Strycova spent part of the summer playing exhibition matches alongside her compatriots in the Czech Republic.
Hsieh, meanwhile, has shown on her social media that she has been dabbling in pottery-making and passed her Open Water Scuba Diving exam last month, but she also says on her Instagram that she is "ready to be back on court."