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May 11, 2019

Barbora Strycova

Su-Wei Hsieh

Madrid, Spain


6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You are both individually two of the players with the most variety, like smart players. What is it like putting it together and sharing I guess your tactics and stuff?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: I start? This is the result (laughing). No, like you said, we both play very tricky tennis and especially Su-Wei, she is known by that and she's so talented. And she can play every shot. Like, she can play high, she can play drop shots. You can see that, that she was playing so much lobs today and it was working very well. Putting this together, from my side, I can say that I enjoyed it a lot and not just from the tennis view, but also like a friendship. We have really fun on the court. And she is really fun to play. And there is not so much stress about how we have to do that. This is me who is making the stress (smiling).

So she is the compass and it is really nice to play and to play with her. I enjoy it a lot.

Q. Su-Wei, are you as calm as Barbora says you are on the court?
SU-WEI HSIEH: Yeah, I'm quite calm (laughing).

BARBORA STRYCOVA: Yeah, she is very calm.

Q. What do you think was the key to getting another big title here?
SU-WEI HSIEH: Well, we were supporting each other every point, every match. And even we have some cuddles. We always say, it is okay, next tournament. So it's really enjoyable to play together and we always try to say, oh, we'll just have fun, we try everything, so it is very good. It works pretty good.

BARBORA STRYCOVA: The key was today, I think, that we used to play the lobs a lot and, especially against the sun, Su-Wei did that well.

We tried to keep aggressive. Doesn't matter if we win or lose the point. We keep saying to ourselves, let's playing aggressive. Let's just, let's just even lose the match being aggressive so this is a good approach for the future and we did that and it worked really well.

Q. It sounds like a good approach for singles, too?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: Yes. My coach always says play the return like you are going to play it in singles, so it is good training. No, it is good. I love to play doubles.

Q. This is just the fourth tournament you guys have played together this year. Two big titles out of four in Dubai and now here. How much is maybe Shenzhen on your mind now? You will be top five in the race after this tournament?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: Oh, really, we will? It is there, but far back because it's so far away and I would love to play there. But we have so many tournaments in front of us and we have so many different surfaces in front of us and this is our first tournament playing with each other on clay.

So now comes also grass, so we will see how it goes, but so far it's working well and we will just keep working hard and playing some good tennis. We will try and we will see.

Q. You have probably been asked this before. How did you guys actually get together as a partnership?
SU-WEI HSIEH: We have a funny story last year (laughing).

BARBORA STRYCOVA: (Smiling) Well, it started last year because in Indian Wells, she is supposed to play with Niculescu, right? I supposed to play with somebody...


BARBORA STRYCOVA: Andrea. And then I set up this Andrea for the whole year last year, but we couldn't switch so we were, like, okay, now is the last moment, what are we going to do and I said okay, so I play with Su-Wei and Niculescu was like I'm going to play with Andrea and this is how we should be from the beginning, so we said we'll leave it and this is how it started. And when Andrea got pregnant, I asked Su-Wei (laughing).

SU-WEI HSIEH: Lucky me. Thank you (laughing).

Q. In Dubai you said that you guys have known each other for a very long time.

Q. Since juniors and all that. Do you have any stories or any memory as to the first time you met each other?

SU-WEI HSIEH: I play you Roland Garros when I was in the final.


SU-WEI HSIEH: Yes. My father was so sick, he was in hospital, so I was quite tense on the final so I was like oh my God.

BARBORA STRYCOVA: I played with...

SU-WEI HSIEH: From the same country.

BARBORA STRYCOVA: We don't have kind of a story what we can tell, but we know each other since really like 14, yeah? It's good (smiling). It's not bad (laughing).

Q. And I understand you met the Czech ambassador?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: Just now, he was so nice.

Q. He came and watched. And what did he say? Did he ask you what the deal is with Czech tennis, or is that only a question we ask?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: Most of the time it's only you ask (smiling). No, he was so sweet and he came with his wife and they were watching just our doubles. They came just for the doubles. He left us a note, some e-mail that we can contact him for a good dinner, and we were just chatting the basics but he was very sweet.

Q. And then, Su-Wei, I know your food tour continues through the world. So in Madrid what have you been enjoying on the food?
SU-WEI HSIEH: I am going to put all my food from the trip -- I will put later.

BARBORA STRYCOVA: I am the foodie person as well so I met her, amazing information I got. She really is one for the best paella in Madrid, which was amazing, and just ask her and she knows everything. She's pretty good (smiling).

Q. What is the best city for a foodie?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: For me, Rome. I made already reservations! (Laughing).

Q. Favorite city for food, Su-Wei?
SU-WEI HSIEH: Every city, I always can find something to enjoy.

BARBORA STRYCOVA: You love Denmark.

SU-WEI HSIEH: Denmark is amazing, too.

BARBORA STRYCOVA: Yes (smiling).

Q. Barbora, you had a book last year, right?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: Book? Yeah, kind of.

Q. Can you tell us about it, please?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: Well, it is a book, I was on the front-page, and it's a story, how it works in the tennis and I tried to explain it very truthfully, which was I think when I was reading it, I really like it. And it's a good sign.

So there is many stories of many different athletes and it was a successful book, yes. I have one for you (laughing).

SU-WEI HSIEH: And one for me?

BARBORA STRYCOVA: It's in Czech only.

SU-WEI HSIEH: Oh. When you have a Chinese, you give me one, okay?

BARBORA STRYCOVA: Okay. I don't think they will translate it to Chinese (laughing).

Q. In Shenzhen they might. Would either of you ever consider writing a book about your career when your career is over?
SU-WEI HSIEH: I think my career, the first part, was quite massive because I was traveling myself and sometime in tournament they cannot find me or I cause a lot of problem. Maybe they do a reservation of a hotel. I arrive at a different hotel in Rome...

BARBORA STRYCOVA: Would you write a book?

SU-WEI HSIEH: I think my book would be...

BARBORA STRYCOVA: Interesting (laughing).

Well, I was thinking about it actually and I, if I would write a book, it would be not about how was my career doing and how what I was doing, but it would be about that sometimes it's not easy and that it's a lonely sport. So I would write it more about the feelings we have. How it is when you lose a match and you are alone, so more about that. Not about, okay, I won Austrian Open when I was 16, no. For me, this is not interesting. So I would write it but about different stuff. Maybe one day (smiling). Yeah.

They like to chat to us, right? (Laughing).

Q. On my first question, does it help you when you see another smaller, more crafty player doing well in singles? When you see someone who has a similar game style, does that make you...

Q. Yes, like Su-Wei.
BARBORA STRYCOVA: Well, you know what is really nice to see. If Su-Wei is doing good or I'm doing good in singles, we are 33 years old and we are still playing singles and doubles. I have to tell you it is hard. It is really taking a lot of energy to focus on both. But like Su-Wei had a great run in the States or in Doha or Dubai.

It is great to see and you can -- for me, I can tell myself okay, I can. I don't know if I can do it, but I still have the power, the will and energy to work and to try, so it's nice.

Q. What is it about being a 33-year-old tennis player when all these younger girls are coming up every year? What is the toughest part?
BARBORA STRYCOVA: Well, I was in Prague and I was playing against a 19 year old and I won, so it's a nice feeling (laughing).

But I also got beaten the next day from a 19 year old, so it's not such a nice feeling (smiling).

When you win a long match against, like, 20 years old younger girl -- I was warming up seriously. It was a girl, she is 14, and I could be her mother, so I was like, yeah (laughing). It's good, I'm getting old!

Q. Su-Wei, do you feel the same?
SU-WEI HSIEH: I always try to have a teenager at heart (laughing). There's always a lot of bubbles in my picture (laughing).

BARBORA STRYCOVA: She is a young soul (laughing). Thank you.

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