Wimbledon giantkiller wanted to quit during drugs ban
Czech Republic's Barbora Zahlavova Strycova reacts after winning the first set against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki on day seven of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 30, 2014 - by Carl Court
The 28-year-old Czech reached her first quarter-final at a Grand Slam with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, which followed her third round defeat of second seed and Australian Open champion Li Na.
But her career went into freefall when she tested postive for banned stimulant sibutramine at the 2012 Luxembourg Open and was banned for six months from October 2012 until April last year.
"I didn't want to play again because I felt like it's a little bit unfair. Everything was kind of against me," said the Czech who has made the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam for the first time at the 32nd time of asking.
"In the first two months, I didn't want to come back. Then I missed it. I missed the feeling of working out, the feeling of winning matches, and being on tour.
"It was tough, but on the other hand, it also brings me some positive things. I am seeing the sport a little bit different now. And here I am."
Until this year's Wimbledon, the world number 43, had enjoyed a lucrative if low-key career.
Her earnings of more than $2.4 million had been accrued mostly from 17 doubles titles.
But with her suspension behind her, Zahlavova Strycova admits she is enjoying a new life on the court.
"I was empty in my time away. I also lived normal life. It was good for me. But I am getting more mature. I didn't play for six months and it showed me also some other stuff. I enjoy it much more now.
"With the age, I am enjoying every moment on the court, especially here at my favourite tournament. So it's really nice."