Andrea Hlavackova, currently ranked No. 8 in the world, will be stepping away from the game to have a baby. (AP)

Doubles standout Andrea Sestini Hlavackova will have a new partner on her team come this summer:  She and her husband Fabrizio Sestini will be welcoming the arrival of their first child.

Sestini Hlavackova made the announcement on Wednesday to the Czech media. The plan, she said, is to freeze her ranking as she’s decided to step away for now, but hasn’t ruled out a comeback.

"I have no concrete plans to come back to tennis right away, but I will definitely keep my options open,” she said, according to the WTA. “I've taken a protected ranking and will freeze it for as long as I can so I might make a better decision about whether to come back. That would only happen after our baby is born, and healthy and going through all the right things.”

She added: "I definitely want to be able to say a proper goodbye to my career and announce a career retirement one day, but I don't want to expect now that I'm expecting!"

Barbora Strycova, who teamed up with Hlavackova to win two titles from five finals last year, was happy for her partner and shed some light on Instagram on the depth of their friendship.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Andy dneska oznámila velkou věc a je to pro mě hodně osobní. Není totiž jen má deblová parťačka. S Andy se známe z Plzně od kočárku! Řešily jsme spolu naše první lásky, chodily na krasobrulení i tenis a prožily fakt mega věci. (Vaření z Kačera Donlda) V dospělosti se naše cesty na chvíli rozešly a byly jsme v kontaktu jen na turnajích. (Někdy ani to ne :-)Loni nás dal tenis zase víc dohromady a tím jsme obnovily i dětské přátelství. Jako bych se vrátila o 20 let zpět v čase. Jsem rada , ze se zase mame. Držím palce ať vše klapne, pupkáči! @andreasestinihlavackova Jen pro info: Na druhé fotce jsme se proste v Tokiu nějak nafoukly.

A post shared by Barbora Strycova (@barborastrycova) on

“At adulthood our paths broke up for a while and we were only in contact with the tournaments. (Sometimes not even :-) Last year, we gave tennis more and more together, and so we renewed our childhood friendship,” Strycova posted.

Currently ranked No. 8 in the world, Hlavackova has won 27 women’s doubles titles, two of them at the Slams. She also has a mixed doubles title to her name and has been part of multiple Fed Cup championship teams. In 2017, she teamed up with Timea Babos to take the WTA Finals.

Follow Van on Twitter: @Van_Sias