Jiri Lehecka Goals To Proceed Rise With Tomas Berdych In Nook | ATP Tour


In 2019, Czech star Tomas Berdych introduced his retirement from tennis after a storied 17-year profession. In the identical 12 months, countryman Jiri Lehecka made his tour-level debut, representing his nation within the Davis Cup.

4 years on and the 21-year-old Lehecka is the face of Czech males’s tennis, the identical place former World No. 4 Berdych held season after season. The World No. 36, who faces Carlos Alcaraz on the Cinch Championships on Thursday, has already achieved a collection of spectacular outcomes on Tour. He superior to the quarter-finals on the Australian Open in January and reached the semi-finals in Rotterdam (2022) and Doha (2023).

His success caught the eye of Berdych, who after spending time with Lehecka in Dubai, determined to affix the workforce on a extra common foundation.

“It’s nice having Tomas with me,” Lehecka informed ATPTour.com in London. “He was in Monte-Carlo and he was in Rome and he’ll be part of us on Sunday right here in London to do two weeks right here at Wimbledon. I believe that the cooperation works effectively.”

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Berdych captured 13 tour-level titles in his profession, together with an ATP Masters 1000 crown in Paris in 2005. He was within the Prime 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings from July 2010 till October 2016, reaching the Wimbledon ultimate in 2010.

Lehecka, who additionally works full-time with coach Michal Navratil, is delighted to have Berdych’s expertise to lean on.

“He already has a distinct perspective from which he sees issues,” Lehecka mentioned. “He can see it from a distinct place as a result of he was there for a very long time. He performed actually good tennis on grass so he can provide me some good tips about easy methods to play.

“I believe that it really works effectively. We’ll see what the season brings, however for now I believe that it is useful and that we gave him some small perception again to the sport. I believe that he began to overlook it a bit, not taking part in. He likes to simply to be round it I believe.”

Now working collectively, Lehecka revealed that Berdych was a serious inspiration for him when he grew up.

“I bear in mind watching him through the ultimate of the Davis Cup in 2012 when Czech beat Spain in Prague,” Lehecka mentioned. “That was the primary time the place for me it was like, ‘Wow, this is without doubt one of the moments which I might like to really feel myself’. It was humorous as a result of after I spoke with him, for him it isn’t that totally different. In any case, 25 to 35 is just not as massive a distinction as if you’re 11 or 21. It was a humorous second and we had some enjoyable speaking about it.”

Lehecka will hope to channel Berdych’s grass-court talents when he takes on World No. 2 Alcaraz within the second spherical at The Queen’s Membership.

The 21-year-old is competing in his fifth tour-level occasion on the floor, having earned his second grass-court win in his first-round match towards Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in London. The 2022 Subsequent Gen ATP Finals runner-up is a large fan of the floor regardless of his restricted expertise.

“I believe that the grass season is the vacation of tennis as a result of it requires one thing extra from everybody,” Lehecka mentioned. “From taking good care of the grass with the bottom keepers to everybody else who’s making an attempt to take care concerning the event as a result of grass is grass. You’ll be able to’t simply construct a courtroom and go away it there. The grass high quality right here is large and I believe that Queen’s is an incredible event.

“It is the floor the place it actually reveals you the reality. It is a floor the place you actually need to point out your expertise. Should you’re not a great participant, then you’ll by no means have a great end result. It isn’t like one of many surfaces the place you may simply run round and attempt to grind it out. You really want to have that shot high quality to get the purpose. I am a really massive fan of all to that.”

Lehecka will goal to point out everybody his grass-court talents when he meets Alcaraz. If the 21-year-old can upset the World No. 2, he’ll seize the third Prime 10 win of his profession and will climb into the Prime 30 within the Pepperstone ATP Dwell Rankings.


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