Jerry Lechka He made his most important draw debuts in all 4 Grand Slam tournaments in 2022, his breakout season. However the Czech hasn’t been capable of make his mark within the majors, failing within the first spherical whenever.
What would the 21-year-old have mentioned if he had been informed earlier than the beginning of the season that he would attain the fourth spherical in Australian Open Championship?
“I would not consider you,” Lehecka informed ATPTour.com with a smile. “However deep in my thoughts, I at all times knew that such outcomes have been doable for me.”
The world No. 71 has performed mature past his Melbourne Park years, defeating two ATP Masters 1000 champions – Borna Couric And Cameron Nouri – En path to the Spherical of 16. The Czech Republic present no indicators of slowing down.
“I felt like my recreation was there, however I simply wanted to give attention to some small particulars that would get me by means of these robust matches,” mentioned Lechka. “That is one thing I feel we labored loads exhausting on and targeted on each single day, each apply. Now for me, crucial factor is to give attention to the suitable issues.”
If his efforts to this point within the first main of the 12 months are any good indication, Lehecka will likely be a continuous menace on the world’s largest tournaments for years to come back. Not unhealthy for somebody who grew up taking part in tennis for enjoyable.
“Within the days once I performed tennis again dwelling, it was nearly having enjoyable and I did not have excessive ambitions to turn out to be an expert participant,” mentioned Lischka. “For me it has at all times been a passion and doing a little sports activities that I cherished.”
The Czech has athletic genes. His father, Jerry, was an expert swimmer and his mom, Romana, was an expert observe and area athlete. Lehecka believes he inherited compassion from his mom and work ethic from his father, who preaches that the easiest way to earn something is thru exhausting work.
When Leczka was three years previous, he watched his grandmother educate his older sister Veronica the game. He needed to offer her an opportunity. However tennis did not turn out to be extra critical for Lehecka till he moved to Prostejov on the age of 15 and started representing the Czech Republic at numerous occasions.
“I began to really feel like I’d like to do it professionally and I actually appreciated how all these gamers look after they play on the massive phases,” mentioned Leczka. “Possibly that was the second once I checked out myself and mentioned, ‘Yeah, I actually wish to be an expert tennis participant and I actually wish to dwell a life like that. “
Coming to Prostejov to attend a sports activities faculty was scary on the similar time. Lehika went to his new dwelling with out his mother and father.
“It was undoubtedly not simple however fortuitously for me, I had nice mates there and I nonetheless communicate with them,” mentioned Lechica. “They helped me get by means of these tough instances when it was my first time with out my household or anybody I knew to focus extra on tennis and give attention to what I needed to do there.”
It was in Prostejov the place the coach Michel Navratil Meet Lechka for the primary time.
“What have been you enthusiastic about [about] Was a really good man, he at all times mentioned good day to everybody. Lehika mentioned. “After which, in fact, once I noticed him on the sector he was so robust. He was robust in him from the beginning.”
Lehecka reached No. 10 on this planet as a junior, however his largest success up to now got here this previous February in Rotterdam. As a qualifier, he superior to the semi-finals after his victories Denis Shapovalov And Lorenzo Musetti all the best way earlier than you pay Stefanos Tsitsipas into three teams. He was not intimidated by the massive stage of the ATP 500.
This consolation within the highlight is turning into much more obvious in Subsequent Era ATP Finals In November. And the Czech superior to the championship match in Milan.
“Once I completed my journey within the last and took a while off and took a while to come back again to the bottom and a while to look again on the following technology, I feel each recreation there, each coaching session, the whole lot the media round us, the whole lot helped me in a sure approach,” Lechica mentioned. “These are the experiences that helped me be extra ready for what got here right here.”
Navratil believes that “one thing has modified” at Milan due to his accountability.
“He is beginning to consider in himself extra,” Navratil mentioned. “He additionally had a few possibilities through the 12 months and he realized from them and grew and acquired so far and now he is having fun with it and he thinks he can beat anybody and I am very comfortable about that.”
Former WTA world primary Karolina Pliskova has been following Lehecka’s progress by means of the event and has impressed with a five-set victory in opposition to her. Cameron Nouri Within the third spherical.
“He has a very good coach, who was once by his facet Jerry Veasley. So I feel that additionally helped him acquire some expertise, however I feel the sport may be very robust,” Pliskova mentioned. “Yesterday I watched a whole lot of the match with Nuri. I feel he is very aggressive, particularly on these quick pitches and I feel he can come off and naturally he is nonetheless like a newcomer to some gamers, so they do not know him a lot and I feel he can do nicely.”
Whereas Lehecka hopes to proceed within the event – he’s taking part in Felix Auger-Aliassime Within the fourth spherical – and climbing the sports activities ladder within the years to come back, he desires the followers who begin watching him to know extra than simply tennis.
“I simply need them to know I am an trustworthy particular person,” mentioned Lechka. “I actually like individuals who work exhausting and do not attempt to discover any excuses.”