Jiri Lehecka, 21, revealed that Roger Federer was his idol, but noted that he modeled his game on Czech tennis legend Tomas Berdych. Lehecka, who reached the semifinal in Doha last week, is ranked 47th in the world and is currently the highest ranked Czech men’s tennis player.
When Lehecka was 16 years old, he was taken under the wing of Jaroslav Navratil, who guided Berdych to success. Now, Lehecka is working with Michal Navratil, the son of Jaroslav Navratil. At the start of the 2023 season, Lehecka made his first major breakthrough at a Grand Slam by reaching his first Major quarterfinal at the Australian Open.
Lehecka: Federer was my idol but I modeled my game after Berdych
“When I was little, Roger was the one I always looked up to. I always loved his game and his varied style. Then as I got older and got into tennis a little bit more and looked in the mirror to see what kind of player I am, then I was trying to focus my game and my style on Tomas Berdych.
When I was 16 years old, my coach was Jaroslav Navratil, who is the father of Michal, who is my coach at the moment. He’s the guy who got Tomás into the top 10 and was with him for a long time. Maybe if you can see some specific details in my game, that it can look a little bit like Tomás, right, you know, something like that, then it’s a work of Jaro, who took me under him when I was 16 years old.
Tomas was the one I was waiting for and I was watching his Davis Cup matches, everything. So I saw some similarities in our two games,» Lehecka said. tennis majors. Last week, Lehecka came close to reaching his first ATP final when he squandered five match points in the Doha semi-final against Andy Murray. This week, Lehecka suffered a three-set loss to Alexander Zverev in the first round in Dubai.