The 2007 tennis season begins and Tomas Berdych, then a 21-year-old Czech long-shot with a cannonball serve and aggressive style, advances to the Australian Open semi-finals. 16 years later, you will find an almost identical story in Melbourne.
The protagonist is the same age and also presents a courageous game. His name is Jiri Lehecka and his successful campaign confirms that he is maturing into a possible successor to a former long-time member of the elite ten.
Jiri Lehecka was born on November 8, 2001 in Mladá Boleslav. This town is one of the largest in the Central Bohemian region. It is home to about 42 thousand people.
Jiri comes from a sporting family. His father’s name is also Jiri, he was a professional swimmer. His mother’s name is Romana and she was a professional track and field athlete.
One of our hero’s grandmothers played tennis at the national level. First, she taught the basics of this game to Jiri’s older sister Veronika. Jiří Lehečka Jr. was already taking an example from his relatives. He picked up a racket for the first time at the age of three.
At the age of 15 Jiří Lehečka moved from his hometown to Prostějov in order to improve the conditions for training. The native of Mlada-Boleslav successfully competed among juniors.
He won several first and second category titles and was twice in the quarterfinals of the majors in singles. In doubles, Lehechka became the Wimbledon 2019 champion (in a duet with compatriot Jonas Foretek).
The Czech representative first tried his adult career in 2017, playing in three tournaments in his home country. In 2018 he reached the finals for the first time at one of the home Futures and got a place in the world ranking.
However, in the designated season, the tennis player paid much more attention to junior competitions. In 2019 Jiri Lehechka competed in the M15-M25 (Futures analogues) and Challengers.
He was not particularly happy with the results. In addition, he ended his season early in September due to health problems.
Jiri began to show the first serious results only after a pause in the tour in 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic. He did well at several Challengers and won the M25 tournament. He finished the season ranked 351st in the rankings.
During the 2021 season Jiri Lehecka was gradually improving his results. In July he became the Challenger 80 champion in Tampere, Finland.
He made his debut on the majors a little later, reaching the third round of qualification at the US Open.
In the fall, the Czech won another Challenger in Bucharest and reached the finals of the series in Pau in France. At the end of the year he moved up to 141st in the rankings.
Already in February 2022 Jiří Lehečka became a top-100 player in the rankings. This was made possible by a fruitful trip to Australia.
Specifically, the Mladá Boleslav native qualified for the major. A few weeks later he made his first appearance at the ATP level.
At the 500 tournament in Rotterdam Jiri Lehecka reached the semifinals from the qualifiers.
However, he did not manage to win the main men’s tour competitions on a regular basis.
All of Lehecka’s successes are due to working with his coach, and we’ll get to know him better from here.
Who Is Jiri Lehecka’s Coach in 2023?
Jiri Lehecka works with Michal Navrátil as the main coach, and his team also includes a mental coach Janem Mühlfeitem.
Lehecka has credited his coach Michal Navratil and mental coach for significantly contributing to his successful career in tennis.
He mentioned that they have helped him to maintain a more positive attitude and focus on giving 100% effort, resulting in success.
Navratil has a proven track record of success as a coach, having helped players such as Adam Pavlasek and Jiri Vesely improve their rankings significantly and also previously worked with former Grand Slam finalist Tomas Berdych as a practice partner. Navratil himself was also a former ATP player and reached a high ranking of 274 in singles and 207 in doubles.
Jiri Lehecka’s achievements with different coaches
We have collected in the table the data about the trophies won by Jiri Lehecka under the guidance of various coaches.
|Coaches||Years of Completion||Titles|
|Michal Navrátil||2018 – ongoing|
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