Jiri Lehecka makes gains by being detail-oriented

Rising Czech star Jiri Lehecka says that he has started to take his tennis a little bit more seriously of late.

Lehecka feels that he has been able to improve his game by being focused on a few key areas.

The young Czech has made the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time and is in a bit of disbelief.

“I wouldn’t believe you,” Lehecka said when asked if he imagined he would have the Australian Open he has.

“But deep in my mind, I always knew that results like this are possible for me.

“I felt like my game was there, but that I just needed to focus on some small details that can get me through these tough matches.

“That’s something that I think we worked hard on a lot and focussed on every day and every practice. Now for me, the most important thing is just to stay focussed on the right things.

“Back in the days when I was playing tennis back home, it was only about enjoyment and I never had big ambitions to become a pro.

“For me it has always been like a hobby and to do some sports that I liked.”

Lehecka says that he resolved to become a tennis professional as a teenager when he was first exposed to top players.

He moved away from his family and into a sports-oriented boarding school.

“I started to feel more like I would love to do that professionally and I really liked how all these players looked when they are playing on the big stages,” Lehecka said.

“That was probably the moment when I took a looked at myself and said, ‘Yeah, I really want to be a professional tennis player and I really want to live a life like that.’

“It wasn’t easy for sure but luckily for me, I had great friends over there that I still keep in touch with.

“They helped me go through those difficult times when it was my first time without my family or anybody I knew to focus more on the tennis and focus on what I should do there.”

Lehecka has taken great confidence from his recent results including a run to the championship match at the Next Gen Finals in Milan at the end of 2022.

“When I ended the journey in the final and I just took some time off and took some time to get back on the ground and some time looking back at the Next Gen, I think that every match over there, every practice session, and all the media stuff around, everything helped me in a certain way,” Lehecka said.

“These are the experiences that helped me to be more prepared for what came over here.”

Lehecka will face third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last eight on Tuesday 24 January 2023.

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