Jiri Lehecka: who is Australian Open 2023 tennis player - when is next match against Stefanos Tsitsipas?

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All you need to know about rising Czech tennis star Jiri Lehecka

British tennis was served a huge upset in the third round of the Australian Open 2023 when the nation’s number one tennis player, Cameron Norrie, was knocked out of the tournament. He joined compatriots Dan Evans and Andy Murray as they both ended their run at the same point.

However, while Murray was undone by 24th seed Roberta Bautista Agut and Evans was defeated by the world number six Andrey Rublev, Norrie’s opponent was the world number 71, Jiri Lehecka. The 21-year-old rising star is enjoying his best run at a Grand Slam so far in Melbourne as he has now reached the quarter-final stages, following another huge win over the sixth seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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It was only one week ago that the Czech player had not one a match in the main draw of a Grand Slam and now he is in the last eight of the tournament. Speaking after his win, Lehecka said: “It’s tough for me to find some words because what we’ve been through last year and now coming back to Australia. If somebody had told me before the tournament that I would play like this, then I wouldn’t believe them, but I’m super happy that I’m through and I’m excited.”

Here is all you need to know about Czech tennis player Jiri Lehecka...

Who is Jiri Lehecka?

Born in 2001, Lehecka was first taught tennis by his grandmother who had competed on a national level and he turned professional in 2021. He won two ATP Challenger singles titles and three ATP Challenger doubles titles.

The following year, he qualified for the main draw of the 2022 Australian Open but lost in his first round to the then 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov. He then went onto become the lowest-ranked semi-finalist at the Rotterdam World Tennis Tournament since 1995 and produced a huge upset in the second round of this tournament when he beat fifth seed Denis Shapovalov in straight sets.

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Lehecka embraces Auger-Aliassime following his fourth round winLehecka embraces Auger-Aliassime following his fourth round win
Lehecka embraces Auger-Aliassime following his fourth round win | Getty Images

Lehecka has since played in the 2022 Serbian Open, 2022 BMW Open, 2022 Generali Open Kitzbuehel and qualified for the 2022 Next Generation ATP Finals where he reached the finals. The 21-year-old played in all four Majors in 2022 but was defeated in the first round of each.

2023 has already seen much more success in Lehecka’s tennis. He started the season as the top-ranked Czech male player at the inaugural 2023 United Cup where he defeted Alexander Zverev but lost to Taylor Fritz.

Jiri Lehecka at the Australian Open

Lehecka’s fourth round win over Felix Auger-Aliassime was his first top-10 win. He beat the Canadian 22-year-old 4-6 6-3 7-6 7-6 to reach the last eight of the tournament.

His first round opponent was Borna Coric whom he beat in straight sets before defeating American tennis player Christopher Eubanks 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the second round. Lehecka then went on to beat Cameron Norrie 6-7 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-4 in the third round before facing Auger-Aliassime.

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The Czech right-handed tennis star will now play the third seed, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-final of the Australian Open which is due to be played this morning (Wednesday 24 January). The pair have met just once before, at the Rotterdam Open, where the Greek world number four beat Lehecka in the semi-final.

The match can be watched on Eurosport’s Discovery+ and fans will need to subscribe to the channel, which costs from £6.99/month.

What is Lehecka’s net worth?

Lehecka has a reported net worth of between $1 and $3m, (between £812,000 and £2.4m) according to SportsLumo. He is earned over $1m in prize money and is currently sponsored by Le Coq sportif and Wilson. His biggest earnings came in 2022, when he took home just under $500,000 in prize money.

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