The United Cup has offered the chance for brand new partnerships and friendships to type, with stars from the ATP Tour and Hologic WTA Tour becoming a member of forces to information their nations to success.
For Czech Republic’s Jiri Lehecka, it has been a side of the mixed-teams occasion that he has beloved. Over the previous week, the 21-year-old has frolicked with 29-time tour-level titlist Petra Kvitova, a legendary determine within the sport who he has lengthy since admired.
“I keep in mind watching Petra within the Wimbledon ultimate in 2011 when she beat Maria Sharapova. It was superb,” Lehecka informed ATPTour.com. “I used to be 10 years previous at the moment, so it’s fairly humorous and funky I’m now right here together with her. We laughed about that earlier this week. Her profession has been large and she or he is such participant.”
After having fun with a breakthrough 2022, the Subsequent Gen ATP Finals runner-up is seeking to develop his sport additional in simply his second 12 months on Tour. In distinction, the 32-year-old Kvitova is competing in her seventeenth season at this degree.
Desirous to study, Lehecka revealed that the previous World No. 2’s expertise and steerage have been invaluable across the workforce camp in Sydney.
“She is a Grand Slam champion which speaks for itself. She is ideal and attempting to assist us,” Lehecka mentioned. “She is talking about her personal experiences which she gained via her personal profession. She is absolutely relaxed and at all times brings temper to the locker room, which is one thing we’d like right here.
“Simply to take heed to her talking concerning the match when she is watching is absolutely fascinating. She has a unique perspective than different coaches. She has been via all the things, now she is sitting with you on the bench and telling you the way she sees it which could be very fascinating. She offers you good ideas.”
Photograph Credit score: TENNIS AUSTRALIA/ATP Tour, Peter Staples.
With Kvitova’s phrases of assist ringing in his ears, Lehecka equalled the largest win of his profession by Pepperstone ATP Rating when he upset World No. 12 Alexander Zverev on Saturday to assist Crew Czech Republic defeat Crew Germany 3-2.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, who earned victories in opposition to Jessica Pegula and Laura Seigemund in Sydney, has been thrilled to supply assist for the youthful stars of the workforce.
“It is nice vibes. The boys are actually attempting to go up and it is nice. It is need, they’ve the hearth inside, they really need it,” World No. 16 Kvitova mentioned. “I am on the level of my profession the place I nonetheless need it, however after all after I was youthful and I used to be going up it is a completely different story than now. It is good. It jogs my memory of after I was younger and I had a decrease rating and attempting to go up.”
Photograph Credit score: Jeremy Ng/Getty Photographs
Having gained useful expertise final 12 months and this week in Sydney, Lehecka is able to push on at first of 2023.
“Final season was about gaining expertise,” mentioned Lehecka, who reached the semi-finals in Rotterdam final February. “Gaining details about the gamers, concerning the occasions, methods to do the schedule. To have these items in my backpack and to go along with them into the brand new season makes an enormous distinction. I’m wanting ahead to utilizing these experiences this 12 months and I believe it is going to be useful.
“I’m attempting to play aggressively and this sport is working proper now. I’m feeling nice on court docket in the meanwhile, which is a very powerful factor for me.”