“I have to say that the conditions are almost the same as in Valencia. Whether the room looks the same, the surface and the balls are exactly the same. It’s good news for all of us,” recalled the 31st world ranking player from the September group of the final tournament in another Spanish city, dominated by the Czechs.
How was your first training session at the Malaga Central Court?
I started the first lesson with Adam Pavlásek and the captain, I finished the second with only the hood, when we tried to practice situations similar to the ones we practiced in Valencia. We know these are the things that lie ahead. We didn’t start something big, we tried to get used to the surface as much as possible and test how it looks. The first day is looking very good so far, everything is going well and we will see how it continues.
Have you seen the other teams yet?
Yes, we have already met the Finns and Australians at breakfast, I greeted Félix Auger-Aliassim at lunch, and the Australians have now gone to train for us at the center. We hung out with them, I also saw Alex de Minaur. The Dutch will arrive today, the Serbs, I don’t know when they will arrive. Since they don’t all start on the same day, their schedules are a little different.
Do you like being one of those tennis players immortalized on posters and attracted to the tournament?
It’s a nice role, I kind of enjoy being number one on the team, but at the same time it’s one of the things that can put me, I don’t want to say under pressure, but I feel the responsibility . It’s been a while since I’ve been on a team as a rookie, so I know it’s part of the whole journey. I will try to keep it in this good direction.
Czech tennis players reached the knockout stage for the first time since 2019, when the new format was first played. Do you see this progress?
I think we are aware of the seriousness of the situation: there are only eight of the best countries in the world here, which is a great achievement for all of us. Not only for the players, but also for the implementation team. Even now we will try to do everything not to stay on just one match.
Jiří Lehečka during training for the preliminary round of the Davis Cup finals in Malaga
The whole team performed very well in the Davis Cup last year.
We’ve all gotten better, we’re trying to work on each other. We have some results, so we approach the next Davis Cups with more confidence. We started very well last year in the play-offs in Israel and continued this year in the qualifiers in Portugal, Valencia and now we are in Malaga. I think our team is moving in the right direction, now the most important thing will be to continue to improve. The world of tennis is not left behind, which is why the next Davis Cups will be more demanding.
How do you feel physically after a difficult season?
This year was the first time I played the full year schedule, all the Masters and so on, so the strength was a little less. I had to find a space to take a break, sometimes knock out a tournament and rest a little. I had enough time to prepare before Valencia, especially because I dropped out very early at the US Open. Now I was slightly injured, my stomach was bothering me, that’s why I didn’t play the last tournament of the year in Métay. Then I started preparing again, so the plan is exactly the same as before Valencia. It worked for me at the time, so I hope it gets posted here as well. And so far, everything is going well.
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