Czech youngster Jiri Vesely started playing tennis aged four after watching his father, who worked as a tennis coach, play. For almost ten years they lived in Germany, where his father worked as a tennis coach, so he speaks German fluently and has positive relations to this country. The left-hander Jiri Vesely was born on 10th July 1993 and had some really impressive results as junior - he reached the No. 1 junior combined world ranking in January 2011, compiling a singles win/loss record of 125-45. In that year Vesely won the Boys' Singles title at the Australian Open, defeating Australian Luke Saville in straight sets and also won the Boys' Doubles titles at the Australian Open too, partnering Filip Horansky from Slovakia. In addition to this Vesely also reached the finals at the US Open in singles, loosing to Oliver Golding.
Tennis experts usually mentioned players like Grigor Dimitrov, Bernard Tomic or Ryan Harrison when talking about the biggest talents in the men's game but Jiri Vesely is without any doubt a player with bright future ahead of him and potential to become one of the best players and follow the steps of his fellow countryman Tomas Berdych. "I have the chance to practise sometimes with Tomas so it's a good experience to learn something from him, for example, what he does before a match and how he prepares. He is playing at the highest level for a really long time so for me it's great to have the chance to be around him," said Vesely speaking about his countryman Tomas Berdych.
He has always been considered a huge talent of Czech tennis, so it is no wonder that such names such as former world No. 4 Jiri Novak and former coach of Tomas Berdych and current Davis Cup captain Jaroslav Navratil were helping him with his tennis development. It's another proof that the Czech tennis pampers this player in hope to have another Tomas Berdych.
Jiri Vesely has had a breakthrough season in 2013, coming from outside the Top 250 to reached a career-high No. 78 in August. Vesely also won the ATP Star of Tomorrow Award, that replaced the player-voted Newcomer of the Year, and is awarded to the youngest player who finished in the Top 100.
After his successful junior campaign, where he won two Grand Slam titles, reached the No. 1 position and was named the 2011 ITF Junior World Champion, he slowly started to gain experience in seniors tennis, winning his career-first Futures event. He was also nominated for Czech Davis Cup team in the same year and became the youngest player in the history of Czech tennis to be a part of the team. Then in 2012, Jiri Vesely added other five Futures titles and finished the year as world No. 263 at the age 19.
But Jiri Vesely's big breakthough came in 2013, when he came from outside the Top 250 to reached a career-high No. 78 in August. "I started the year as No. 263 and never expected to make the Top 100. At the beginning of the season I won two Challengers, which helped to give me confidence and win many more matches. I started the season on the Futures circuit so of course my goal was to come to the Challenger Tour and do good there. I didn't expect to have the success I had. I'm trying to focus on my game, move forward and move to the ATP level. Early in the year I played a tournament in Sarajevo, in Bosnia, and I beat Blaz Kavcic, who was the top seed and No. 85 in the world. That was a match where I got the confidence and believed that I could really play with the guys in the Top 100."
Vesely has not only won three ATP Challenger Tour titles from five finals but also made his tour-level main draw debut as a qualifier at Roland Garros. He lost his first six matches on the main tour before taking his career-first tour-level victory in Chennai in 2014, defeating local wild card.
Vesely is a tall guy (198 cm), so it isn't surprising that he has good serve and considers serve one of his main weapons. There are clearly some parallels between him and Tomas Berdych, but he mentions Andy Murray when asked to compare his game style with any of the current star players. This Czech youngster isn't a fan of long rallies and waiting for the opponent's mistakes, he tries to win the points on his own, mainly from his backhand, which he himself considers his best shot.
Jiri Vesely considers red clay his favourite surface as he grew up playing on the red dirt but as he says he has no problems to adapt his game to all surfaces. "With my height it is a little strange to say that my favourite surface is clay but I really feel comfortable on it and I do well there. I have more time to create my shots and if I get my rhythm it's easy for me."
- Date of Birth: 10 July 1993
- Nation: Czech Republic
- Height: 198 cm
- Weight: 90 kg
- Turned Pro: 2009
- Plays: Left-handed