BENGALURU: A glance at the ATP rankings will reveal that the Czech Republic does not comprise a single player in the top 100. For a country that won the Davis Cup back-to-back in 2012 and 2013, that does not augur too well. Jiri Vesely, currently ranked at 123, is one of their best singles players from the country, six places below Tomas Machac.
In fact, the region has not been able to produce elite players like Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych after their retirement in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
“There have always been periods in every country where you had top players — (Andre) Agassi and (Pete) Sampras — and last few years Americans didn’t have top players in the top 30. Now they have (Taylor) Fritz, (Reilly) Opleka, and these young guys coming up. Now, we also have talented players so I think we will find more Czechs in the top 100, 50, 30…” said Vesely, who ended India’s singles challenge at the Bengaluru Open, beating Prajnesh Gunneswaran 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Interestingly, the situation is completely different for Czech Republic when it comes to women’s tennis. In the last ten editions of the Fed Cup, they emerged champions six times, showcasing their dominance.
Such results can only be achieved when there is great depth and quality. They have eight players in the top 100 with Barbora Krejcikova and Karolina Pliskova ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the WTA rankings.
Krejcikova also clinched the 2021 French Open. Petra Kvitova, ranked 23, has two Grand Slams.