An upbeat Jiri Lehecka faces British veteran Andy Murray in the semifinals of the 2023 Qatar Open on Friday.
The Czech youngster came into the tournament on the back of an impressive performance in the Australian Open where he made it to the quarterfinals for the first time at a major.
In the first round in Qatar, Lehecka defeated Damir Dzumhur in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), converting 3 out of 3 break points. In the round of 16, Lehecka beat Finnish No. 1 Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2, 7-6 (7-2). Lehecka’s serves proved to be too hot to handle for Ruusuvuori. The 21-year-old had a win percentage of 89 on the first serve. In the quarterfinals, Lehecka defeated top seed Andrey Rublev to notch up his first top-5 win. Lehecka came back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The 35-year-old also played in the Australian Open where he was ousted in the third round by 24th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
Murray bounced back after losing the first set against Lorenzo Sonego in the first round in Qatar. The intriguing match ended 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4). In the second round, Murray managed to dig deep to defeat 4th seed Alexander Zverev in three sets. The match ended 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 7-5 in favor of the Brit. The former world No. 1 registered another scintillating come-from-behind win in the quarterfinals as he defeated French qualifier Alexandre Muller 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Murray smashed 9 aces and had a win percentage of 75 on the first serve.
Head-to-Head and Prediction
Jiri Lehecka and Andy Murray have never crossed paths as yet and therefore, the head-to-head scoreline currently stands at 0-0.
Prediction: Andy Murray to win in three sets.
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