The 20-year-old Czech qualifier wrote another chapter into his fairytale run at the ATP 500 event, surviving a second-set blip to overcome #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.
“[It is an] incredible feeling,” Lehecka said in his on-court interview. “The things I am achieving here are incredible. This is the big stage and I am happy I can be here and play these matches. Today it was another tough match against an incredibly tough opponent. I will now try and rest ahead of tomorrow and we will see.”
The World No. 137 showcased an abundance of grit and quality throughout his two-hour, 10-minute victory against Musetti, combining heavy-hitting with deft drop shots to become the lowest-ranked Rotterdam semi-finalist since then-World No. 225 Omar Camporese reached the last four in 1995.
Lehecka: ‘Tennis Was The Only Option For Me’
Lehecka grabbed the spotlight earlier this week when he earned his first tour-level win by stunning World No. 12 Denis Shapovalov. It is a result that would have made his parents very proud, with both his father and mother former professional athletes.
With sporting pedigree in the 20-year-old’s family, Lehecka has always been passionate about competing. The Czech loves to cycle and ski when he is not on court and he will be aiming to slalom his way into the final in Rotterdam when he faces either top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or Australian Alex de Minaur on Saturday.
The 19-year-old Musetti defeated Swede Mikael Ymer and World No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz en route to the quarter-finals. The Italian was aiming to reach his first tour-level semi-final since he advanced to the last four in Lyon in May.