Jiri Lehecka couldn’t stop smiling when he sat down inside the Allianz Cloud ahead of his debut at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

The Czech qualified for the 21-and-under event last month following an impressive season that saw him reach the semi-finals in Rotterdam and win an ATP Challenger Tour event. Ahead of his opening match in Milan, the 21-year-old Lehecka spoke to ATPTour.com about his interests, dream dinner guests and much more…

If you weren’t a tennis player, what job would you want and why?
I think I would go to business school first. Then I would probably still be in tennis. I would be in the sport as a coach or in a business role within the sport.

If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be and why?
I would choose Michael Jordan. Then I would choose Conor McGregor and probably my grandpa who [passed away].

I think Michael Jordan because of his sporting mentality. What things he was able to sacrifice for the success in what he was doing. McGregor, I would say that with him, I would love to speak about handling the pressure.

Describe your perfect day if you are not playing tennis?
I would probably spend some time with family. With my girlfriend, with my sister and her husband and their kids for sure. The I would see some old friends and then probably one or two games of League of Legends with my coach.

Who has had the greatest impact on your life and why?
My coach, Michael Navratil. He showed me how it is to be a man, how to go after what you really want. How to stay focused. How to become a top tennis player. And then of course my parents, both of them.

What is one thing you want to do in your life?
I would definitely love to drive World Rally Cars. Or the cars going at fast speeds through the forest. I hope this will happen once for me to, to live this experience.

What is one item you can’t travel without and why? If you could live one day as another person, who would you choose and why?
Any kind of book. I think this is a very important thing to have. It is important to read.

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If you had to choose between attending a music concert or a sporting event, what would you choose and why?
It depends on the artist and the sporting event. Because if you have the final of the Champions League and at the same moment you have a concert with a big artist it is hard.

I think that big sporting events will have a priority. I was born and raised in a family where we were watching and followed all the sports when I was a kid. I like to support a Czech athlete. The sport could be an NBA game or game seven of the final of NHL would be good.

Have you got a hidden talent and can you tell me a bit about how you got into that?
I think that I can read through people. This I can do pretty well. I’m still exploring myself as well. I am 21, so still have plenty of time to find some hidden talents.

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