Jiri Vesely – One to Watch Following Success in Dubai?

The recent ATP 500 event in Dubai was an interesting one, to say the least. We saw the return of Novak Djokovic to the ATP Tour. But ultimately, he was beaten by the man I’ll be talking about here – Jiri Vesely. If your first response to that was, Jiri who? You’re not alone! Prior to the Dubai 500 event, Vesely wasn’t even in the world’s top 120. However, he made it all the way through qualifying and went on to lose in the finals. 

Jiri Vesely

This was a staggering achievement for the man from the Czech Republic. And while yes, he hasn’t exactly been on anyone’s radar over the last few years, I feel that his success in Dubai could change all that. Keep in mind that on his way to the finals, he beat Djokovic, Shapovalov, Cilic, and Bautista Agut. These are all seriously good players, so he definitely earned his final spot! 

With this said, I truly believe that we should watch out for Vesely over the 2022 season. 

Why Is Vesely a Threat in 2022?

It’s fair to say that anyone who can beat these kinds of players back to back is a player we should pay attention to. But besides the previous success in Dubai, there were a few signs that really made me feel that Vesely could repeat this success in other, potentially larger events. Here’s why:

Fantastic Serve

I actually watched Vesely play in several of his games last week. And perhaps the most stand out feature for me was his serve. He was serving incredibly well, hammering home 19 aces past Shapovalov in the semi-finals. But it’s not just the pace of his serving, it’s also the consistency that really stood out. He was serving at a pretty high percentage in most games, and he always found the big serves on critical points. This will no doubt serve him well going forward (no pun intended).

Cool Under Pressure

Apart from the clinical serving, Vesely seemed to be incredibly calm under pressure. On his way to the finals, he had to overcome some pretty steep obstacles, and some of his matches were very tight. For example, when he played Djokovic, the second set tie-break could have gone either way. But Vesely made sure of his serve and played some solid points to scrape through and get the win. He then repeated this with Shapovalov in the semi-finals, playing a terrific third set breaker to make it to the finals. 


Some might say that it is easy to play without fear when you are not favoured to win. However, some people crumble on the big stages. And while they might not be afraid of losing, they can be afraid of the performance and taking on the greats of the game. This did not seem to apply to Jiri Vesely whatsoever. In fact, he absolutely thrived out there in Dubai, and this allowed him to play some of the best tennis of his career. 

So for me, yes, he is one to watch in 2022!

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