Just over a year ago, then-16-year-old Jakub Menšík was ranked number 676 in the world and had only two ATP Challenger tournaments under his belt. Since then, he has jumped more than 400 spots.
Jakub Menšík isn’t old enough to legally gamble or drive. By the time the Czech Republic native came into the world, Rafael Nadal had already won his first French Open, and Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic, and Andy Murray slowly started establishing themselves on tour. Elsewhere, in the NBA, Lebron James was slowly growing into stardom, while a guy named Tom Brady just won his third Super Bowl in the NFL.
How’s that for some sports history?
Outside of Learner Tien, Menšík entered the main draw as the second youngest player. On tour, he is the seventh youngest player. On second look though, he might actually be the most inexperienced of them all, with limited ATP experience, albeit 5 ITF titles, and a singular ATP Challenger title.
Jakub Menšík set to face Titoutan Drouget in second round of the 2023 US Open
Not much was expected of Menšík, who had to earn his spot here through the qualifiers. That didn’t stop him from winning his ATP main draw debut yesterday at the 2023 US Open. Wednesday, he faces off against another qualifier in Titoutan Drouget, who stunned number 18 Lorenzo Musetti in five sets. Could the Czech Republic have found their next true tennis player?
Here’s what you can expect for Wednesday.
The part that sticks out immediately about Menšík’s game is his serve. Mensik’s serve has guided him throughout many matches this year with a plethora of aces to boast of. Then, you have his drop-shot, which while only equipped on occasion, is quite masterful.
Heading into his match tomorrow, these skills will certainly be a friend to him. One thing he will have to keep an eye on is unforced errors. These will naturally come though as a player of his age, playing in the biggest tournament of his career.
Given his maiden debut, it looks like Menšik should be in for a battle yet again. Whether he is the victor or not, time will tell. For now, remember the name Jakub Menšík. At just 17 years of age, this looks to be just the very beginning for him.