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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday August 31, 2023

Jakub Mensik

Jakub Mensik is proving to be a quick study at the majors. Get to know the Czech teen....

NEW YORK—Jakub Mensik had never even attempted qualifying at a Grand Slam prior to the 2023 US Open. He did that this year and has parlayed a successful qualifying run into a trip to the third round.

Tennis Express

Not familiar with the 17-year-old from Prostejov? Here are five things to know about him.

He’s young… really young

How young? Well in tennis terms this stat will put it in perspective. By reaching the third round on his Grand Slam debut, Mensik has become the youngest man to progress that far at the US Open since Fabrice Santoro in 1990.

He had never won – or played – an ATP match before

That’s not a typo. Mensik’s first-round win over Gregoire Barrere was his first ATP match, and win. His second match, a 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-3 win over Titouan Droguet was his second match.

He’ll play on his 18th birthday on Day 5

Mensik will face Taylor Fritz in third-round action on Day 5. He’ll turn 18 as well.

“I'm so happy, that I will be playing on my birthday also,” he said. “I hope with Taylor because I want to play someone like top 10. Also he's American. Hopefully it will be some bigger court. I think for 18 birthday, playing third round of the US Open in 18 years, I think not too bad, yeah.”

He’s an aggressive player

Mensik, who stands at 6’3” and weighs 183 lbs, prides himself on first-strike tennis.

“I'm very tall. I have little bit like advantage of other guys. So with my big serve and also with aggressive position on the court, I feel very comfortable,” he said on Wednesdsay in New York.

“Also other guys with my age, tough to say, someone is playing like more from the baseline, someone is playing more like aggressively also like me. So I think we are on a good way. With this game, I can be on top, for sure.”

He’s trained with Novak Djokovic

Why is Mensik so good so early in his career? Could be that he shared a training block with the great Novak Djokovic.

After reaching the Australian Open final to Bruno Kuzuhara in three sets in 2022, Novak Djokovic reached out to the young Czech and asked him if he wanted to come to train for a week in Belgrade.

Duh. What young tennis player would ever pass up that incredible opportunity?

Here’s what Mensik had to say about it:

“I came there and we hit a few times,” he said. “I wasn't just with him on the court, but also off the court and talking with him not just about tennis, but all the stuff off the court. So it was very fun and off the court he's the nicest guy I ever met. When you cross the street and look at him and talk to him, you're not sure if this guy is a tennis player. When he's talking to you, it's just a normal person.”


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