Denis Kudla

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Denis Kudla
Flickr - Carine06 - Denis Kudla.jpg
Country (sports)  United States
Residence Arlington, Virginia & Tampa, Florida, U.S
Born (1992-08-17) August 17, 1992 (age 26)
Kiev, Ukraine
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Turned pro 2010
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach Dustin Taylor
Prize money $1,797,279
Singles
Career record 32–62 (ATP Tour and Grand Slam main draws, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 53 (May 23, 2016)
Current ranking No. 67 (10 September 2018)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (2016, 2018)
French Open 1R (2013, 2016, 2018)
Wimbledon 4R (2015)
US Open 2R (2013, 2018)
Doubles
Career record 7–19
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 146 (7 May 2018)
Current ranking No. 149 (2 June 2018)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2016)
French Open 2R (2016)
Wimbledon 1R (2013, 2016)
US Open 2R (2013)
Last updated on: 2 June 2018.

Denis Kudla (/ˈkdlə/ KOOD-lə;[1] born August 17, 1992) is an American professional tennis player of Ukrainian descent.

Personal life[edit]

Kudla moved from Ukraine to Fairfax, Virginia on his first birthday and soon became an American citizen. He began playing tennis at age 7, in part because his older brother Nikita played tennis, but also because many of his father's friends played. He would tag along as Nikita took informal lessons from their father in Fairfax's Van Dyck Park. Kudla's father, Vladimir Kudla, a successful architect, took his family out of Ukraine shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed. Kudla's parents came to the USA not speaking a word of English, but learned it within a few years.

His mother got permission to pick him up from elementary school one hour early so they could go from Fairfax to the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) [2] in College Park, Maryland, where she’d wait through his two-hour practices, drive him home while he slept, then wake him for dinner and homework. At age 13, they moved to Arlington, where Kudla was set to matriculate at Washington-Lee High School. But six hours of court time each day left no room for traditional high school, so starting in ninth grade, he was home-schooled at JTCC and had to commute on his own to practice in College Park via Metro, lugging two racket bags and changing trains twice during rush hour. "My parents were strict, but not crazy strict. I was never spoiled. I wanted tennis. It was always my dream." One of Kudla's favorite experiences was visiting the White House for the 2013 Easter Egg Roll as he got to meet President Barack Obama, and NFL Pro Bowlers Anquan Boldin and Adrian Peterson.

Kudla is an avid fan of sports, as he supports the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Nationals and occasionally the San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and Boston Celtics. Kudla models his game after Spaniard David Ferrer, and his idol is Roger Federer.

Early in his career, Kudla worked out with trainer Greg Petrosian down in Boca Raton where he still trains. He was previously coached by Billy Heiser and earlier Diego Moyano.

Playing equipment and sponsorships[edit]

Kudla started playing tennis with a Head racquet, and then switched to Wilson when he was 11. Kudla was sponsored by Wilson early in his career and later signed a contract with Tecnifibre in 2010. Kudla used Luxilon strings, but switched to Tecnifibre string. He likes to hit his balls a little flatter, so Luxilon had given him that little extra pop. Kudla generally strings his racquets at 51 both ways. He restrings his racquets for practice, but plays with new ones during matches. He estimates that he spends around $12,000 a year on stringing each year.

Kudla has a sponsorship deal with Lacoste, and is represented by tennis agent Sam Duvall at Topnotch Management.

Junior tennis[edit]

By age ten, Kudla had enrolled at the US Tennis Association's prestigious regional training center at College Park, Maryland. There, he was able to practice and play alongside other rising young American stars and learn from some of the country's finest coaches. "It was a great environment to be there," Kudla says. "All my friends were close; I got to live at home and play at one of the best academies in the country." In 2008 as the number one seed, he won the 16-and-under age bracket at the Orange Bowl, beating current Virginia tennis player, Mitchell Frank. At the time, both players trained together at College Park. With the win, which was his first in major international competition, Kudla became the first American to win the Boys’ 16s title since Donald Young in 2003. Kudla also participated in the 2008 BNP Paribas Showdown vs Junior Ore at Madison Square Garden, as they were the under-card for Roger Federer and Pete Sampras who competed against each other afterwards. Soon after, Kudla turned pro even though he had great interest from the University of Virginia as he was the 2nd ranked senior in the nation. Kudla reached a career-high combined junior ranking of world no. 3. He believes the turning point in his junior tennis career was when he came from behind to beat junior tennis prodigy Trey Hatcher of Knoxville, TN 7–5, 7–6 at the Boys 12s National Hard Court Championships in 2003.[3] His best result was reaching the final of the 2010 US Open for boys, where, despite taking the first set, he lost the final to Jack Sock.

Tour career[edit]

Kudla reached the semifinals of his second professional tour event, U.S.A. F15 ITF Futures event, held in New York in June 2008. He first played an ATP Tour main-draw match six weeks later, in doubles at the 2008 Legg Mason Tennis Classic, partnering with fellow junior Junior A. Ore. The pair, a wild-card entry, lost their first-round match to Lucas Arnold Ker, and Eduardo Schwank. Two years later, he was given a wild card for the singles main draw of the 2010 Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships and reached the second round, where he lost to fellow American, Ryan Harrison.

Kudla has won three Challenger singles titles and two doubles Futures titles thus far in his career. His career-high singles ranking is world no. 112, which he reached in June 2013. His high doubles ranking is world no. 291. His only tour-level doubles match win came in reaching the second round in doubles at the 2011 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships partnering Donald Young. Kudla reached the quarterfinals in singles at the 2011 Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, having knocked off big-serving Ivo Karlović in three sets, and then second seed Grigor Dimitrov handily. Kudla lost to qualifier Michael Yani in three sets in the quarterfinals.

Kudla played his first Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C. in 2011, losing in the first round to Tobias Kamke.

2012–2013[edit]

In 2012, Kudla qualified for the main draw of a grand slam for the first time at the Australian Open. He lost in the first round to Tommy Haas. He qualified for the 2012 SAP Open in San Jose, California and beat Jack Sock in the first round 6–4, 6–7, 6–3.

In March 2012, Denis Kudla lost to Roger Federer in the second round of Indian Wells Masters tournament 6–4, 6–1.

In 2013 at the Australian Open he lost in the first round of qualifying to Julian Reister. Then at the French Open he qualified for the main draw before losing to Jan Hajek. At Wimbledon he again qualified for the main draw and won his first grand slam match against James Duckworth. He could not repeat the victory, losing to Ivan Dodig while plagued with a back injury throughout the three sets. At the 2013 US Open, he beat Jiri Vesely in four set before losing to Thomas Berdych.

2014–2015[edit]

After a lackluster start to the 2014 season, he was able to qualify and win his first match at Wimbledon against Marsel İlhan, before falling to Kei Nishikori. The following week, he returned to the US and won the 2014 Winnetka Challenger. He had a bout with mononucleosis, however, that caused him to miss most of the fall schedule.

He returned to form in the 2015 grass-court season, making the finals of Subiton Challenger, before avenging his finals loss the following week to defeat Matthew Ebden and win the Ikley Challenger. Based on this success, he was rewarded with a wildcard into the main draw of Wimbledon. He began the tournament by defeating 28th seed Pablo Cuevas despite losing the first two sets. In the following rounds, he defeated Alexander Zverev in four sets and Santiago Giraldo in five sets. Kudla was narrowly beaten in the fourth round by US Open champion Marin Čilić.

2016–present[edit]

2016 saw Kudla make it to the 2nd round of the Australian Open and lose in the first round of the year's remaining three Slams. He also competed in singles at the 2016 Rio Olympics for the United States.

Kudla failed to qualify for any of the Grand Slam Tournaments in 2017.

At the Australian Open, post-qualifying, Kudla beat compatriot Steve Johnson in the first round of the tournament, and took the first two sets off of the 5th-seed Dominic Thiem in the second round. As of 20 March 2018, Kudla's world ranking in singles is 144.[4] Kudla made the main draw of the 2018 French Open when he beat Jürgen Zopp in the final round of qualifying.[5] However he lost to the 26th seed Damir Dzumhur in the first round.[6] Zopp, by comparison, made the draw as a lucky loser and beat Kudla’s compatriot Jack Sock before reaching the third round.

Challenger and Futures finals[edit]

Singles: 15 (8–7)[edit]

Legend
ATP Challenger (6–7)
ITF Futures (2–0)
Finals by surface
Hard (6–6)
Clay (1–0)
Grass (1–1)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Opponent Score
Win 1–0 Oct 2010 USA F26, Houston Futures Hard United States Tyler Hochwalt 7–5, 6–1
Win 2–0 Oct 2011 USA F25, Laguna Niguel Futures Hard United States Dennis Lajola 6–4, 6–0
Win 3–0 Jul 2012 Lexington, US Challenger Hard Canada Érik Chvojka 5–7, 7–5, 6–1
Win 4–0 Nov 2012 Charlottesville, US Challenger Hard (i) United States Alex Kuznetsov 6–0, 6–3
Loss 4–1 Mar 2013 Dallas, US Challenger Hard Austria Jürgen Melzer 4–6, 6–2, 1–6
Win 5–1 May 2013 Tallahassee, US Challenger Clay Germany Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6–3, 6–3
Loss 5–2 Mar 2014 Guadalajara, Mexico Challenger Hard Luxembourg Gilles Müller 2–6, 2–6
Win 6–2 Jul 2014 Winnetka, US Challenger Hard Uzbekistan Farrukh Dustov 6–2, 6–2
Loss 6–3 Jun 2015 Surbiton, UK Challenger Grass Australia Matthew Ebden 7–6(7–4), 4–6, 6–7(5–7)
Win 7–3 Jun 2015 Ilkley, UK Challenger Grass Australia Matthew Ebden 6–3, 6–4
Loss 7–4 Oct 2015 Tiburon, US Challenger Hard United States Tim Smyczek 6–1, 1–6, 6–7(7–9)
Loss 7–5 Oct 2016 Monterrey, Mexico Challenger Hard United States Ernesto Escobedo 4–6, 4–6
Loss 7–6 Nov 2017 Knoxville, US Challenger Hard (i) Canada Filip Peliwo 4–6, 2–6
Win 8–6 Mar 2018 Drummondville, Canada Challenger Hard France Benjamin Bonzi 6–0, 7–5
Loss 8–7 Apr 2018 Le Gosier, Guadeloupe Challenger Hard Serbia Dušan Lajović 4–6, 0–6

Doubles: 17 (9–8)[edit]

Legend
ATP Challenger (7–4)
ITF Futures (2–4)
Finals by surface
Hard (6–6)
Clay (3–1)
Grass (0–1)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0–1 Oct 2009 USA F24, Laguna Niguel Futures Hard United States Raymond Sarmiento United States Ryan Harrison
United States Michael Venus
2–6, 4–6
Loss 0–2 Nov 2009 USA F28, Niceville Futures Clay United States Sekou Bangoura Armenia Tigran Martirosyan
Russia Artem Sitak
4–6, 5–7
Win 1–2 May 2010 USA F11, Orange Park Futures Clay United States Andrea Collarini United States Mitchell Frank
United States Junior A. Ore
7–6(8–6), 6–3
Win 2–2 May 2010 USA F12, Tampa Futures Clay United States Junior A. Ore Brazil Clayton Almeida
United States Blake Strode
4–6, 6–3, [10–8]
Loss 2–3 Oct 2010 USA F27, Mansfield Futures Hard United States Andrea Collarini Bulgaria Dimitar Kutrovsky
United States Joshua Zavala
3–6, 2–6
Loss 2–4 Nov 2010 USA F29, Niceville Futures Hard United States Andrea Collarini United States Robbye Poole
Norway Erling Tveit
6–7(4–7), 2–6
Win 3–4 Jan 2014 Maui, US Challenger Hard Japan Yasutaka Uchiyama United States Daniel Kosakowski
United States Nicolas Meister
6–3, 6–2
Win 4–4 Jul 2014 Winnetka, US Challenger Hard Australia Thanasi Kokkinakis United States Evan King
United States Raymond Sarmiento
6–2, 7–6(7–4)
Win 5–4 Oct 2016 Monterrey, Mexico Challenger Hard United States Evan King Australia Jarryd Chaplin
New Zealand Ben McLachlan
6–7(4–7), 6–4, [10–2]
Loss 5–5 Oct 2016 Las Vegas, US Challenger Hard United States Bjorn Fratangelo United States Brian Baker
Australia Matt Reid
1–6, 5–7
Loss 5–6 Jun 2017 Surbiton, UK Challenger Grass Philippines Treat Huey New Zealand Marcus Daniell
Pakistan Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi
3–6, 6–7(0–7)
Win 6–6 Jul 2017 Binghamton, US Challenger Hard United States Daniel Nguyen Australia Jarryd Chaplin
Australia Luke Saville
6–3, 7–6(7–5)
Win 7–6 Sep 2017 Columbus, US Challenger Hard (i) Germany Dominik Köpfer United Kingdom Luke Bambridge
Republic of Ireland David O'Hare
7–6(8–6), 7–6(7–3)
Loss 7–7 Oct 2017 Stockton, US Challenger Hard Latvia Miķelis Lībietis United Kingdom Brydan Klein
United Kingdom Joe Salisbury
2–6, 4–6
Win 8–7 Nov 2017 Charlottesville, US Challenger Hard (i) United States Danny Thomas Australia Jarryd Chaplin
Latvia Miķelis Lībietis
6–7(4–7), 1–4 ret.
Loss 8–8 Jan 2018 Newport Beach, US Challenger Hard Philippines Treat Huey United States James Cerretani
India Leander Paes
4–6, 5–7
Win 9–8 Apr 2018 Tallahassee, US Challenger Clay United States Robert Galloway Spain Enrique López Pérez
India Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan
6–3, 6–1

Singles performance timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A P Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

This table is current through the 2018 US Open.

Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A 1R Q1 1R 1R 2R Q3 2R 0 / 5 2–5
French Open A A Q2 1R Q1 Q1 1R Q3 1R 0 / 3 0–3
Wimbledon A A Q3 2R 2R 4R 1R Q3 1R 0 / 5 5–5
US Open A Q3 1R 2R A 1R 1R Q1 2R 0 / 5 2–5
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–2 2–3 1–2 3–3 1–4 0–0 2–4 0 / 18 9–18
Career statistics
Tournaments 1 2 6 11 5 14 20 1 10 70
Titles / Finals 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0
Overall Win–Loss 1–1 2–2 2–6 5–11 3–5 8–14 8–20 1–1 10–10 40–70
Year-end ranking 496 276 137 114 121 69 131 174 36%

References[edit]

External links[edit]