If Denis Kudla walks like a man on a mission , it’s because he is just that. As he walked on to the AJC Grandstand court for his opening match of the BB&T Atlanta Open Qualifying Tournament, I asked Denis if it was hot enough for him. Kudla reminded me that he lives and trains in the Washington, DC area , which this time of year, is just as hot and humid as Georgia. ” It’s nice to come back to Atlanta”, Said Kudla. “You know what you are going to get.”
A grandstand filled with friends and fans of his opponent, Trent Bryde, didn’t seem to bother Kudla very much either. After all, the 22 year old has spent much of this year traveling the world playing Challenger events in search of points to elevate his ranking inside the top 100.The combination of globetrotting and hard work look to have paid off, with run to the fourth round at Wimbledon. It was the best singles performance by an American mens player at the All England Club this year. ” You don’t get those weeks too often and when you do you have to ride the wave,” says Kudla.
Denis Kudla is in the top 100, but his ranking is still not high enough to gain a spot in the main draw for the BB&T Atlanta Open, so qualifying was a must. Kudla played like a guy who didn’t want to go through this process and made quick work of the 15 year old from Suwanee. When asked about Bryde Kudla said,” He made me work. He has a bright future and I hope he can kick some butt at Kalamazoo.”
With the successful run at Wimbledon come expectations from tennis fans and his opponents this week. ” I’m on some radars, but I’m trying to get off that radar.” laughs Kudla.If I can keep working and do what I do hopefully the results will come.”