22 year old American Denis Kudla has been a professional tennis player for about four years, but he's never been one to grab headlines. He came up around the same time as Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison, who between them garnered nearly all the attention from American tennis fans waiting for the next big thing. In the last year or two much of the focus has turned to the even younger group of Americans (deservedly so), as fans continue the search for the next American star. Meanwhile, Denis Kudla has continued to grind it out playing Challengers and other low level ATP events, all while hovering around 100 in the world.
Kudla's game is solid but not flashy, and his results haven't done much to raise his profile. He spent time in the top 100 a few years ago, but just as it seemed he was gaining momentum he suffered some injuries which set him back. He's struggled for much of the year, with his notable results consisting of making the round of 16 in
and winning a grass court Challenger right before Wimbledon.
Kudla recently left the USTA, and is now training with his own private coach. The move seems to be paying off, as he's followed up his strong showing in pre-Wimbledon grass court Challengers by reaching the Round of 16 at Wimbledon. He may have benefited from a favorable draw, but at least he was good enough to take advantage of it and become the last American remaining in the men's tournament. Without a strong serve or a big weapon to speak of little comes easy for Kudla on tour, and he has to fight hard for every win he gets.
Maybe Kudla builds off his success at
and makes a run toward the top 50, or maybe he reverts back to form and
continues to hover around the top 100.
Either way, it's nice to see Kudla get something he's been missing
throughout his career up to this point- attention.