Denis Kudla

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

Denis Kudla
Kudla RG19 (18) (48199191087).jpg
Kudla at the 2019 French Open
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceArlington, Virginia & Tampa, Florida, U.S
Born (1992-08-17) August 17, 1992 (age 28)
Kiev, Ukraine
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Turned pro2010
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachMark Santangelo
Prize moneyUS$ 2,995,987
Career record52–96 (35.1% in ATP World Tour and Grand Slam main draw matches, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 53 (23 May 2016)
Current rankingNo. 111 (16 March 2020)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (2016, 2018, 2019)
French Open1R (2013, 2016, 2018, 2019)
Wimbledon4R (2015)
US Open3R (2019)
Career record11–29 (27.5% in ATP World Tour and Grand Slam main draw matches, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 133 (27 August 2018)
Current rankingNo. 265 (16 March 2020)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (2019)
French Open2R (2016)
Wimbledon1R (2013, 2016)
US Open2R (2013)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon1R (2019)
US Open2R (2019)
Last updated on: 22 March 2020.

Personal lifeEdit

Kudla's family moved from Ukraine to Fairfax, Virginia on his first birthday. 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 in Boca Raton, Florida, where he still trains. He was previously coached by Billy Heiser and Diego Moyano.

Playing equipment and sponsorshipsEdit

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 tennisEdit

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 careerEdit

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.


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.


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 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 finalsEdit

Singles: 16 (8–8)Edit

ATP Challenger (6–8)
ITF Futures (2–0)
Finals by surface
Hard (6–7)
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   Tyler Hochwalt 7–5, 6–1
Win 2–0 Oct 2011 USA F25, Laguna Niguel Futures Hard   Dennis Lajola 6–4, 6–0
Win 3–0 Jul 2012 Lexington, US Challenger Hard   Érik Chvojka 5–7, 7–5, 6–1
Win 4–0 Nov 2012 Charlottesville, US Challenger Hard (i)   Alex Kuznetsov 6–0, 6–3
Loss 4–1 Mar 2013 Dallas, US Challenger Hard   Jürgen Melzer 4–6, 6–2, 1–6
Win 5–1 May 2013 Tallahassee, US Challenger Clay   Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6–3, 6–3
Loss 5–2 Mar 2014 Guadalajara, Mexico Challenger Hard   Gilles Müller 2–6, 2–6
Win 6–2 Jul 2014 Winnetka, US Challenger Hard   Farrukh Dustov 6–2, 6–2
Loss 6–3 Jun 2015 Surbiton, UK Challenger Grass   Matthew Ebden 7–6(7–4), 4–6, 6–7(5–7)
Win 7–3 Jun 2015 Ilkley, UK Challenger Grass   Matthew Ebden 6–3, 6–4
Loss 7–4 Oct 2015 Tiburon, US Challenger Hard   Tim Smyczek 6–1, 1–6, 6–7(7–9)
Loss 7–5 Oct 2016 Monterrey, Mexico Challenger Hard   Ernesto Escobedo 4–6, 4–6
Loss 7–6 Nov 2017 Knoxville, US Challenger Hard (i)   Filip Peliwo 4–6, 2–6
Win 8–6 Mar 2018 Drummondville, Canada Challenger Hard   Benjamin Bonzi 6–0, 7–5
Loss 8–7 Apr 2018 Le Gosier, Guadeloupe Challenger Hard   Dušan Lajović 4–6, 0–6
Loss 8–8 Feb 2020 Dallas, USA Challenger Hard (i)   Jurij Rodionov 5-7, 6–7(10-12)

Doubles: 18 (10–8)Edit

ATP Challenger (8–4)
ITF Futures (2–4)
Finals by surface
Hard (7–6)
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   Raymond Sarmiento   Ryan Harrison
  Michael Venus
2–6, 4–6
Loss 0–2 Nov 2009 USA F28, Niceville Futures Clay   Sekou Bangoura   Tigran Martirosyan
  Artem Sitak
4–6, 5–7
Win 1–2 May 2010 USA F11, Orange Park Futures Clay   Andrea Collarini   Mitchell Frank
  Junior A. Ore
7–6(8–6), 6–3
Win 2–2 May 2010 USA F12, Tampa Futures Clay   Junior A. Ore   Clayton Almeida
  Blake Strode
4–6, 6–3, [10–8]
Loss 2–3 Oct 2010 USA F27, Mansfield Futures Hard   Andrea Collarini   Dimitar Kutrovsky
  Joshua Zavala
3–6, 2–6
Loss 2–4 Nov 2010 USA F29, Niceville Futures Hard   Andrea Collarini   Robbye Poole
  Erling Tveit
6–7(4–7), 2–6
Win 3–4 Jan 2014 Maui, US Challenger Hard   Yasutaka Uchiyama   Daniel Kosakowski
  Nicolas Meister
6–3, 6–2
Win 4–4 Jul 2014 Winnetka, US Challenger Hard   Thanasi Kokkinakis   Evan King
  Raymond Sarmiento
6–2, 7–6(7–4)
Win 5–4 Oct 2016 Monterrey, Mexico Challenger Hard   Evan King   Jarryd Chaplin
  Ben McLachlan
6–7(4–7), 6–4, [10–2]
Loss 5–5 Oct 2016 Las Vegas, US Challenger Hard   Bjorn Fratangelo   Brian Baker
  Matt Reid
1–6, 5–7
Loss 5–6 Jun 2017 Surbiton, UK Challenger Grass   Treat Huey   Marcus Daniell
  Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi
3–6, 6–7(0–7)
Win 6–6 Jul 2017 Binghamton, US Challenger Hard   Daniel Nguyen   Jarryd Chaplin
  Luke Saville
6–3, 7–6(7–5)
Win 7–6 Sep 2017 Columbus, US Challenger Hard (i)   Dominik Köpfer   Luke Bambridge
  David O'Hare
7–6(8–6), 7–6(7–3)
Loss 7–7 Oct 2017 Stockton, US Challenger Hard   Miķelis Lībietis   Brydan Klein
  Joe Salisbury
2–6, 4–6
Win 8–7 Nov 2017 Charlottesville, US Challenger Hard (i)   Danny Thomas   Jarryd Chaplin
  Miķelis Lībietis
6–7(4–7), 1–4 ret.
Loss 8–8 Jan 2018 Newport Beach, US Challenger Hard   Treat Huey   James Cerretani
  Leander Paes
4–6, 5–7
Win 9–8 Apr 2018 Tallahassee, US Challenger Clay   Robert Galloway   Enrique López Pérez
  Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan
6–3, 6–1
Win 10–8 Mar 2020 Indian Wells, USA Challenger Hard   Thai-Son Kwiatkowski   Sebastian Korda
  Mitchell Krueger
6–3, 2–6, [10–6]

Performance timelinesEdit

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (P) postponed; (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.


Current through the 2019 US Open.

Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A 1R Q1 1R 1R 2R Q3 2R 2R 0 / 6 3–6
French Open A A Q2 1R Q1 Q1 1R Q3 1R 1R 0 / 4 0–4
Wimbledon A A Q3 2R 2R 4R 1R Q3 1R 2R 0 / 6 6–6
US Open A Q3 1R 2R A 1R 1R Q1 2R 3R 0 / 6 4–6
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–2 2–3 1–2 3–3 1–4 0–0 2–4 2–3 0 / 21 11–21
Career statistics
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Career
Tournaments 1 2 6 11 5 14 20 1 14 16 90
Titles / Finals 0 / 0 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 11–14 8–16 49–90
Year-end ranking 496 276 137 114 121 69 131 174 63 35.25%


  1. ^ RhabitSports (July 25, 2017). "Olympian Denis Kudla teaches the backhand". YouTube. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Clarke, Liz (June 25, 2013). "Arlington's Denis Kudla advances to second round of Wimbledon". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  3. ^ "Denis Kudla". Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  4. ^
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External linksEdit