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By Erik Gudris

Denis Kudla (January 1, 2013) -- Though he was born in the Ukraine, Denis Kudla is a rising hope for the United States. Learn more about this young player who is on the cusp of the top 100.

1. Kiev Kid: Kudla was born in Kiev, Ukraine on August 17th, 1992. He moved to the U.S at a very young age and soon became an American citizen. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.

2. Junior Success: After winning the 16s Orange Bowl event in 2009, Kudla turned pro soon afterwards.

3. ATP Breakthrough: Kudla won his first ATP tour match as a wildcard in Newport in 2010.

4. 2012 Results: Kudla qualified for the main draw of the Australian Open before losing to Tommy Haas in the first round. In San Jose, he reached the round of 16 before losing to Andy Roddick in three tight sets. He played Roger Federer in the second round of Indian Wells and later in the year won two Challenger titles in Lexington and Charlottesville.

5. Best Moment of 2012: "As a match, I would say Roddick (in San Jose) because I came so close to winning. And then another moment was winning the title in Charlottesville."

6. Back in Oz: Kudla qualified for the main draw of the Brisbane International but lost in the first round to Jurgen Melzer.  He'll head to Melbourne where he will also compete in qualies in order to enter the main draw.

7. 2013 Goals: "Top 100 is right around the corner. So I want to do that sooner or later. And then, trying to get an ATP title."

8. Favorite Shot: "Have to say backhand down the line. It's what pays the bills (said with a laugh)."

9. Career High: Kudla currently has a ranking of No. 137 in the world, a career high for him.

10. Player He Most Resembles: Bjorn Borg. Because of his long hair and the headband he wears when on court.


(Photo Credit: Tennis Now/Gudris)

 

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