HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE FOR TIAFOE AND KUDLA AT THE CITI OPEN

JTCC duo Frances Tiafoe and Denis Kudla both have high hopes in their hometown tournament, the ATP World Tour 500 Citi Open, in Washington, D.C. this week.

Kudla faces Slovakian Lukas Lacko in the second match on Stadium court not before 4:30 pm on Tuesday. The pair only played a single game on Monday evening before a rain delay forced a postponement.

World #85 Kudla has bounced back into the top 100 in 2018 and owns a 2-0 career record in ATP World Tour competition over #75-ranked Lacko. Their most recent encounter came last month in the opening round on the grass courts in Halle, GER. Kudla’s 6-4, 6-4 win marked the start of an excellent run for the 25-year-old who eventually reached the semifinals before succumbing in a closely fought contest to 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer 7-6 (1), 7-5. 

Tiafoe is seeded #13 at the Citi Open for the first time and as a result has a bye into the second round. His first meeting with world #120 Hubert Kurkacz from Poland is likely to be on the Stadium court line up for Wednesday.

The 20-year-old has had an outstanding season and currently stands at a career-high world #41 ranking. His results in 2018 include a maiden ATP World Tour title in Delray Beach, FL in February along with deep runs in Miami, FL and Estoril, PRT. Tiafoe also produced his best Grand Slam effort to date at Wimbledon where he reached the third round defeating en route  #30 seed and former world #7 Fernando Verdasco in four sets.

Tiafoe and Kudla will also join forces in the doubles draw at the Citi Open. The JTCC team take on Australian Nick Kyrgios and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the first round.

“Frances and Denis are inspirational figures to all the current players at JTCC,” said Vesa Ponkka, JTCC Senior Director of Tennis. “The chance to see them in action just down the street at one of the world’s biggest tournaments is very special, and we hope they will have strong local support this week.”

Denis Kudla (L) and Frances Tiafoe (R) star in the Citi Open this week (Credit – Michael Bonfigli)