A determined Denis Kudla reached round two of the Australian Open for the second time in his career with a 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-2 victory over fellow American Steve Johnson in Melbourne on Tuesday.
The JTCC alumnus went into the match as the underdog with Johnson having won all five previous meetings between the two. However Kudla’s consistently put the world #44 under pressure with his aggressive returns and converted on five out of 11 break point opportunities. The 25-year-old also served superbly winning 75% of the points on his first serve dropping only two service games throughout the near three hour contest. Kudla now has four match win streak in Melbourne after winning through three rounds of qualifying last week.
Next up for Kudla on Thursday in the second round is 24-year-old Austrian and #5 seed Dominic Thiem. The match is scheduled to open the day session on Margaret Court Arena at 11am local time (7pm Wednesday on the East Coast). Thiem won the only previous encounter between the two at the ATP World Tour 500 Brisbane International in 2016.
“Denis has shown his ‘true grit’ to battle back after some disappointing results last year,” said Oliver Akli, JTCC Senior Director of the Champions Program. “This shows that he has the drive to compete on the ATP Tour and at the Grand Slams in front of a global audience against the best players in the world.”