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Jun 26, 2018

JTCC alumni Denis Kudla and Frances Tiafoe geared up for Wimbledon with outstanding grass court performances in Halle and London, respectively, last week.

Kudla reached the semifinals at the Gerry Weber Open in Germany. The 25-year-old had five wins over top 100 players to progress from qualifying to a semifinal meeting with 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.  His run included a straight set win over up and coming Greek star world #35 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round of 16.

Kudla continued his excellent form against Federer pushing him throughout their 87-minute long contest before the world #1 narrowly prevailed 7-6(1), 7-5. Kudla’s efforts earned him 200 ATP points resulting in a major ranking move of 26 places from #109 to #83.

Denis Kudla congratulates Roger Federer after their semifinal meeting in Halle (Credit: Friso Gentsch)

The All England Club also recognized Kudla’s performance by awarding him a coveted main draw wild card for the Championships. Kudla has fond memories of playing at Wimbledon having reached the round of 16 in 2015 when he was the last American standing in the men’s singles.

In London, Tiafoe joined an impressive field at the Fever-Tree Championships at the Queen’s Club and battled his way to his fourth quarterfinal appearance of the 2018 ATP World Tour season with wins over fellow American Jared Donaldson and Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

Frances Tiafoe in action at the Queen’s Club in London (Credit: Baseline Tennis)

Tiafoe’s performance propelled him to a career-high world ranking of #52 giving him yet another strong boost of confidence prior to Wimbledon following his first ATP World Tour championship in Del Ray Beach, FL and a runner-up finish in Estoril, PRT earlier in the spring.

“Denis and Frances have both raised their games through intense focus and hard work,” said Vesa Ponkka, JTCC Senior Director of Tennis. “They are superb role models for our current JTCC players, and everyone at JTCC will be closely following their progress at Wimbledon.”

JTCC follows Wimbledon daily in the lobby with eager summer campers spending their lunch breaks immersed in the world-class action.

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