World No. 114 Denis Kudla is hoping to upset world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.
Kudla, a former world No. 53, is set to clash against No. 1 seed Djokovic in the Wimbledon third round.
“You need to go in playing these guys with all the belief in the world, execute my game plan,” Kudla said. “I need to play my ‘A’ game to beat him and the only way I’m going to do that is if I let it go, play free and believe.”
Two years ago at Wimbledon, Kudla never managed to play freely and he ended up losing easily to Djokovic.
“Obviously Novak being tough as nails, I just didn’t settle at all. I was down 5-0 in about 10 minutes and I thought my worst nightmare was going to happen,” Kudla said. “Then at the [US] Open when I played him [later in 2019], I really settled. I was able to kind of push him a little bit more. But now going into this third match, I know what to expect. I know I’m capable of winning certain patterns if I execute in certain ways.”
Kudla praises Djokovic
“His movement is pretty incredible when you’re playing him and then I think his serve is completely underrated,” Kudla said. “He was just hitting spot serves on big points and it was pretty difficult.”
At the age of 17, Kudla won his first ATP match on grass in Newport.
In 2015, Kudla achieved his best Grand Slam result when he made the Wimbledon round-of-16.
“It was the worst grass. [I had] no idea what to do. We tried to serve and volley, but we were a bunch of 15, 16-year-olds that had no idea how to volley or do anything. Our serves were so slow, so it was not effective whatsoever and we were just messing around, not doing anything professional,” Kudla said. “It was an eye-opening experience.”