Kudla Makes ‘Shot Of His Life’, Reaches Cary Final

STARNBERG, November 15, 2020

US-American Denis Kudla persevered against an early challenge from Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan to reach the singles final of the Atlantic Tire Championships held at Cary Tennis Park in Cary, North Carolina, United States.

The No. 2 seed of the $52,080 ATP Challenger hard-court event lost the first set 6-7(6) but rebounded quickly to win the second set 6-1.  The highlight of the match and shot of the tournament came at 3-3 in the third set: Galan serves out wide and Kudla returned to the middle of the court. The No. 3 seeded South American approached the net with a backhand to the opposite Ad side. Kudla in full sprint hit a defensive slice passing shot, saying to himself, “Shot of my life.”

Kudla went on to win the match 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and two minutes. Next, the 28-year-old from Arlington, Virginia will face Prajnesh Gunneswaran from India. The No. 4 seed received a walkover to the final with the withdrawal of Denmark’s Mikael Torpegaard, who suffered a knee injury in his quarterfinal match the day before.

Kudla is seeking his seventh ATP Challenger title, his first since 2018 Drummondville, Canada. Gunneswaran could lift his third Challenger trophy. The 31-year-old’s last triumph came on home soil in Bangalore two years ago.

Gabashvili/Novikov take doubles title

The final of the doubles competition went the distance and was decided by match tie-breaker, 10-8.  Russian veteran Teymuraz Gabashvili and Denis Novikov from the United States were the victors against No. 1 seeded team of Luke Bambridge of Great Britain and US-American Nathaniel Lammons. They won 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 after one hour and 25 minutes.

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Saturday, November 14 – RESULTS

Singles – 
(2) Denis Kudla (COL) def. (3) Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 6-7(6),6-1, 6-4

(4) Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) def. Mikael Torpegaard (DEN) walkover

Doubles – Final 

Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) / Dennis Novikov (USA) def. (1) Luke Bambridge (GBR) / Nathaniel Lammons 7-5, 4-6, 10-8

Sunday, November 15 – SCHEDULE

Stadium Court start 12:00 noon 

(4) Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) (2) Denis Kudla (USA)