Tiafoe Triumphs On Grass In Nottingham

Frances Tiafoe (photo: LTA)

NOTTINGHAM, June 13, 2021

Frances Tiafoe claimed his first grass-court title by winning the Viking Open Nottingham held on the lawns of the Nottingham Tennis Centre in the United Kingdom. The 23-year-old Florida resident beat fellow US-American Denis Kudla 6-1, 6-3 in the singles final on Sunday.

Tiafoe, No. 2 seed of the €132,280 ATP Challenger Tour event, defeated Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland, Illya Marchenko from the Ukraine, Russian Evgeny Donskoy and Marius Copil from Romania en-route to the championship match.

In his third meeting with Kudla, Tiafoe saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on four of his own 12 break-point chances to celebrate his first victory over his compatriot after one hour and 10 minutes.

By lifting the Ross Hutchins trophy, his sixth ATP Challenger career title and first since Parma, Italy last year, Tiafoe pocketed €18,290 in prize money as well as 125 ATP Ranking points.

“I needed it bad this week and I’m really happy to be here,” said Tiafoe, who has known Kudla since he was four-years-old. Both practiced at the same club in Maryland.

“I wouldn’t be the guy I am today without Denis, I’ve been trying to chase you since I was a kid. It feels good to beat you today but I’ve always looked up to you and I happy that we’re still able to keep a good friendship.”

Reid/Skupski win first team title

On Saturday, Matt Reid of Australia and Briton Ken Skupski took the doubles title. The No. 3 seeds battled past the all-Australian combination and No. 2 seeds Matthew Ebden and John-Patrick Smith 4-6, 7-5, 10-6. The encounter lasted one hour and 28 minutes.