SURBITON/STARNBERG, June 5, 2022
Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was beaten by seventh seed Denis Kudla from the United States 5-7 7-6(4), 6-3 in two hours and 33 minutes on a blustery Saturday at the LTA Surbiton Trophy.
The conditions were a major factor in a highly competitive semifinal-round match. Murray drew first blood breaking in the 11th game to take the first set 7-5. Despite having break points in the second set the World No. 67 and top seed of the ATP Challenger Tour 125 grass-court tournament was unable to convert and Kudla took the set in the tie-break. From there the US-American took control, breaking in the sixth game of the final set to wrap up the match after two hours and 33 minutes.
“I mean it’s tough to read too much into how I played,” said Murray. “I competed pretty well for the first couple of sets, third set not as well as I would have liked. Brutal conditions for both of us today, there wasn’t loads of amazing tennis. We were using kind of different skills out there and trying to find ways to put the ball in difficult positions for the opponent and Denis did a better job of that today.”
Kudla said: “The conditions were tough, super windy but when I warmed up I really thought I was hitting the ball clean. There’s something about England and grass that I just feel comfortable and at ease. I feel like a whole different tennis player out there after playing terrible on clay for two months but yeah I’m just happy to be here.”
World No. 81 Kudla will face Jordan Thompson in the title after the Australian defeated Finnish qualifier Otto Virtanen 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 in one hour and 44 minutes.
“Yeah, it was a great start, I broke the first service game of his and then ran away with the first set,” said Thompson. “A couple of sloppy games to start the second set and he lifted his game and played a great second set. My level definitely dipped and then in the third set I just tried to hang in there, fought off a few early games and then managed to get the break at the end there but also served for the match and played a poor game. Credit to him, he made me play and yeah it was pretty good match considering the ridiculous winds.”
Kudla is bidding for his ninth ATP Challenger career title, his second of the season after winning the Arizona Tennis Classic in Phoenix in March. Thompson could lift his eighth trophy, his first since 2018. The 28-year-old Australian leads the pair’s head-to-head record 2-1.
Cash/Patten earn maiden Challenger doubles title
The sell-out crowd were given plenty to cheer about when British wild card pair Julian Cash and Henry Patten defeated the No. 3 seeds Aleksandr Nedovyesov from Kazakhstan and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan in a thrilling doubles final 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 to take the title on their ATP Challenger Tour debut. The encounter lasted one hour and 20 minutes.
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“I mean it was really tricky conditions out there, wind was blowing. We had a lot of support which definitely helped and I don’t know about Jules but I was really nervous at the end but luckily managed to pull through and just really really happy,” Patten said.
“Henry has been away and not practised for two weeks and we also didn’t know we were going to be playing so yeah delighted. Match by match we just got a little bit better. Today was very different, the wind has come in and it was really tough to play good tennis but found a way in the second set to steal a break and finished strong,” Cash added.
Surbiton Trophy Results