Wimbledon excitement is building for Denis Kudla after a superb start to the grass court season came to a close with defeat to Jordan Thompson in the LTA’s Surbiton Trophy final, writes Oli Dickson Jefford in Surbiton.
Kudla had beaten top seed Andy Murray in the last four to reach the final, and despite playing a high-level match fell 7-5 6-3 to his Australian opponent on Sunday.
And with such a strong week to start the grass court season under his belt, the American’s eyes are now firmly set on the All England Club, where main draw action begins in three weeks.
“I’m always excited for Wimbledon. It’s the peak of our sport. It’s my favourite tournament of the year, I always want to do well there and I’m looking forward to,” commented Kudla.
“It was actually a great week. First week on grass, so many things can happen. I’ve had plenty of years where I’ve lost first round but luckily here I was able to find my rhythm. I felt like I was playing really good.
“I was super optimistic about today but Jordan, he really played a perfect match, a great match. I thought I played a high level as well so I like where my level is at and I just want to continue and try to peak at Wimbledon.”
Despite Sunday’s defeat, the 29-year-old believes his game is in a good place ahead of a busy grass court season to come, which will see him play in Stuttgart and Queen’s over the next two weeks.
Having admitted not feeling at home throughout the clay court season, he is now revelling in a return to more comfortable ground.
He said: “For me it’s just returning well and moving well on grass, which is super important. I thought I served pretty well, but he [Thompson] returned so well that it plays a mind game. If I can keep moving well, stay healthy, keep going for my shots I’m optimistic for what’s to come.
Something just feels comfortable. I don’t think I have to over think. Everything just feels natural, my tennis IQ goes up.
“I feel like it’s the opposite of how I feel on clay - while I just feel like I figured out a little bit of a puzzle on how to play on grass while everyone’s still struggling.
“I feel like I have an upper hand on it and it just suits my game perfectly.”
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA Website