Unseeded American Denis Kudla will face Australian wild card Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round of the 2021 Los Cabos Open on Tuesday, July 20. Get the live streaming options of this Denis Kudla v Thanasi Kokkinakis match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Denis Kudla v Thanasi Kokkinakis Head to Head
Kudla and Kokkinakis have only ever played once before this. It was in the first round in Memphis. The American won in straight sets.
Kudla’s Grass Court Season Ends In Defeat
Denis Kudla views the grass as a surface that suits his style of play. With his ability to hit flat, penetrating groundstrokes off either wing, he has nearly as many wins on the surface as compared to hard courts or clay.
Kudla’s tour-level record outside grass before this year’s Wimbledon Championships was a woeful 53-99 (with 26 of those wins coming on hard courts). And he maintained his standing as one of the grasscourt specialists in the main draw at SW19.
The 28-year-old who is bidding to re-enter the world’s top 100, reached the third round at Wimbledon. He challenged Novak Djokovic in three tough sets in the third round but came up short.
His grass-court campaign did not stop there. Kudla returned back home and competed at the last tour event on the lawns on the tennis calendar at Newport.
Kudla lost to the precociously talented Jenson Brooksby in the Round of 16. If you factor in the Challenger tournaments and qualifiers, Kudla has posted a 12-4 record on the surface which in itself is a decent return bearing in mind the length of the grass-court season.
Kokkinakis Earns Los Cabos Wild Card
Thanasi Kokkinakis’ wild card in Los Cabos shouldn’t really come as a surprise. The 25-year-old Aussie, whose career has been blighted by ceaseless injuries in recent years, is a former finalist at the 250-event in Mexico.
That 2017 season, Kokkinakis won just eight matches. Remarkably, four of those came in Los Cabos in which he defeated the likes of Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, and Tomas Berdych to reach his first and thus far only tour-level final of his career.
Kokkinaskis did not play competitive tennis for the entirety of 2020 as he was convalescing from a right shoulder injury he suffered post US Open 2019. And with tighter travel restrictions Down Under, the 25-year-old was cautious on travel after recovery.
In 2021, the former World No. 69 has celebrated a fourth ATP Challenger title in Biella just before the French Open. But he had the misfortune of missing out on a wild card at the clay Slam.
His record on hard courts this season does not make for a pretty good reading. He has a modest two main draw wins on the surface, with his major highlight coming at the Australian Open in which he pushed Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets.
Kudla v Kokkinakis Prediction and Tip
In pale comparison to other Americans, Kudla has a surprisingly terrible record on hard courts at tour level. Plus, he is only just making the transition from grass. Kokkinakis is well-priced to cause more damage despite his own personal struggles.