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Tennis Briefs(3): Kudla Wins Tallahassee Challenger; More

May 6, 2013 09:23 AM

American Kudla Wins Tallahassee Tennis Challenger

 
 
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Denis Kudla
American Denis Kudla followed up a dramatic Friday night win with a solid performance Saturday, May 5, beating Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the 2013 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event. The 20-year-old Kudla had snapped Ryan Harrison's eight-match win streak in the Friday semifinals at Forestmeadows Tennis Complex and waited out a four-hour rain delay Saturday to beat Stebe, a left-hander from Germany.
 
"I've been playing well this week, so I felt like if I came out and played my game today it would go my way," said Kudla, who won his third career challenger title. "It feels great to win here this week. It was kind of unexpected to do this, but I trusted my training."
 
Kudla won the first set on a backhand long from the German. In the second set, the American opened up a 3-0 lead and didn't look back, closing out the match in 68 minutes.
 
"I got a little bit impatient sometimes, trying to shorten the points with drop shots," said the 22-year-old Stebe, who owns three challenger titles. "I wasn't able to go in the long rallies with him. He played well today, making it tougher for me in the important points."
 
Kudla is projected to reach a career-high No. 114 on the ATP Rankings and says his goal is to receive direct entry into this year's US Open. Kudla is the 15th American to win in Tallahassee in 21 years of the challenger's history, including five out of the last six years. Tim Smyczek was defending champion and Donald Young won in 2011.
 
In doubles, No. 1 seeds Austin Krajicek of Brandon, Fla., and Tennys Sandgren of Boca Raton stayed true to their ranking with a 1-6, 6-2, 10-8 victory over Greg Jones of Australia and Canadian Peter Polansky.
 
"It's a great start to win our first tournament playing together," said the 22-year-old Krajicek. "We have good chemistry on the court and played the big points well. It's always better to get a win."
 
Krajicek won his fourth challenger doubles title while the 21-year-old Sandgren collected his second.
 
 

Palm Harbor's Carlbo Named PTR Professional of the Year

 
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From left: PTR CEO Dan Santorum, Robert Carlbo, PTR Board President Jorge Andrew
Robert Carlbo, of Palm Harbor, Fla., has been named as PTR Professional of the Year. The award is presented to the PTR Professional who has displayed the highest standards of conduct and service to both tennis and PTR.
 
The award was presented during the PTR International Tennis Symposium, held May 2-5, 2013, at the Sonesta Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
 
"In the past year, no PTR member has pursued education and professional development more vigorously than Robert Carlbo," according to a PTR press release. "A glutton for education, he is certified to teach wheelchair tennis and holds an Etcheberry Certification in Strength, Conditioning and Movement in Tennis. He is Steg 1 and 2 with the Swedish Tennis Association and USPTA-P1. Robert Carlbo is the first -- and so far the only -- person to complete all four PTR-certification pathways, earning professional ratings in each. Yearning to learn more, Carlbo completed the rigorous requirements and earned two PTR Masters of Tennis in Junior Development and Performance. A PTR clinician and tester, Carlbo never misses a PTR symposium or conference, and no doubt he'll be the first in line for future educational opportunities."
 
Carlbo is the head coach of the East Lake High School boys' tennis team, and teaches junior development tennis for the 11-17 age group. He runs a USTA 10 and Under Tennis program at the North Pinellas YMCA and at surrounding elementary schools, and teaches a variety of adult clinics. Carlbo coaches some of the top juniors in Florida and is visited regularly by ATP and WTA touring pros. He mentors coaches from Sweden, China, Great Britain and the U.S.
 
Areas of award consideration include service to PTR; participation in national, sectional or local tennis organizations; personal or student rankings/performance; exhibitions or speaking engagements; publication of articles; tournaments; coaching; tennis related volunteer/community service; and continued education.
 
 
 

Rogers Claims USTA French Open Wild Card

 
rogers_shelby_head_shotCharleston's 20-year-old Shelby Rogers has earned a main draw wild card into the 2013 French Open by winning the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge.
 
Rogers rose to the top of the standings by winning the Charlottesville title, reaching the quarterfinals in Dothan, and the round of 16 in Indian Harbour Beach. Rogers clinched the wild card on Saturday when Alison Riske, the only player who could have overtaken Rogers by winning the Indian Harbour Beach title, lost in the semifinals.
 
Rogers, who trains at the USTA National Training Center-Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., is currently ranked a career-high No. 190. Rogers claimed one additional singles title on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2012, beating US Open junior girls' champion Samantha Crawford in the final of the $50,000 event in Yakima, Wash. As a junior player, she won the USTA Girls' 18s National Championship to earn a wild card into the main draw of the 2010 US Open for her only appearance in a Grand Slam main draw.
 
The USTA awarded one women's singles main draw wild card into the French Open to an American player based on her results on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2013 French and US Opens are exchanged.
 
The winner of the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge was determined by the player who accumulated the greatest number of WTA ranking points at two of three USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 claycourt events: the Dothan Pro Classic in Dothan, Ala., the Boyd Tinsley Clay Court Classic in Charlottesville, Va., and the Audi Melbourne Pro Tennis Classic in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
 
Alex Kuznetsov, 26, of Tampa clinched the men's Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge earlier this week. Kuznetsov, a former French Open boys' finalist, collected the most ATP ranking points at two of three USTA Pro Circuit claycourt challengers -- a $100,000 event in Sarasota, Fla., and two $50,000 events in Savannah, Ga., and in Tallahassee, Fla.
 
Former US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker won last year's USTA wild cards into the French Open.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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