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Bruno Clinches Year-End #1 Doubles Ranking; Kudla Returns to Winners' Circle

November 23, 2020 - World TeamTennis (WTT) - Washington Kastles News Release


DC native and former Washington Kastles all-star Denis Kudla
DC native and former Washington Kastles all-star Denis Kudla
(Washington Kastles, Credit: Rich Kessler)

Kastles doubles legend Bruno Soares will rest well this holiday season. The Brazilian doubles star made the most of a tumultuous year.

In addition to winning his sixth Grand Slam title at the US Open this summer, Soares clinched the year-end #1 FedEx ATP doubles ranking with four-time Grand Slam champion Mate Pavic at the Nitto ATP Finals this past weekend.

The duo, which ended their bid in London with a 2-1 record, were assured the year-end top spot after Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin defeated Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the semifinals.

"It's a very special moment for us, finishing year-end No. 1," said Soares. "I think it's a massive achievement and it shows how well we played throughout the year, how consistent we were, winning big tournaments. So it's a special thanks to Mate and our team. It's very nice to start our first day of vacation celebrating a huge achievement like this. Right now, it's time to rest, celebrate and enjoy all the beautiful moments we had on court, because we all know it's been a very tough year for everyone."

Soares, who was the Kastles' star doubles player from 2017-2019, teamed up with Pavic shortly after the 2019 French Open and signaled their bid for the #1 ranking by winning their maiden team title at the 2019 Shanghai Masters.

2020 Flashback: 'Soares and Pavic Win Men's Doubles Title in New York!'

The duo played arguably their best tennis this summer in New York, where they won their first Grand Slam title together at the US Open, then went on to reach two finals in Paris, the first at Roland Garros in October and the second at the Rolex Paris Masters just two weeks ago.

"The battle for the year-end No. 1 doubles team ranking has been closer than ever this year, with all eight teams entering the season finale with a chance to claim top spot," said ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi. "Our congratulations to Mate and Bruno - finishing the year as No. 1 is the ultimate achievement in our sport. They should be very proud of their season and they fully deserve this accolade."

As successful as the pair have been, Soares and Pavic will part ways in the new year. Pavic will play with Nikola Mektic in 2021, while Soares will reunite with Jamie Murray, with whom he won the 2016 Australian Open and 2016 US Open.

"I am very happy for Bruno and myself to end the year No. 1," said Pavic. "It was a great partnership, and a good achievement to end the partnership."

Follow Bruno & all your favorite Kastles stars on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @washkastles

Kudla Returns to Winners' Circle in Cary

DC native and former Kastles all-star Denis Kudla won his first title since 2018 in Cary, North Carolina, this month. (Rich Kessler)

Elsewhere, Kastles alum and DC's own Denis Kudla also finished 2020 on a high note.

This October the 28-year-old tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend in South Carolina and a month later returned to the winners' circle at the Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, North Carolina.

The Virginia native, who helped lead the Kastles to claim their fifth-consecutive WTT title and sixth overall in 2015, beat rising Indian star Prajnesh Gunneswaran, 6-3, 3-6, 0-6, in the final to win his first men's singles title since 2018 in Drummondville, Quebec.

Kudla reached a career-high singles ranking of #53 in the world in 2016, but is currently ranked #114. His win in Cary is the product of a renewed effort to raise his game in a new chapter of his life.

'Denis Kudla is the champion in Cary!'

The DC star has tapped former Kastle Robert Lindstedt (2018) to be his new coach in a pursuit to crack the top-30 rankings in 2021. The pair linked up a couple weeks ago.

"I had talked with Rob before and I told him exactly what I wanted personally," said Kudla about the new partnership. "I didn't just call him and say, 'Hey, do you want to coach me?'. I told him that I want accountability. I want hard work. I need someone on me all the time. That's just how I operate. I operate well under stress and people who push me the extra mile."




Images from this story

Former Washington Kastles doubles star Bruno Soares ends 2020 with year-end #1 doubles ranking
Former Washington Kastles doubles star Bruno Soares ends 2020 with year-end #1 doubles ranking

(Ryan Loco)
DC native and former Washington Kastles all-star Denis Kudla
DC native and former Washington Kastles all-star Denis Kudla

(Rich Kessler)
 

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