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Kudla Beats Murray In Reality At Surbiton Challenger

By Scoop Malinowski

One of the funniest moments in Grand Slam history happened moments after Andy Murray won Wimbledon in 2013.

After the win vs. Novak Djokovic, Murray was asked by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi if he had had any dreams the night before the final, and Murray shockingly revealed that he indeed did have a dream: (I) “was playing Denis Kudla.”

A few years later I asked Kudla at the Sarasota Open Challenger about his bizarre, small role in Murray’s Wimbledon triumph. I approached Kudla at the Sarasota Open clubhouse for my “Facing Andy Murray” book and he recounted the memories of facing Andy in reality and also in the dream state.

Kudla, of course, like everyone who could not be there live, was watching the 2013 Wimbledon final Murray vs Djokovic on television. “Actually I was in the bathroom… I remember I walked back and everyone was like, Holycrap, he just said your name. He said he had a dream playing you. I was like, Yeah right. Then I watched the replay and it was pretty ridiculous when he said that. Pretty random. But yeah, I guess some people say crazy things sometimes.”

Kudla revealed he practiced several times with Murray in Miami, when Kudla was living in Boca Raton.

Kudla has a theory of why he was part of Andy’s night-before-Wimbledon-final dream. “It was probably from the practice from the week before. I had a pretty good practice, so maybe that was a memory that stuck in his head. Who knows [smiles]?”

Yesterday in Surbiton Challenger semis, Kudla and Murray met again, in reality. And unlike their San Diego clash a year ago (won by Murray 63 62), Kudla, ranked 81, prevailed yesterday over the 67th ranked Murray 57 76 63.

The Murray vs Kudla head to head rivalry now stands at 1-1. Kudla will play Australian Jordan Thompson in the final today. Thompson defeated Otto Virtanen of Finland in the other semi 63 16 64.

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