Originally Posted by db379
OK, 166 at 19yo is not bad, but by no means amazing either. But that's not the point. He does have a pretty good resume and he's fit and moves well which is all good. But he does not have any big weapon, no big serve, no big FH, no big BH... He has not beaten anyone better ranked than 88 (Kamke) this year and most of his wins are against guys ranked above 200.
He has had some tight matches against good players but I have a hard time seeing him move up the rankings without a drastic change in his game. He needs to develop a big weapon! Maybe he can, and that's great for him, but when I watched him play against S Johnson in Tiburon, he was really powerless. Johnson had an easy time to win this with his big serve and FH.
Watching B Klahn yesterday who lost in QF too, Brad has more weapons (better serve and FH), and in only 4 months on tour he has already beaten a world top 35 and former top 10, and nearly beat Blake (77) last week. Now, I agree it's not enough data to draw definitive conclusions but that's the feeling I have watching these various guys. Kudla is a very good player but he has to change his game if he wants to move up.
yeah, like you said, i wouldn't draw too much from "nearly" losses - kudla also nearly beat blake, losing 7-5, 5-7, 5-7 in sarasota - and nearly beat roddick (losing 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 4-6 after he won four solid matches while making it through qualifying and beating sock in san jose)
it's a fair question about his style of play, but i'm not convinced he has to develop a massive weapon, just improve everything over time across the board - i still think he can succeed to a lesser degree than ferrer with that style, reaching the 50-60 in the world level for a few years perhaps if he stays healthy
probably one of the guys like sock, johnson, klahn with bigger weapons will end up being a better pro than him while a couple will not - too early to tell which of those guys will make the most of their weapons (i'm guessing johnson)