Andrey Kuznetsov to return at ATP Prague Open

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Andrey Kuznetsov will return to ATP tennis after a two-and-a-half-year absence at the Prague Open Challenger event in the Czech Republic, which begins on August 17.

The Russian played his last ATP match in January 2018, a three-set loss to Ilya Ivashka at the Challenger in Koblenz, Germany.

He has struggled with injuries, and was hired by compatriot Evgeny Donskoy as a consultant coach last year.

The 29-year-old did, though, return to action last month at the Open Caceres, an IBP Tennis Series event in Spain.

Kuznetsov won the tournament, beating Kazakhstan’s Timofey Skatov, the world #527, in a three-set final.

A strong Prague Open entry list also features Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Jiri Vesely, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Attila Balazs, Marton Fucsovics, Emil Ruusuvuori, Ernests Gulbis, Robin Haase, Denis Istomin, Damir Dzumhur, Dominik Koepfer, and Viktor Troicki.

The clay-court Challenger 125 will be the first ATP event held since March – alongside the simultaneous Challenger 100 in Todi, Italy.

Kuznetsov’s Career So Far

Kuznetsov announced himself to the tennis world at the age of 18 by winning the 2009 Wimbledon Juniors singles title.

A significant main tour breakthrough came at Wimbledon in 2014, where Kuznetsov beat seventh seed David Ferrer in five sets for his first win against a top 10 opponent.

The victory saw the Russian–who cites grass and clay as his favorite surfaces–reach the third round of a professional Grand Slam event for the first time.

Kuznetsov then advanced to the same stage at the 2014 US Open after a five-set win against Fernando Verdasco. There, he fell in four sets to eighth seed Andy Murray.

In 2015, he reached the French Open third round, losing to Rafael Nadal. However, his two best seasons on tour were to follow.

The Russian made the fourth round of the 2016 Australian Open, losing in four tight sets to Gael Monfils. He defeated Ryan Harrison, Jeremy Chardy, and Dudi Sela for his deepest Grand Slam run.

Kuznetsov then beat world #4 Stan Wawrinka en route to the Miami fourth round for his second career top 10 win. This remains his best Masters 1000 result, and it saw him become the Russian #1 for the first time.

In April 2016, Kuznetsov reached a career-high ranking of #39. He went on to make the third round at Wimbledon and the US Open that year.

The Russian reached the semi-finals of three ATP 250 events the following year: Sydney, Geneva, and Bastad.

Kuznetsov also reached his only ATP doubles final in 2017, losing with partner Mikhail Elgin at the Sofia Open. He fell in the first round of all four Grand Slams that year, though.

He is yet to make an ATP singles final, although, he has won seven Challenger Tour singles titles.

Kuznetsov’s tour-level win/loss ratio stands at 77-97 (44.3%). He holds an impressive Davis Cup record of 7-0 in singles, and 1-1 in doubles.

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