American teenager Denis Kudla planned to get up at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and set his alarm accordingly. That would have provided plenty of time to wake up, shower, eat breakfast, head to the courts in Newport, R.I., warm up, get his racquets stenciled and mentally prepare for his match against the big-serving, former top-20 player Ivo Karlovic.
Unbeknownst to him, Kudla accidentally set his Blackberry to ring at 8 p.m. and slept through his intended wake-up time. By the time he eventually got out of bed it was 10:15 a.m. and his match with Karlovic was just 45 minutes away.
Kudla rushed through his morning routine, didn't eat breakfast and got to the courts at the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championship just in time to get in a quick warm up with a short lefty, hardly the tuneup you want when playing a 6-foot-10 righty. It didn't matter. He went out and won the match, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4, scoring the biggest victory of his young career.
Rushing may have helped the 394th-ranked Kudla. "[It] helped me a little bit to get the nerves away," he said. "I had no time to think about the match."
Kudla's next match was scheduled for 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Something tells me the a.m./p.m. issue won't be a problem. All he needs to do is make sure the ringer volume isn't turned down.