Together with Felix Auger-Aliassime and Rudolf Molleker, Nicola Kuhn has been one of the most promising players born in 2000, entering the ATP ranking just after turning 15 in 2015 and improving his game regularly to reach the junior Roland Garros final in 2017 and win the first Challenger title in Braunschweig in July to crack the top-250.
In March last year, Nicola became the first player of his generation with Masters 1000 win when he defeated Darian King in Miami but his progress was halted three weeks later after a nasty foot injury (broken toe) at Barletta Challenger that forced him to prolong debut in Barcelona and Madrid where he previously received wild cards.
The young Spaniard needed some time to regain form and rhythm again, returning in June and struggling to make deep runs in Challengers before reaching the final in Canberra in November, hoping for more of the same in 2019.
Kuhn kicked off the season at the Australian Open and beside two Challenger quarter-finals, we haven't seen his best tennis, unable to find consistency and make an improvement on the ATP list. Receiving a wild card in Barcelona, Nicola scored the first ATP win since Miami last year, ousting Federico Delbonis to gain a massive boost of confidence ahead of Madrid where he also grabbed an invitation, entering the third Masters 1000 event and the first outside Florida.
Right after arriving, Nicola hit the practice court at Madrid Mutua Open, training with Nikoloz Basilashvili and preparing himself for debut in front of the home fans. "That victory in Barcelona was significant for me, it confirms I can still score wins against the top-100 rivals despite that injury.
I played on a high level in those two matches and will try to repeat that in Madrid as well. My only goal here is to enjoy and give my best, to carry on with what I have been doing in the previous weeks and see how far can I go.
This is the Masters 1000 event and all the rivals are better than me, I don't feel pressure playing in front of the home fans, that motivates me. I would love to see myself in the top-100 sooner or later but the most important thing at the moment is to get at my best as soon as possible and chase that goal."