REFORMED wild child Brydan Klein continued to do it the hard way at Drinan Park yesterday, forcing his way into the semi-final with a hard-fought 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Joel Lindner.
Klein showed he had the mental stamina required at the top level, as his third comeback win in as many matches set up a semi-final with Great Britain’s Myles Blake this morning.
Blake dropped just five games against Kiwi Marvin Barker in his quarterfinal, while Klein’s mammoth schedule is beginning to take its toll.
Backing up from singles and doubles triumphs in Ipswich last week, the top seed won his doubles final with Dane Propoggia yesterday and admitted he was starting to feel it.
“I’m pretty exhausted,” he said.
“I get back to my hotel and realise how tired I am, but each morning I wake up and I’m pumped again to play well.”
He could have easily thrown in the towel against a red-hot Lindner, after losing a tight first set.
In what was a replay of last week’s Ipswich quarterfinal, Klein had a chance to break at 4-4, but instead the big-serving left hander held serve and chanced his arm in the next game.
“He went for it and it paid off and he took the set away from me,” Klein said.
Facing defeat yet again, Klein became the aggressor in the second set, attacking Lindner’s serve and staying in every rally.
He jumped to an early advantage and hung on to level the match at one set each.
“My mentality at first was to get the ball back and wait for an error,” Klein said.
“But he wasn’t giving me those, so I decided to step my play up and go for some more shots.”
Lindner kept firing away from the back of the court in the third set, while the occasional serve volley kept Klein guessing.
But as the match progressed, the favourite found his groove and wore down an ailing Lindner.
Some crunching returns went for cold winners either side of Lindner and sealed his fate.
“I got into a nice rhythm toward the end and was probably playing the best tennis I’ve played at Bundaberg and Ipswich,” Klein said.
“The consistency isn’t there yet, but in patches I’m definitely lifting my game.”
Similarly to the first two rounds, Klein failed to convert in the first set, mainly due to some fierce serving from the tall left hander.
His doubles partner Propoggia will play Marcus Daniell in the other semi-final later today.
The third-seeded Daniell fought hard to overcome talented James Duckworth 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Propoggia, the seventh seed, was too good for Japanese second seed Arata Onozawa 6-4, 7-5.
He is fighting extremely well with the chest infection last week and now the tiredness after playing a fair bit of tennis (doubles and singles wins). Also worth noting he had a bit of a minor disagreement with the umpire in the first round where Klein believes he said far out but the umpire thought he said something else. Will be interesting to see of he pushes onto Busan next week.