ATP Future Stars Taking Strides: Bradley Klahn: http://www.tennisviewmag.com/tennis-...-bradley-klahn
Klahn?s success this year came as no surprise to those few who follow NCAA tennis. Still, for those who search the ATP website for evidence of a player?s past success, this young prospect came out of nowhere.
Klahn played four full years of tennis at Stanford (2009-12), where he was an all-American in his final three seasons. He won the National Championship in singles in 2010 and was one of the best NCAA players over the next two years as well, despite not repeating that achievement.
At the core of Klahn?s game lies a monster serve. He was hitting his lefty serve upwards of 130 miles per hour at the age of 20, which carried him to his National Championship. He has a strong baseline game to back it up, including a powerful forehand. While Klahn needed back surgery during his senior season, it did not affect him significantly as he played very well in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Starting in late 2012, Klahn found himself forced to fend for himself. He was out of college, although a degree from Stanford is a great resource to have in his back pocket, and ready to take his shot at the pros.
Klahn flourished at the outset, qualifying for the 2012 US Open and upsetting Jurgen Melzer in the first round. Couple that breakthrough with a few Challenger quarterfinals in the fall, and Klahn rose to just outside the top 250 as he prepared his first full campaign as a pro.
The American has had no trouble adjusting to the professional Tour. Klahn played only three Futures tournaments in 2013, winning one of them in March for his first professional title. A middling spring led into a blistering summer for Klahn. In July, he reached two Challenger finals and a semifinal. In August, he won his first Challenger title at a 100 point event in Aptos, California. And, to back it up, he reached the second round at the US Open for the second straight year, falling to Feliciano Lopez in four sets.
Klahn closed the year with good Challenger results in the final few months, including his second title in Yeongwol three weeks ago. After closing the season with a semifinal showing in Yokohama, Klahn has cracked the top 100 for the first time.
2014 could be the year that defines the trajectory of Klahn?s career. He has all the skills to be a top player and should ride a good wave of momentum heading into the next year. He is not ranked quite high enough to get into one of the 250s that start the year, but he may be able to play in Doha or Chennai if some players withdraw before then.
What being in the top 100 does mean, though, is that Klahn will gain direct entry to the Australian Open. The jump from Challengers to majors looms large, but Klahn is ready for that ultimate transition if his history is any indication.
Pictures from Yokohama, doubles with Venus