May 31, 2010
ATHENS, Ga.- Sophomore Bradley Klahn demolished Louisville's Austen Childs 6-1, 6-2 on Monday afternoon at the 2010 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships, becoming Stanford's first NCAA singles champion since 2000.
Ranked No. 13 in the nation and tabbed one of eight No. 9-16 seeds in the postseason singles draw, Klahn becomes Stanford's first NCAA singles champion since Alex Kim defeated Kentucky's Carlos Drada 6-1, 6-1 back on May 28, 2000.
Stanford has now produced 14 collegiate singles champions in school history overall and nine since the NCAA adopted its current format in 1977 (Matt Mitchell in 1977, John McEnroe in 1978, Tim Mayotte in 1981, Dan Goldie in 1986, Jared Palmer in 1991, Alex O' Brien in 1992, Bob Bryan in 1998, Alex Kim in 2000 and Bradley Klahn in 2010).
Winning singles titles prior to 1977 were: Phillip Neer (1921), Keith Gledhill (1931), Frederick R. Schroeder, Jr. (1942), Alex Mayer (1973) and current head coach John Whitlinger (1974).
The 2009 ITA National Rookie of the Year and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Klahn wrapped up his freshman year at 35-9 overall and displayed glimpses of All-America potential. But the sophomore lefty was eliminated in the opening round of last year's NCAA Singles Championships, ending his season early in the draw.
There would be no repeat in 2010.
Klahn picked apart the competition, winning four of his six singles matches in straight sets and earning a berth in the national title match after easily knocking off the tournament's top seed and country's No. 2-ranked player in Henrique Cunha of Duke 6-2, 6-2.
Klahn continued that momentum on Monday afternoon, storming past junior Austen Childs of Louisville, who entered the tournament unseeded but ranked No. 19 in the country.
After cruising to a quick 6-1 victory in the first set, Klahn fell behind 1-0 in the second set. The Poway, Calif., native responded by ripping off five straight games before Childs cut the lead to 5-2.
Serving for the match, Klahn was able to win the next game and secure the title.
Klahn won his final nine matches to end the year and 13 of his last 14 overall. He was 41-8 overall, 17-5 in duals, 23-8 against nationally-ranked opponents and 15-6 against Pac-10 foes.
In addition to earning All-America honors in singles, Klahn and partner Ryan Thacher received the same recognition in doubles after advancing to the semifinals.
Each of Stanford's nine NCAA singles champions since 1977 won their title in Athens, Ga. ... During his first two seasons, Bradley Klahn has compiled records of 76-17 (overall) and 37-10 (duals) ... Klahn played all 22 of his dual matches at the No. 1 spot this year. As a freshman in 2009, he was 7-1 at the No. 1 position and 13-4 at the No. 2 spot ... Klahn was 25-4 on neutral courts this year ... Klahn was 7-4 in three-set matches this season ... This marks the third straight season that a Stanford player has reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Singles Championships. Alex Clayton advanced to the semifinals in 2008 and the quarterfinals in 2009 ... Klahn was participating in his fourth singles championship match of the year (ITA Northwest Regionals on Oct. 27- defeated California's Pedro Zerbini 7-5, 6-3, Sherwood Cup on Jan. 17- defeated Baylor's Denes Lukcas 6-3, 6-4 and Pac-10 Championship on Apr. 25- lost to USC's Robert Farah 6-2, 7-6 (5) ... The highest-ranked opponent Klahn defeated this year was No. 2 Henrique Cunha of Duke. Klahn came away with a 6-2, 6-2 victory in the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship ... Klahn posted a 3-2 mark this year against players ranked in the top-10 at the time of the match ... Klahn's current nine-match winning streak matched his longest of the year, also winning nine straight from Jan. 15-Feb. 6.
No. 13 Bradley Klahn at the 2010 NCAA Singles Championship
May 26- First Round: d. No. 59 Artem Baradach (SMU) 6-3, 6-2
May 27- Second Round: d. No. 36 Boris Conkic (Tennessee) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
May 28- Round of 16: d. No. 4 Guillermo Gomez (Georgia Tech) 6-4, 6-4
May 29- Quarterfinals: d. No. 33 Marcel Thiemann (Mississippi) 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4
May 30- Semifinals: d. No. 2 Henrique Cunha (Duke) 6-2, 6-2
May 31- Championship: d. No. 19 Austen Childs (Louisville) 6-1, 6-2
No. 4 Bradley Klahn/Ryan Thacher at the 2010 NCAA Doubles Championship
May 27- First Round: d. No. 12 Boris Conkic/Rhyne Williams (Tennessee) 6-2, 6-2
May 28- Round of 16: d. No. 31 Jason Jung/Evan King (Michigan) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
May 29- Quarterfinals: d. No. 18 Andrei Daescu/Costin Paval (Oklahoma) 6-2, 7-6 (9)
May 30- Semifinals: lost to No. 14 Drew Courtney/Michael Shabaz (Virginia) 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7)
THEY SAID IT:
Bradley Klahn, Stanford:
"It hasn't fully soaked in yet. It is hard to put this moment into words. I just came out and tried to block out those thoughts. Once we started playing, I was able to loosen up and take it to him [opponent Austen Childs]. I was serving well and holding my serve. My goal was to put pressure on his serve and make him earn those games. There were a couple of break points early that I didn't get, but I didn't panic because I knew I would get those chances again."
"I heard the Louisville crowd yesterday, but they didn't faze me. I've played in other hostile environments. This is what college tennis is all about. I just stayed focused and let my racket do the talking. I knew I had to take it point by point and stay focused on my game and what I had to do to win."
John Whitlinger, Stanford head coach:
"This is an incredible achievement for one of the great kids in men's tennis. Bradley worked his way through the tournament and got here the right way. He had a couple of matches early that could have gone either way. But he got hot at the right time and finished off what has been a great year. It has been a privilege to coach him and it is a great honor for him to be here."
"Before the match, I told him to stay in the moment. You can't get caught up with what has happened before or what could happen in the future. You have to play each point and focus on the present."
Austen Childs, Louisville:
"[Klahn] played really well. He has a big forehand and was cranking winners all match. I tried to get him to his backhand, but just couldn't do it. I just didn't have the shots. In the second set, I tried to slow it down and he missed a few shots. Those gave me chances, but I couldn't capitalize. He finished really well."
"I played really well this week and I'm pretty happy. It wasn't a good draw for me at all. I had lost to nearly everyone that I had to play, but came out in the first round and that gave me a lot of confidence. Now I believe that I can come out and play with anybody. If I go out and compete, I know that I can beat anyone."