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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stanford Topples No. 2 Texas 4-3

©Colette Lewis 2009--
Chicago, IL--

For the second time in two days, the No. 11 Stanford team dropped the doubles point, but came back to win four of the six singles matches to score an upset. Against No. 7 Florida on Friday, the Cardinal won the final match at No. 6; this morning, which actually finished this afternoon, it was No. 2 singles that decided the winner.

Cardinal freshman Bradley Klahn saved three match points in the second set tiebreaker against Kellen Damico, then went on to outlast the cramping Texas sophomore 1-6, 7-6(8), 7-5.

Klahn served for the match after getting a break at 4-4 in the third, and it was in that ninth game that Damico looked to be suffering from some stiffness in his legs. But Klahn won only one point on his serve to make it 5-5, and in the next game, at 30-30, Damico collapsed behind the baseline with leg cramps. After the trainer came to the court and Damico received treatment, he was able to continue, but with limited mobility, and he lost the next point to give Klahn a second chance to serve it out. Even with Damico unable to move, he parried a remarkable number of Klahn's ground strokes, but at 40-15, Damico went for broke on a forehand, and it caught the net, sending Klahn's teammates and coaches into their second celebration in two days.

The first sets in singles were evenly split, with three first sets to Texas and three to Stanford, meaning that the Longhorns were in the driver's seat, needing to win only the matches that they led. And except for the turnaround on No. 2, they did. After Richard Wire at No. 5 and Alex Clayton at No. 1 had given Stanford a 2-1 lead, Texas's Josh Zavala eased past Stanford's hero from Friday, Blake Muller to make it 2-2. Ryan Thacher at No. 4 gave Stanford a 3-2 lead, and with Matt Bruch earning a split with Ed Corrie, the Cardinal had two chances to close out the Longhorns. But Bruch, who served for the match at 6-5, threw in three double faults during a three-deuce game, never earning a match point, and Corrie took the tiebreaker for a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4) decision that turned all eyes to the dramatics on adjoining court 2.

For complete scores, see the ITA website.


Stanford93 said...

I'm a Stanford alum (93) and was happy to watch our boys win another match they weren't expected to. Sadly our response to the win was disgraceful. Brad Klahn deserves great credit for his efforts but someone needs to sit him down and tell him that when your win comes in the face of a crippling injury to your opponent you don't rub it in by celebrating like you've just won the NCAAs. It was crass, tacky and showed a distinct lack of class and lack of respect for an opponent who had refused to just concede the match.

Stanford, we can and should be doing better than that.

Colette Lewis said...

Stanford 93:
I disagree with your assessment of the behavior of Klahn. I thought he handled the unfortunate conclusion to the match appropriately. This is the Indoor equivalent to the NCAAs and to show emotion when you've come back from match points down to put your team in the semifinals is nothing to be ashamed of.

Robert said...

I'm with Collette on this one.
You can be certain that Damico's reaction would have been at least as exuberant as Klahn's. He's no angel on the court. But then again they're 2-3 years out of high school.

texasdude said...

It would have been a more classy reactions if it was Clayton or Thacher .That says a lot about character.
I'm sure Damico, will remember it .

collegetennisfan said...

You obviously don't know Damico's reputation for 1. pulling the cramping routine on multiple similar situations and 2. his intimidation tactics. Damico taunted Klahn on the changeovers throughout the match. Klahn is a freshman and reacted with excitement on the team win as did all his teammates. He showed no disrespect to his opponent.