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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Klahn Wins Challenger in Korea; Bangoura Takes Niceville Futures; Smyczek, Minella Claim $50K Challenger Titles

As promised, today's post will review the Pro Circuit results from last week and look at this week's final two events of the year in the United States.

Stanford's 2010 NCAA champion Bradley Klahn has made a push toward the ATP Top 100 this fall, and after reaching the final at the $50,000 Challenger in Australia and his title at the $35,000 Challenger in Korea last week, the 23-year-old Californian is now at 101, and in good position for the main draw at the Australian Open in January.  In Korea, the fourth-seeded Klahn defeated unseeded Taro Daniel of Japan 7-6(5), 6-2 for his second Challenger title of the year.  Klahn is also playing in Japan at a $50,000 Challenger this week, where he is again the No. 4 seed and has advanced to the second round.  2012 NCAA doubles champions from Ohio State Blaz Rola, who lost his first round singles match, and Chase Buchanan, a qualifier who won his, are playing doubles together for the first time since January and beat the No. 3 seeds in the first round.  US Open boys champion Borna Coric of Croatia, a wild card, also advanced to the second round.

Former Florida Gator Sekou Bangoura Jr. had played 17 Futures events this year, but hadn't gotten past the quarterfinals until last week in a $10,000 tournament in Niceville, Florida, where he won the title, his first. The eighth-seeded Bangoura, who will be 22 next week, defeated unseeded Eric Prodon of France, who retired in the final after losing the first set 7-6(9).  Fifteen-year-old Stefan Kozlov reached the quarterfinals, while 17-year-old Deiton Baughman got through four rounds of qualifying and won his first round match over No. 3 seed Nick Meister(UCLA). France's Alex Musialek(Kentucky) and Arthur Surreaux(New Mexico State) won the doubles title, beating South Africa's Damon Gooch(Elon) and Sweden's Lucas Renard 7-6(5), 6-4 in a final between two unseeded teams.

The $50,000 Knoxville Challenger singles title went to top seed Tim Smyczek, who beat unseeded Peter Polansky of Canada 6-4, 6-2 in the final.  Unseeded Tennys Sandgren, comfortable on the courts of his Alma Mater Tennessee, reached the semifinals before losing to Smyczek.  JP Smith, another former Volunteer, collected his sixth Challenger doubles title of the year, with he and fellow Australian Sam Groth, the top seeds, beating unseeded Polansky and Carsten Ball 6-7(6), 6-2, 10-7 in the final. Smith is now 74 in the ATP doubles rankings, number three among Australians behind John Peers(Baylor) and Paul Hanley.

The women closed out the year, in the United States at least, in Captiva Island, Florida, with Luxembourg's Mandy Minella taking the $50,000 tournament's singles title. Minella, the No. 2 seed, beat Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski, who was unseeded, 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Unseeded 18-year-old Allie Kiick reached the semifinals, but was then blanked by Minella. Top seeds Allie Will(Florida) and Dabrowski won the doubles title, beating unseeded Julia Boserup and Alexandra Mueller 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

The women are done for the year in the US, but the men have both a Futures and a Challenger this week.  The $50,000 Challenger in Champaign has already had its share of upsets after the first day, with top seed Smyczek, No. 4 seed Alex Kuznetsov and No. 5 seed Polansky going out to Erik Crepaldi of Italy, Dimitar Kutrovsky of Bulgaria (and Texas), and Dan Smethurst of Great Britain, respectively. Wild cards Marcos Giron(UCLA), Tim Kopinski and Jared Hiltzik(Illinois) play later tonight.  Kopinski and Ross Guignon, who were semifinalists at the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships this past weekend, received a doubles wild card and won their first round match Monday.

At the $10,000 Bradenton Futures, Ohio State's Devin McCarthy picked up the best win of his short professional career, beating top seed and ATP No. 257 Benjamin Balleret of Monaco 6-3, 6-4. US Open boys doubles champion Martin Redlicki earned his first ATP point with a 6-4, 6-1 win over fellow wild card Alejandro Tabilo of Canada. 2012 Orange Bowl 16s champion Andrey Rublev, who is seeded No. 6, also advanced to the second round. Only five first round singles matches were played today, with 11 more scheduled for Wednesday.

At the close of the year, the ATP now holds a Challenger Tour Finals in Brazil, and this year Oleksandr Nedovyesov, the former Oklahoma State Cowboy and ITA Player of the Year, will be participating, starting Wednesday. The ATP website filed this feature on Nedovyesov, who describes his college experience:

“I learned a lot there, especially how to live by myself,” Nedovyseov said. “I lived four and a half years away from my family and I didn’t take any money from my parents at the time. It was a really useful experience and if anyone asks me if I would do it again, I would definitely say yes.”


Just an observation said...

You failed to mention that Rola was the 2013 NCAA Singles champion as well.

tennisforlife said...

Pretty interesting to compare the year Klahn has had with Johnson's given they were direct college contemporaries. Johnson obviously hit the pro scene with a lot more fanfare than Klahn. Klahn has a 12 month record of 44 and 21 almost exclusively in challengers and futures and he got 2 WC's - one for the US Open. He is currently ranked a career high 101. Johnson's record is 16 and 23 in challengers and ATP events and he received 6 WC's. He is currently ranked 159 - 62 spots below his ranking high of 97. Klahn has played 25 more competitive matches than Johnson at what appears to be a more appropriate level from a development point of view and he is advancing nicely. Probably some good lessons here for whomever is guiding Johnson's career. The WC's are a double edged sword and there are no short cuts to the top 50. Flying under the radar screen can be a big advantage. Well done to him on a great year. Would be great to see him inside the top 50 on his way to the top 20!!

Klahn Fan said...

Klahn has done an amazing job this year. It's only his first full year on tour and he has a great chance to finish top 100! It's amazing no one ever talks about him. I think he is better and more consistent than Kudla, Johnson, and Williams.


Let'em Play said...

Is Klahn still coached by Lee Merry? I am sure PD is a phone calll away for him but I think he has stuck with his childhood Coach. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, very happy for Bradley. Keep it going!

Lefty Power said...

Lee Merry is still involved in his development, mostly as his hometown coach but Stanford Boster has taken more hands on approach with travel and training. Stanford has proven to be one of the best Pro Circuit coaches in the world, developing players from beginning pro ranks to ATP Tour level players.

Bradley is one of the nicest guys and happy to see him finish near or inside the Top 100 ATP.

Great point about wildcards, they are 100 times more of a curse then helpful. Wildcards never developed a player.

Yet another example that proves you can go still go 3-4 of college and still make Top 100 in the World.

Go Bradley

Sharpie said...

Bradley Klahn was coached by USTA PD coach Stan Boster during his Australia and Korea trip.

Minnesota said...

Bradley won again today so will finish in the Top 100 in the World.

With Sock losing another one set loss and tank effort, Bradley will finish the year higher than Harrison, Sock, Williams, Johnson and Kudla.

Bradley may finish as the 3rd or 4th ranked USA player. Great improvement and shows playing the correct schedule, not feeling like superstars from agents, not receiving alot of wildcards and keeping developing will always rise higher.

All these players have the ability to be in the Top 50 next year. I pray that they work to deserve it and not looking for shortcuts.