Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ex-Stanford star Klahn loses French Open battle

Bradley Klahn fell to wild card
Axel Michon in five sets in the
first round of the French Open.
2103 photo by Paul Bauman
   For a clay-court novice, Bradley Klahn put up a good fight today.
   In a battle of 23-year-old left-handers, the 2010 NCAA singles champion from Stanford lost to wild card Axel Michon of France 6-1, 6-7 (4), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the French Open in Paris.
   Klahn, from Poway in the San Diego area, is ranked No. 71 in the world and Michon No. 206. But Michon grew up on clay. For Klahn, clay is something you played with as a kid.
   Klahn played in his first main-draw match at Roland Garros and second overall. He lost to Augustin Velotti of Argentina in the first round of qualifying last year.
   Furthermore, Klahn played for the first time since losing to Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the opening round at Miami on a hardcourt in March. Garcia-Lopez upset third seed and reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the French Open on Monday.
   Klahn has lost his last four singles matches, all at the Grand Slam or ATP World Tour level. He hasn't won since taking the Adelaide title in February for his second straight Challenger crown.
   Klahn also lost in the first round of doubles in Paris, falling with Neal Skupski of Great Britain to Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia and Michail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 7-6 (5), 6-4.
   Another former Stanford star, 32-year-old doubles specialist Scott Lipsky of Irvine, advanced with Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico. They topped Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins of Great Britain 7-6 (5), 6-4.
   Hutchins, a 29-year-old doubles specialist, missed last year with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Lipsky won the 2011 French Open mixed doubles title with Casey Dellacqua of Australia.
   Gonzalez and Lipsky could face fifth seeds and 2013 runners-up Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut of France in the second round.

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