Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Klahn advances in Australian Open qualifying

Bradley Klahn will face Michal Przysiezny
of Poland in the second round of Australian
Open qualifying. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   If Bradley Klahn plays in the main draw of the Australian Open for the second consecutive year, he'll have to qualify this time.
   The former Stanford star, seeded 30th, took the first step with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain on Wednesday in Melbourne (Tuesday in the United States).
   Klahn, a 24-year-old left-hander from Poway in the San Diego area, will face Michal Przysiezny of Poland for the first time on Friday (Thursday in the U.S.) in the second round. Przysiezny, 30, outlasted Jurgen Zopp of Estonia 4-6, 6-3, 9-7.
   Players must win three qualifying matches to advance to the main draw, which begins Monday (Sunday in the U.S.).
   Klahn and Przysiezny had remarkably similar years in 2014, plunging in the rankings largely because of injuries after reaching career highs within six places of each other.
   Klahn has fallen from No. 63 in March to No. 150 and Przysiezny from No. 57 last January to No. 170. In the first half of 2014, Przysiezny lost in the first round of 11 consecutive tournaments and Klahn eight. In the fall, Przysiezny rebounded with an amazing tournament in Tokyo on the ATP World Tour and Klahn with the title in the $50,000 Traralgon (Australia) Challenger.
   Przysiezny, a qualifier in singles and doubles (with Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France) in Tokyo, recorded the biggest win of his career with an upset of then-No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round and stunned top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan en route to his first career ATP doubles title.
   Klahn gained direct entry into last year's Australian Open, losing to 22nd-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Dimitrov went on to the reach the quarterfinals before losing to top seed and 2009 champion Rafael Nadal.
   Klahn made his Australian Open debut in 2013, falling in the second round of qualifying.

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