Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Novikov, Klahn fall to seeds in Australian qualies

Bradley Klahn, practicing in 2015, lost to No. 31 seed
Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in three sets in the first round
of Australian Open qualifying. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Both men with strong Northern California ties in Australian Open qualifying lost to seeds in the first round on Tuesday in Melbourne.
   Dennis Novikov of Milpitas in the San Francisco Bay Area fell to No. 14 Tobias Kamke of Germany 7-6 (5), 6-4. Bradley Klahn, the 2010 NCAA singles champion from Stanford, succumbed to No. 31 Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3.
   Kamke, who won the 2010 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger, converted 1 of 6 break points. Novikov, a 23-year-old Moscow native, was 0 of 4.
   Fabbiano capitalized on 3 of 5 break points. Klahn, a 26-year-old left-hander from the San Diego suburb of Poway,  was 1 of 3. Klahn had 13 aces and three double faults.
   Klahn was trying to make his second main-draw appearance in the Australian Open and Novikov his first. Klahn lost to 22nd-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in four sets in the first round in 2014.
   Klahn returned to competition in November after missing almost two years with injuries. He underwent his second operation for a herniated disc in his back in February 2015.
   Ranked as high as No. 63 in March 2014, Klahn has tumbled to No. 855. Novikov, a former UCLA standout, is ranked No. 148.
   Women's qualifying begins today at 3 p.m. (PST), but there are no players with strong NorCal connections in the draw. Play in the men's and women's main draws begins Sunday.

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