Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bay Area native, ex-Stanford star reach Fairfield final

   Last year's final in the $100,000 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger, held at Solano Community College for the first time, featured two international players.
   This year's title match in the Northbay Healthcare Men's Pro Championships will have a Northern California flair.
   Mackenzie McDonald, who was born and raised in Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, will meet Bradley Klahn, a former Stanford star from Poway in the San Diego region, for the first time on Sunday after the noon doubles final at Solano.
   McDonald defeated qualifier Chris O'Connell of Australia 6-4, 7-5 to reach his first Challenger final after seven semifinal losses. Although McDonald is only 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) and 145 pounds (66 kilograms), he slugged nine aces.
   Klahn dismissed fourth-seeded Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-1, 6-3 in a matchup of left-handers that lasted only 43 minutes. Marterer, who beat Klahn 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) last Sunday to win a $100,000 hard-court tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, had no aces and seven double faults.
   Both McDonald, 22, and Klahn, 27, are unseeded.
   McDonald turned pro last year after sweeping the NCAA singles and doubles titles as a UCLA junior. Now based in Los Angeles, he's ranked No. 218.
   Klahn seeks his sixth Challenger singles title but first since 2014. He is fighting his way back up the rankings after undergoing his second operation for a herniated disc in his back in February 2015 and missing 21 months. Ranked a career-high No. 63 in 2104, he is now No. 313.
   In last year's Fairfield final, Colombian veteran Santiago Giraldo defeated France's Quentin Halys, then 19, in three sets. The match was suspended by rain on a Sunday with Halys leading 3-1, ad-out, and completed the next day.
   Neither Giraldo, who climbed to a career-high No. 28 in 2014, nor Halys returned to Fairfield this year.
   Also Sunday, a team with strong NorCal ties will play for the doubles title. Wild cards Akram El Salally and Bernardo Oliveira, teammates at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, will meet second-seeded Luke Bambridge of Great Britain and David O'Hare of Ireland.
   El Salally, a sophomore from Egypt, and Oliveira, a senior from Brazil, edged unseeded Mikelis Libietis of Latvia and McDonald 7-6 (5), 4-6 [10-8].
   McDonald won last year's doubles crown with Brian Baker of Nashville, Tenn., and Libietis captured the 2014 NCAA doubles title with Tennessee teammate Hunter Reese.
   Here are the Fairfield singles and doubles draws and Sunday's schedule. The tournament is being streamed live.

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