Saturday, January 27, 2018

Klahn in 150K semis; wedding bells for Tomljanovic?

Stanford graduate Bradley Klahn reached the semifinals
of a $150,000 Challenger in Newport Beach, Calif.
File photo by Paul Bauman
   Two former NCAA singles champions from Stanford now based in the Los Angeles area, one man and one woman, played on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach (Calif.).
   One advanced.
   Unseeded Bradley Klahn, a 27-year-old left-hander, defeated 18-year-old Serbian sensation Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (7), 6-1. Unseeded Nicole Gibbs lost to seventh-seeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a matchup of 24-year-olds.
   Both tournaments offer $150,000 in prize money.
   Mercurial Australian Nick Kyrgios reportedly will propose to Tomljanovic soon, perhaps on her May 7 birthday, after the couple broke up last July when Kyrgios was spotted leaving a London nightclub with two glamorous teenage female friends.
   Both Klahn (back) and Tomljanovic (right shoulder) are former top-70 players fighting back from surgery.
   Tomljanovic withdrew from the final of the $60,000 Sacramento Challenger against 15-year-old U.S. phenom Amanda Anisimova last July with a right shoulder injury.
Ajla Tomljanovic, playing in the quarterfinals of the $60,000 Sacramento Chal-
lenger last July, reportedly will receive a marriage proposal from mercurial
Australian Nick Kyrgios soon. Photo by Rob Vomund
   Klahn will play 21-year-old Chilean qualifier Christian Garin, who topped 2016 Tiburon Challenger champion Darian King of Barbados 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
   Garin won the 2013 French Open boys title, beating current world No. 4 Alexander Zverev.
   Two of the United States' top prospects, third-seeded Taylor Fritz and 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) wild card Reilly Opelka, will meet in the other semifinal.
   Klahn won the 2010 NCAA singles title as a sophomore before undergoing the first of his two operations for a herniated disc in his back and graduated in economics in 2012.
   Gibbs captured the NCAA singles and doubles titles in 2012, added the NCAA singles crown in 2013 as a junior and then turned pro.
   Tomljanovic will take on another two-time NCAA singles champion, American Danielle Collins (Virginia, 2014 and 2016). Two qualifiers, Mayo Hibi of Japan and Sofya Zhuk of Russia, will meet in the other semi.
   Hibi, who grew up in Irvine in the Los Angeles area, won the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger in 2013 at age 17. Zhuk won the Wimbledon girls title in 2015 at age 15.

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