Saturday, July 13, 2019

Ex-Stanford stars Gibbs, Klahn advance to singles finals

Nicole Gibbs, playing in Berkeley last July, is
competing in her first tournament since having
cancer surgery in May. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Nicole Gibbs and Bradley Klahn have much in common.
   Both are from Southern California. Both won NCAA singles titles at Stanford. Both have had major surgeries. And both reached singles finals on the USTA Pro Circuit today.
   The second-seeded Gibbs, playing her first tournament since having surgery for a rare cancer in the roof of her mouth in May, outlasted unseeded American Caroline Dolehide 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4 in the $60,000 Tennis Championships of Honolulu. The match lasted 2 hours, 41 minutes in 86-degree (30 Celsius) heat and 56 percent humidity.
   In the January/February issue of Tennis Magazine, International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin wrote of the 20-year-old Dolehide: "Her kick serve is already one of the best on tour. She's got so much power but also has all-court abilities, including net coverage. She's still maturing."
   The top-seeded Klahn, who underwent operations for a herniated disc in his back in 2011 and 2015, dispatched fourth-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-2, 6-3 in the $54,160 Nielsen Pro Tennis Championship in Winnetka, Ill.
   Istomin reached the fourth round of the 2017 Australian Open, stunning six-time champion Novak Djokovic in the second round. Istomin also reached the final of the 2012 SAP Open in San Jose, falling to Milos Raonic, and climbed to a career-high No. 33 later that year.
Bradley Klahn, playing in San Francisco early last year,
reached the singles final and won the doubles title in Win-
netka, Ill. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Klahn and JC Aragone won the Winnetka doubles crown, beating Christopher Eubanks and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 7-5, 6-4 in a matchup of unseeded American teams. Aragone and Kwiatkowski helped Virginia with three consecutive NCAA titles (2015-17).
   The 26-year-old Gibbs, ranked No. 129, is scheduled to play fifth-seeded Usue (pronounced OO-sway) Arconada, 20, of Naples, Fla., for the first time on Sunday.
   Arconada, ranked No. 214, beat unseeded Jamie Loeb, a 24-year-old product of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in New York, 6-2, 6-4.
   Gibbs reached the final of the $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge last July, losing to Sofia Kenin. Arconada teamed with Kenin to win the doubles title in the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger in 2017.
   Klahn, a 28-year-old left-hander ranked No. 87, is set to play 12th-seeded Jason Kubler of Australia on Sunday at noon (Tennis Channel). Kubler, ranked No. 188, beat 13th-seeded Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia by walkover.
   Klahn won his only previous match against Kubler 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals of the $75,000 Gatineau (Canada) Challenger last July en route to the title.
   Gibbs captured two NCAA titles in singles (2012 and 2013) and one in doubles (2012) before giving up her senior year and turning pro. Klahn won the 2010 NCAA singles crown as a sophomore and graduated in 2012.

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