Friday, November 15, 2019

Bellis, Klahn, Brooksby lose in Houston Challenger

Qualifier CiCi Bellis, a 20-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product, lost to third-
 seeded Kirsten Flipkens, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2013, 6-4, 6-4 today in the
third round of the Oracle Challenger Series in Houston. 2018 photo by Mal Taam
   All three players with Northern California connections lost today in the third round of the $162,480 Oracle Challenger Series in Houston.
   Qualifier CiCi Bellis, a 20-year-old San Francisco native who grew up in nearby Atherton, fell to third-seeded Kirsten Flipkens, a 33-year-old Belgian, 6-4, 6-4 after Thursday's matches were rained out.
   Flipkens, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2013, then topped sixth-seeded Caty McNally, 17, of Cincinnati 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
   Bellis played in her first tournament since undergoing three surgeries on her right wrist and one operation on her right elbow and missing 19 months. She was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2017 after reaching a career-high No. 35.
   Second seed and defending champion Bradley Klahn, a 29-year-old Stanford graduate, lost to 14th-seeded Michael Mmoh of Bradenton, Fla., 5-7, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).
   Klahn, a left-hander who reached the second round of the U.S. Open in August, pounded 16 aces, won 80 percent of the points on his first serve (59 of 74) and faced only one break point, which he lost.
   Mmoh subsequently fell to sixth-seeded Christopher O'Connell of Australia 5-0, retired, ending the American's winning streak at eight matches. O'Connell won last month's $108,320 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger.
   Thirteenth-seeded Jenson Brooksby, 19, of Carmichael in the Sacramento area succumbed to fourth-seeded Marcos Giron of Thousand Oaks in the Los Angeles region 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
   Giron then beat Jason Jung, a native of Torrance in the Los Angeles area who plays for Chinese Taipei, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
   Brooksby shocked Tomas Berdych, the Wimbledon runner-up in 2010, in the first round of the U.S. Open. Berdych had missed most of the previous 14 months because of a back injury.
   That apparently will be the last match of Berdych's career. He has not played since then and reportedly will announce his retirement on Saturday at 34.
   Giron, the 2014 NCAA singles champion from UCLA, has soared from No. 308 at the end of last year to No. 123. He reached the third round of the prestigious BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March as a qualifier, beating then-No. 24 Alex de Minaur and then-No. 37 Jeremy Chardy.
   College signingAryan Chaudhary of Santa Clara has signed a letter of intent to attend nearby Stanford.

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