Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Klahn, Jovic lose heartbreakers in French Open qualies

Stanford graduate Bradley Klahn won only two of 14 break
points against Roman Safiullin of Russia in the first round
of French Open qualifying. File photo by Paul Bauman
   Two players with Northern California ties suffered tough losses today in the first round of French Open qualifying.
   Stanford graduate Bradley Klahn, seeded 22nd, fell to Roman Safiullin of Russia 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in 2 hours, 11 minutes in Paris.
   Safiullin, making his French Open debut at 23, held serve in the last game after trailing 0-40 and saving a fourth break point. Klahn, a 30-year-old left-hander based in Los Angeles, won only two of 14 break points.
   Jovana (Jaksic) Jovic, a 26-year-old Sacramento, Calif., resident from Serbia, lost to Ankita Raina, the top Indian at No. 176, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in 2 hours, 47 minutes. Raina, only 5-foot-4 (1.62 meters), broke serve in the last game.
   Klahn, ranked No. 135, and Jovic, ranked No. 234, climbed as high as No. 63 and No. 102, respectively, in 2014 before injuries derailed their careers.
   Safiullin, who won the Cherbourg Challenger in February, is ranked No. 190.
   ATP Tour — Second-seeded Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley, and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain endured an even tougher loss in the opening round of doubles in the Hamburg European Open.
   Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Nikola Mektic of Croatia, the runners-up in the recent U.S. Open, saved a match point in their 6-4, 6-7 (0) [12-10] victory over Ram and Salisbury, the reigning Australian Open champions.
   Meanwhile, Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania advanced when top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia retired at 6-6 because of Cabal's right hip injury. Both teams have won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open for their two Grand Slam men's doubles titles. 
   WTA Tour — Third-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan beat Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia and Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
   Aoyama and Shibahara, a native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area who starred at UCLA, are scheduled to play Kateryna Bondarenko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian mother of two, and Sharon Fichman of Canada on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. 

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