Friday, January 7, 2022

Stanford grad still eyes return from third back surgery

Bradley Klahn, playing in San Francisco in 2018, hopes to return
to competition in three or four months. Photo by Paul Bauman 
   Despite a setback in the fall, Bradley Klahn still hopes to return from his third back operation.
   The Stanford graduate had surgery for the same herniated disc in December 2020. He began hitting last August but stopped in October.
   "It wasn't as if I was in a large amount of pain, but I knew something was off," Klahn, 31, said on the phone today from his home in Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area. "Something just didn't quite feel right when I was hitting, and it was much better for me to nip that in the bud. I caught it early. I adjusted, I got stronger in my back, and now I'm able to give it another go."
   Klahn resumed hitting 10 days ago. 
   "I'm feeling pretty healthy and strong," the 2010 NCAA singles champion said. "I'm cautiously optimistic that things are starting to break the right way."
    A 6-foot (1.83-meter) left-hander with a wicked serve and forehand, Klahn has plunged from a career-high No. 63 in 2014 to No. 326. 
   Klahn, who has been out since late September 2020, hopes to return to competition in three or four months.
   "So far so good," said Klahn, who warmed up Roger Federer for his meeting with lefty Rafael Nadal in the epic 2008 Wimbledon final. "I've been warned, and I know from experience to stop if I have pain. I want to get back to play — I'm doing everything I can — but it's not worth sacrificing my health for the rest of my life just for a few more years of tennis. I've got a long life ahead of me."
   College — The University of California, Berkeley women are ranked No. 9 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's first preseason coaches poll of the year. The Stanford men and women are No. 16 and No. 17, respectively.
   The reigning NCAA champion Florida men and Texas women top the rankings. NCAA singles champion Sam Riffice, a Sacramento, Calif., native, returns to the Gators for his senior season. The Longhorns feature identical twins Allura and Bella Zamarripa, freshmen from St. Helena in the Napa region.

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