Playing in his first major tournament, Stanford junior Bradley Klahn fell in the first round of the U.S. Open yesterday to a fellow American, 20th-seeded Sam Querrey, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Klahn, who was awarded a wild card invitation to the tournament as the reigning NCAA men’s singles champion, came into the match ranked No. 596 in world and was given little chance against the powerful six-foot-six Querrey. However, Stanford’s young lefty gave Querrey all he could on a 95-degree day in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Early in the match Klahn appeared nervous—he was broken in the match’s first game—but after dropping the first set and being struck in the groin by a Querrey backhand in the second set’s first game, Klahn gained some momentum and appeared to be up to Querrey’s challenge.
At 1-1 in the second set, Klahn was able to break Querrey and hold out for the remainder of the set to level the match at a set apiece.
On serve in the third set, Klahn had a chance to take a commanding lead with three break points. However, he failed on all three and Querrey was eventually able to break Klahn and take the third set.
Throughout the second half of the match Klahn was battling leg cramps, likely a product of the 100-plus degree weather in New York. Eventually a combination Querrey’s power and the heat overwhelmed Klahn.
For the match Querrey, who was actually a playing partner of Klahn’s this past summer, had 19 aces to Klahn’s six. While Klahn, who was consistently on the attack, had more winners than his opponent, he was ultimately undone by his 54 unforced errors.
Not all was lost for Stanford’s star. He did win his first round doubles match with partner Tim Smyczek over a pair of Frenchmen, Gael Monfils and Marc Gicquel, 6-1, 6-2.
Klahn and Smyczek shouldn’t bask in the glory for too long. Their second round match is with the world’s No. 1 doubles pair, Bob and Mike Bryan, a pair of Stanford alums.
In addition to Klahn, Stanford’s top women’s doubles team of senior Hilary Barte and recent graduate Lindsay Burdette received a wild-card entry into the women’s doubles draw. Barte and Burdette, the reigning NCAA champions in women’s doubles, fell in straight sets on Wednesday, 7-5, 6-3, to the 14th-seeded Russian duo of Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva.