World No. 12 Gael Monfils had little trouble reminding Stanford junior Bradley Klahn who was the pro and who was the amateur on Wednesday night, dusting off the NCAA champion 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the SAP Open in San Jose.
The tall Frenchman showed power and incredible athleticism, blasting 140-mile-per-hour serves and dropping shots right and left past the junior from Poway, Calif.
Klahn, who was the recipient of a wild-card spot in the tournament, acknowledged that Monfils, the tournament No. 2 seed, was the master on this night.
“It was fun, he’s definitely the best player I’ve ever played against,” Klahn said in a post-match interview. “I think he had some fun running me around tonight.”
Klahn and Monfils squared off from the baseline for most of the match, as Klahn couldn’t convert first serves with great success all night, and was unable to break Monfils’ serve at any point.
Klahn was forced to be aggressive because of Monfils’ staggering athletic ability and strong defensive play, but the junior couldn’t rattle Monfils’ cage by trying to blast winners all night.
Despite the singles loss, Klahn is not done yet at the SAP Open, as he and fellow junior Ryan Thacher beat the No. 3 seed duo of Dustin Brown and Rogier Wassen 6-3, 6-7, 10-5 in a doubles match on Tuesday.
The Cardinal pair will take on Alejando Falla and Xavier Malisse Thursday afternoon at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.