M. Tennis: Klahn and Lin both still alive at Pac-10 Championships

April 29, 2011, 1:48 a.m.

The members of the Stanford men’s tennis team selected to participate in the Pac-10 Championships enjoyed a successful day in Ojai, Calif. on Thursday, going undefeated in the early rounds of Thursday’s singles action. The tournament is a non-team event, with singles and doubles crowns awarded to the winners of those two respective tournaments.

M. Tennis: Klahn and Lin both still alive at Pac-10 Championships
Sophomore Denis Lin sprung an upset over fifth-seeded Daniel Nguyen on Thursday and advanced into the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif. (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

The Cardinal, as a team, has not lost for more than a month, with its most recent defeat coming against Baylor back on March 25. In that span, the team has played—10 matches, its longest winning streak since 2003. The wave of momentum has also boosted the team all the way up to No. 6 in the country.

The team will take a few weeks off until the NCAA Championships begin May 19 at Taube Tennis Center, where it will try to continue that streak and finish what has already been a historic season in style.

In individual tournaments, matchups are not determined by team, so players from the same school often face off against each other. Luckily for the Cardinal, which has five players entered in the singles draw and three teams in doubles, this scenario did not happen on Thursday.

Four of the five individual Stanford participants made it to the second round, through the round of 32 and into the round of 16. No. 2 junior Bradley Klahn, No. 4 junior Ryan Thacher, senior Alex Clayton and sophomore Dennis Lin all survived in straight sets. Sophomore Matt Kandath, playing in his first Pac-10 Championship, fell to USC foe Raymond Sarmiento in the opening round. The doubles draw is slated to begin today.

Klahn, Thacher and Clayton all have experience in this event, with Klahn winning as a freshman back in 2009 and reaching the semifinals last year—Klahn and Thacher took home the doubles crown that year as well. The Stanford junior, who is also the reigning NCAA singles champion, is one of the favorites to bring home at least one trophy this weekend.

In the second round of the singles tournament, completed late Thursday afternoon, two of the remaining Stanford players fell. Clayton was the first to lose, falling victim to UCLA’s fifth-seeded Amit Inbar in two closely contested sets. Teammate Thacher joined him in the ranks of the defeated, succumbing to another Bruin, Adrian Puget, in the match of the day—three very tight sets, ultimately ending in a tie-breaker in the final set.

But offsetting those two losses were victories by both Klahn and Lin in the round of 16, with Klahn defeating Oregon’s Robin Cambier in three sets and Lin taking down USC’s Daniel Nguyen in two tiebreaker-sets. The two remaining Cardinal players are on the same half of the draw, meaning that if they both were to win today’s Elite Eight matches, the two would face off against each other in the semifinals.

The Pac-10 Championships will continue today at the Ojai Valley Tennis Club with Lin squaring off against Cal’s Nick Andrews and Klahn facing USC’s Ray Sarmiento. Both matches begin at noon.


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