Stanford sophomore Bradley Klahn
© Stanford Athletics
Klahn was named to the All-Pac 10 Team for the second straight year
© Stanford Athletics
Klahn was ranked No. 1 in the country as a junior
© Stanford Athletics
Stanford sophomore Bradley Klahn is currently ranked 13th in singles and fourth in doubles in the ITA Men's Division I Rankings. Klahn, the No. 1 singles player for the Cardinal, was named to the All Pac-10 Team for the second straight year following a rookie season in which he also received Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors. A lefty from Poway, Calif., Klahn recently took time to answer some questions for USTA.com about his decision to attend Stanford, how he balances his time as a student-athlete and more.
USTA.com: How did you get started in tennis?
Bradley Klahn: I got started in tennis at the age of 11, when my mom signed me up for a summer round-robin league. I had played a little before on family vacations but was more interested in baseball, basketball and soccer up to that point.
USTA.com: You were one of the top recruits in the class of 2008. Tell us a little about the recruiting process and why you chose Stanford.
Bradley Klahn: I chose Stanford because of its combination of academics and athletics. After taking an unofficial visit in the spring of my junior year, I knew it was the right place for me. The guys on the team really made an effort to stay in contact with me throughout the recruiting process, and I felt that I fit in well with the team. It is also close to home, so my parents and coach can still see me a fair amount.
USTA.com: Did you ever think about going pro right from juniors, or did you always know you wanted to go to college? Was that a hard decision for you to make?
Bradley Klahn: Growing up, I always knew I wanted to go to college. My parents have always stressed the importance of receiving a good education and keeping up with my studies, so going pro right from the juniors never crossed my mind. After taking unofficial visits and seeing what college tennis is all about, I instantly knew that it was an opportunity I did not want to pass up.
USTA.com: Former Georgia star John Isner is having an amazing year on the ATP Tour. How does that help college tennis and junior players making their college choices?
Bradley Klahn: I think that his success has been great for college tennis because it shows that you can go to school for four years and still go on to be successful at the professional level. There are a lot of benefits from going to college, and it allows you to continue working on your game while getting an education.
USTA.com: You have had an outstanding year so far in singles and in doubles, plus your team has returned to the top 10. What are your goals for yourself and for your team this season?
Bradley Klahn: My goals for the team are for us to keep improving each day and continuing to work toward playing our best tennis at the end of May. Ultimately, our goal is to win the NCAA’s, but there is so much parity in college tennis this year, and a number of teams can win it all. As a team, our goal is to continue to give it everything we have for these last two months of the season and be able to look back on this year, win or lose, with no regrets. My goals for myself are to continue to develop my game and be an All-American in singles and doubles.
USTA.com: There are a lot of great rivalries in the Pac-10. Which match do you look forward to the most?
Bradley Klahn: I would have to say that I look forward to the USC and UCLA matches the most. We have had some great wins and also some tough defeats against each team, but every match is always competitive and brings out the best in both teams.
USTA.com: What team has the toughest crowd to play in front of?
Bradley Klahn: So far, I would say USC has been the toughest crowd. The road trip to Los Angeles is always one of the toughest of the year, and the fans at USC are always loud and rowdy.
USTA.com: As a student-athlete, free time is tough to find. How do you balance your academics, tennis and personal life?
Bradley Klahn: At Stanford, I always feel like there is not enough free time. It’s important for me to use my time efficiently and focus 100 percent of my attention on what I am doing at that time, whether it be tennis or academics. Being in a fraternity also takes care of my social life and allows me to get away from the daily stresses of being a student-athlete at Stanford.
USTA.com: What’s the best thing about college tennis and about Stanford?
Bradley Klahn: The best thing about college tennis is playing for something greater than yourself. Being on a team and representing your school is an incredible opportunity because tennis is normally such an individual sport. The best thing about Stanford is being surrounded by incredibly intelligent and successful people and the friendships I’ve developed in my two years on the Farm.
USTA.com: What advice do you have for junior tennis players who want to play in college?
Bradley Klahn: The most important thing when going through the recruiting process is to relax and enjoy it and to continue to have fun and improve your game. Make sure to get as much information about the school and the program as you can, and see how well you interact with the team. Your teammates are going to be some of your best friends for the next four years, so it is important that you feel comfortable around them.