Bradley Klahn earned a US Open wild card with his strong results over the last four weeks on the USTA Pro Circuit.
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By Sally Milano, USTA.com
It was a big week for former Stanford University star Bradley Klahn. The 22-year-old from Poway, Calif., captured the first Challenger title of his career by winning the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, held Aug. 3-11 in Aptos, Calif., and earned a wild card into the 2013 US Open in the process by racking up the most ATP points of any U.S. men's player competing the last four weeks on the USTA Pro Circuit.
For the second straight year, a US Open wild card was awarded to the American man who earned the most ranking points in two of four USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events -- the $50,000 events in Binghamton, N.Y., and Lexington, Ky., and the $100,000 events in Vancouver, B.C., and Aptos.
Klahn clinched the wild card by defeating Wayne Odesnik in the Aptos quarterfinals. Overall, he earned a combined 148 points with his best two results, picking up 48 points by reaching the Binghamton final and tallying 100 points for winning the Aptos title.
"It’s a really good feeling," Klahn said. "It shows I’ve come a long way."
Alex Kuznetsov had been leading the US Open wild-card standings heading into Aptos; he finished in second place. Kuznetsov, who won the USTA's French Open wild card in May with solid USTA Pro Circuit results, earned 80 points by winning Binghamton but did not score any points in the other three tournaments.
Klahn won the 2010 NCAA men’s singles title for Stanford, the school’s 14th collegiate singles title and first singles title since 2000. He was also an All-American in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and was named the ITA National Rookie of the Year for the 2008-09 season.
Following his pro debut in 2012, Klahn received a wild card into qualifying at the 2012 US Open and went on to win three matches to advance to the main draw. In the US Open main draw, he upset Top 50 player and fellow lefty Jurgen Melzer in the first round in five sets. In doing so, he became the first men’s qualifying wild card to win a round at the US Open.
Klahn is currently ranked a career-high No. 123, climbing more than 130 places in the ATP World Tour Rankings since the beginning of the year. He won his first career USTA Pro Circuit singles title in 2013 at the $15,000 Futures in Costa Mesa, Calif., and also reached the final of the $50,000 Challengers in Binghamton and Winnetka, Ill. Earlier this year, Klahn served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team in Jacksonville, Fla., where the United States defeated Brazil.
Klahn started playing tennis when he was 11 years old after his mother, who played tennis at Iowa, signed him up for a summer round-robin league.
Two weeks ago, Shelby Rogers secured the women’s 2013 US Open wild card.
The USTA first used this wild-card format for its 2012 French Open wild cards, won by Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker, who each advanced to the second round at last year’s French Open and subsequently broke into the Top 100. The USTA also used this format to grant a men’s and women’s main-draw wild card into the 2012 US Open, which was won by Steve Johnson and Mallory Burdette, who both reached the third round of the US Open, as well as the 2013 French Open, which was won by Kuznetsov and Rogers.