Wednesday at the KPSF Open was a day of clutch performances from nearly every match winner, the tension is soaring as we head into the final four days of the tournament. Up first on Kunal Patel Stadium Court was former Stanford #1 Bradley Klahn against fellow American Mitchell Krueger. With so many US players advancing in the first round, the domestic matchup will be a common theme over the next two days.
Krueger and Klahn had a battle in the first set, with Krueger eventually pulling out a 7-4 tiebreak. After going down 1-4 in the second set it appeared Klahn’s tournament was coming to an end, but with a few winners and some motivating fist pumps, he was able to turn things around and come out with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory. That kind of adversity can inspire a player for the rest of the week. Keep an eye on Klahn as we move toward championship weekend.
On the doubles side of the draw we saw 4 matches on the day and 4 match tiebreaks. Perhaps the most exciting being the local team of Andre Dome and Nicholas Brunner in the night session opener. Dome and Brunner won the Wildcard Challenge tournament to get into the draw and looked like they might be out of place early in the match, losing the first set 6-3. With the crowd doing everything they could to fire up the home pair, Dome and Brunner gutted out the second set for a 7-5 win. Sadly, they were unable to complete the comeback and fell in the match tiebreak 10-5, but certainly did themselves proud.
The final match of the night was highly anticipated and didn’t disappoint. ATP NextGen player Michael Mmoh took on former Georgia Tech star Chris Eubanks in another USA-USA clash. Eubanks only officially turned pro in October of last year but has some fantastic results on tour already and a bright future as a tour pro ahead of him. Eubanks has become a bit of a fan favorite here in San Francisco thanks to his monster serve and powerful groundstrokes. Those were on full display tonight, but Mmoh’s consistency and shot making abilities were just too much to overcome. He won the match with a close 6-4, 6-4 final score and will go on to try to match his semifinal appearance from last year’s KPSF.
Thursday is the point in the week where every match could be a feature match, I highly recommend being here all day if you can. If you have to miss daytime tennis and go to work, you’ll have some great matches waiting for you after 5 PM. Danny Thomas takes on Filip Peliwo of Canada in a not-before 5 PM match. They’ll be followed by two outstanding doubles matches, but the one everyone will be waiting for is the return of Mackenzie McDonald to center court. He’ll take on a tough opponent in Jason Jung. Jung officially represents Chinese Taipei in international competition, but was born in Torrance, CA and attended the University of Michigan. With a narrow 4-6, 4-6 loss to Kei Nishikori in last week’s Dallas Challenger semifinal, Jung will be hungry to advance to the later rounds here.