CALABASAS, Calif., — Whether it was his serving, baseline attack or return game, Sebastian Fanselow of Germany could do little wrong during Sunday’s championship match of the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas.
The 25-year-old Fanselow, a former standout at Pepperdine who now resides in Los Angeles, played almost flawlessly in defeating Bradley Klahn of Poway, Calif., 6-3, 6-2 at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center. Fanselow, who needed a little more than an hour to win the match, faced only one break point and won 75 percent of the points when putting his first serve in play.
Fanselow, who joins other notable stars like Michael Chang and Mark Philippoussis to win at Calabasas, secured his third ITF Futures title this year. It’s a trend Fanselow hopes can continue.
“I think 2017 has been a great year so far for me,” said Fanselow, whose other two tournament victories came in Jakarta, Indonesia in February. “By the wins you pick up you gain confidence. My confidence level now is very high.”
Fanselow, ranked No. 386, entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed and did not drop a set in his four matches. He maintained that high level of play on Sunday.
I felt I was able to execute fairly well and make (Klahn) feel uncomfortable for most of the match,” Fanselow said. “I think the biggest thing with him is to get his serve back and put as many balls in the court as possible off the return. I felt I was able to do that and once I got into the rally I had a bit of the upper hand today.”
The loss marked the second time Klahn has finished as the runner-up at Calabasas. The former Stanford star lost in the 2013 final to Sanam Singh of India.
For the 763rd-ranked Klahn, who was granted a wild card into the event, it was a disappointing loss following four impressive wins to reach the final. The 26-year-old left-hander, who was once ranked No. 63 in the world in 2014 and has played in the U.S. Open three times, is starting to find his winning form after missing most of the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to back surgery.
“I wasn’t able to get into my game plan like I had been in my previous four matches,” said Klahn as he spoke to the crowd just before the awards ceremony.
Klahn did bounce back from losing in the singles final to capture the doubles championship later in the afternoon. Playing alongside fellow American Connor Smith, the No. 4 seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Farris Fathi Gosea of Great Britain and Alex Lawson of the United States 6-4, 6-7 (5, 10-5.
Sunday’s Singles Final
Sebastian Fanselow (4), GER def. Bradley Klahn, USA (wc) 6-3, 6-2.
Sunday’s Doubles Final
Bradley Klahn, USA / Connor Smith (4), USA def. Farris Fathi Gosea, GBR / Alex Lawson (2), USA, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-5.