The Stanford men’s tennis team remained undefeated on Tuesday afternoon, defeating Fresno State—and the tricky weather conditions—at the Taube Tennis Stadium. The No. 8 Cardinal (7-0) was able to gut out a tightly fought victory over a feisty Bulldog team (4-4) and a stiff wind, prevailing by a score of 5-2.
Bradley Klahn, a junior and Stanford’s No. 1 player, rebounded well from his first singles loss of the 2011 season last weekend at Cal, helping to lead the Cardinal to victory on Tuesday. The reigning NCAA singles champion defeated the Fresno State senior from South Africa, Rikus de Villers, in three sets.
With his normal doubles partner, junior Ryan Thacher, sitting out, Klahn also teamed up with freshman Jamin Ball to handily defeat the Philippines’s Francis Alcantara and France’s Jean-Charles Diame at No. 2 doubles, 8-2.
Cardinal sophomores Matt Kandath and Dennis Lin both had excellent days as well, each achieving victories in singles play and teaming up to win in doubles. Both of their singles matches went the full three sets. The matchup was competitive, with four of the singles matches going three sets.
This match took place at a very distinct point in the schedule for the Cardinal, falling directly after its contest against rival Cal and directly before the National Team Indoor Championships, which take place this weekend in Seattle, featuring 15 out of the 16 top-ranked teams in the country.
Klahn had a lot to say about the victory and where the Cardinal is in its season.
“It could have been a letdown for the team, what with playing Cal on Saturday and the National Indoor Tournament this coming weekend,” he said. “So I thought we really needed to come out and focus. Fresno State played a good match, they took four first sets from us, and we had to battle back all day. I think the confidence of our team really showed itself out there.”
Klahn also spoke briefly about Stanford’s big win over then-No. 18 Cal last Saturday, and how he felt—personally—after suffering his first defeat of the dual-match season against Cal’s No. 1 singles player, Pedro Zerbini.
“It felt good to get back on the court after Cal and my first loss of the season, which was tough, but you know, we still had a great team win, and that’s what’s most important,” he said.
After these last two wins, Stanford is in a nice position in the early part of its season, sitting at 7-0 and securely within the top 10 of the national rankings at No. 8.
The team’s mettle will be tested this coming weekend up in Seattle, starting on Friday afternoon when, in the round of 16, the Cardinal is set to battle the No. 11 Florida Gators.