Fanselow wins Calabasas tennis title

After Bradley Klahn disposed of former champion and sixth seed Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2 in the first semifinal at the $25,000 USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas, it was first seed Mackenzie McDonald’s chance to play opponent and fourth seed Sebastian Fanselow to reach the finals. 

Lucky for Fanselow, McDonald had to default due to illness and Fanselow cruised into the final and beat Klahn, a wild card entry, 6-3, 6-2.

Whether it was his serving, baseline attack or return game, Fanselow of Germany could do little wrong during Sunday’s championship match.  The 25-year-old, a former standout at Pepperdine who now resides in Los Angeles needed a little more than an hour to win the match, facing only one break point and winning 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.”

Sebastien Fanselow, with Jeff Richards and Steve McAvoy

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). 

Steven Lieberman
About Steven Lieberman 39 Articles
Steven LIeberman is a veteran sports/arts/entertainment journalist. Lieberman has covered entertainment and professional sports, Including the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, for the past 14 years. Among his entertainment work, Lieberman covers concerts, theatre and events.