By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Bradley Klahn was motivated. The crowd, all of his teammates and more than a handful of frat buddies, was behind him and he was playing tennis in a professional venue.
"They're used to the dual meets where you can make a lot of noise," Klahn said smiling. "They like to have some fun. It was a great crowd."
The Stanford junior won a few points but ultimately fell to the world's No. 12 player, Gael Monfils of France, 6-2, 6-2, in the first round of the SAP Open at HP Pavilion Wednesday night.
"At this stage it's all about taking away any positives," Klahn said. "I try to learn as much as I can from these guys and soak in as much as I can as I continue to get better with each new experience."
Klahn and Monfils are no strangers. They played against each other in a doubles match at the U.S. Open last September. It was Klahn's reward for winning the NCAA singles championship.
"I had to be ready to play," Monfils said. "Here he was with his buddies and he was pumped."
Monfils moves on to play qualifier Robert Kendrick in the second round. Klahn, ranked 792nd, gets another opportunity to play with doubles partner Ryan Thacher against Alejandro Falla and Xavier Malisse on Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals.
They won't have to worry about playing against BYU on Friday though, as that match has been postponed to later in the season. They could, however, face a conflict against Stanford's match at Cal on Saturday.
After winning Tuesday night, Klahn didn't have much time to enjoy the victory. He had to rush back to campus and deliver a speech to his public speaking class.
"I had to make Ryan drive so I could pull up the speech on my computer and try to memorize it," he said. "It was hard to switch mindsets from playing in a big professional tournament back to the classroom in a hour. I took some heat for that one."
The Stanford doubles team earned 45 tour points for reaching the quarterfinals and could double that with a win Thursday. The prize money, minus expenses, will have to be returned so they can keep their amateur status.
Against Monfils, Klahn recorded an ace in the second set, won 62 percent of his first serve points (Monfils won 93 percent) and even saved a couple of break points.