Bradley Klahn recorded four wins at Wimbledon earlier this summer – three in qualifying and one in the opening round of what was his first Grand Slam main-draw appearance since 2014. If he can match that win total at the US Open, the former NCAA champion will find himself in the quarterfinals, as he has now earned the luxury of a main-draw wild card into the year’s final major.
The 27-year-old won the US Open Wild Card Challenge on Monday, clinching first place by defeating former world No. 3 David Ferrer in the first round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Klahn entered the final week of the challenge in first place, thanks to his title run at the $75,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Gatineau, Canada, in July.
The former Stanford Cardinal was ranked as high as No. 63 on the ATP World Tour in 2014, when he competed in all four Grand Slams in the calendar year and made his Australian Open, Wimbledon and French Open debuts. But multiple back surgeries then kept him out of the game from February 2015 to November 2016, during which time he contemplated retirement, before eventually returning to competition on the USTA Pro Circuit.
Klahn currently sits at No. 116 on the ATP World Tour, his highest ranking since his return from injury, and is one more Toronto victory away from reclaiming a spot inside the ATP's Top 100. After competing in just two tournaments in 2016, he played a full schedule in 2017 and reached three finals across a pair of $100,000 Challenger events (in Fairfield, Calif., and Monterrey, Mexico) and a $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Calabasas, Calif.
A runner-up finish at the $150,000 Challenger event in Newport Beach, Calif., was the bright spot of 2018 for the American until his title in Gatineau. The Canada trophy was Klahn’s first since 2014 and his seventh overall at the Challenger or Futures level.
Klahn has reached the second round at the US Open twice in four singles main-draw appearances, in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, he upset Austrian Jurgen Melzer – the world No. 36 at the time – in five sets in the best match of his Flushing Meadows career for his first major singles victory.
In three short weeks, he will have the opportunity to add a new US Open highlight.
In the women’s challenge, Asia Muhammad holds a slim lead but is not competing in the concluding event, this week’s $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Landisville, Pa. The challenging pack at the Pennsylvania event includes Gail Brodsky, Nicole Gibbs, Jessica Pegula, Jamie Loeb and Kristie Ahn.