Former NCAA singles champion Bradley Klahn had his chances and he knew it. But in the end, he couldn’t hold off the tenacious former Virginia All-American Sanam Singh from India, who captured the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas on Sunday, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (3).
Down 0-2 in the third set, and 15-40 serving, Singh awoke from his self-described “45-minute sleep” to save a total of four break points and win the third game of the final set on the final day of play at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.
“I don’t know how, but I was able to come back and win that game,” the No. 6-seeded Singh said. “It would have been really tough to come back from two breaks down if I would have lost that one.”
The No. 2-seeded Klahn said he “let his foot off the gas” in the third and simply gave Singh too many chances.
“You can’t give a player like that a chance to get back in the match,” said Klahn, who next heads to Orange County and a first-round match in three days at the Costa Mesa Futures event.
It was the first time the two former collegiate stars had played against each other as the 25-year-old Singh improved to 7-1 in ITF Futures singles finals in his career. Both players traded breaks of serve in the crucial sixth and seventh games as Klahn took the 4-3 lead in the third set following a Singh double-fault on a Klahn ad. But Singh stayed with it, producing some nice all-court shots and even a few timely drop shots, including one beauty in the tiebreaker that gave him an insurmountable 4-0 lead.
“He’s really good,”Singh said of Klahn. “I think he’s a lot better than 210 (Klahn is currently No. 223) in the world. He puts a lot of spin on his forehand.”
Of his lapse in play following a solid first set, Singh said: “I went away for about 45 minutes. Maybe I was back in India somewhere.” Klahn concluded: “I thought I started out a little sluggish. It’s frustrating. But that’s tennis. You learn from your mistakes and hopefully come back and be better for it.
Singh rested for about 45 minutes, but then came back to win the doubles with partner and fellow countryman Saketh Myneni. The pair beat Korea’s Yong-Kyu Lim and Ji Sung Nam, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 14-12.
Sunday’s Singles Final Sanam Singh (IND)  def. Bradley Klahn (U.S.)  6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (3)
Sunday’s Doubles Final Saketh Myneni (IND) / Sanam Singh (IND) def. Yong-Kyu Lim (KOR)  / Ji Sung Nam (KOR) 6-7 (3), 6-2, 14-12