I was feeling especially industrious today, so I brought back a column of info that I used to have in WATCH Lists of yore: the “Why” column, which details what exactly a player did to achieve their career high this week. You lucky devils. So let’s do it:
|Pablo Carreno-Busta||ESP||22||65||Paris QR2|
|Tim Smyczek||USA||25||82||others lost points|
|Julian Reister||GER||27||85||Seoul F|
|Oleksandr Nedovyesov||UKR||26||95||Eckental R2|
|Bradley Klahn||USA||23||118||Traralgon F|
|Dominic Thiem||AUT||20||122||Casablanca W|
|James Duckworth||AUS||21||132||Traralgon SF|
|Facundo Arguello||ARG||21||135||Montevideo R2|
|Guido Andreozzi||ARG||22||143||Montevideo R2|
|Pierre Hugues-Herbert||FRA||22||160||Paris R2|
|Gerald Melzer||AUT||23||179||Casablanca SF|
|Norbert Gombos||SVK||23||192||Geneva QF|
|Damir Dzumhur||BIH||21||197||others lost points|
|Tim Puetz||GER||25||207||Eckental SF|
|Jordi Samper-Montana||ESP||23||211||others lost points|
|Mohamed Safwat||EGY||23||214||Casablanca QF|
|Filip Peliwo||CAN||19||245||Charlottesville R2|
|Valery Rudnev||RUS||25||252||Seoul R2|
|Thiago Monteiro||BRA||19||254||Montevideo R2|
|Hiroki Kondo||JPN||30||275||Seoul R2|
|Tak Khunn Wang||FRA||22||293||Spain F36 W|
Today we welcome to the fold a new* WATCH Lister, Mr. Bradley Klahn. In contrast to recent List regulars like Dominic Thiem, Gerald Melzer, and Tim Smyczek — all of whom have charted career highs in six of the last nine weeks — the Stanford grad’s been drifting around the ATP rankings table of late; he’s been within 11 spots of his previous personal best (#123) since winning the Aptos Challenger in early August, before finally breaking through Down Under.
The 23-year-old was one of a very few Americans who sought his points outside of the States this week, and the move paid off for him as he made it to the finals of the Traralgon Challenger in Australia, going down to India’s Yuki Bhambri in a ridiculously close and rain delayed affair 7-6(13) 3-6 4-6. (For more on that match, check out the superb coverage provided by our friends at Aceland Tennis.)
During his years at Stanford, Klahn was a three-time All-American in both singles and doubles and was the 2009-10 NCAA Singles champ. This is his first full year on the pro tour, and he’s the latest of many former U.S. college players to appear on the W.A.T.C.H. List. The upcoming week finds him at the Yeongwol Challenger, as the fourth seed in a stronger field.
Moving right along, Pierre-Hugues Herbert has been on the List five times in the past nine weeks, but it’s how he did it that bears noting this time around. The 22-year-old Frenchman got a WC in qualifying at the ATP 1000 in Paris (Bercy), and knocked off Horacio Zeballos and Kenny de Schepper to qualify (coming back from a set and a break down and saving match point vs. the former).
But he didn’t stop there. In the main draw, P2H maintained his focus while Benoit Paire managed to implode spectacularly on the other side of the net (as is his fashion).
And in the next round he was perilously close to taking the first set from some mug named Novak Djokovic. Though he didn’t win the match, he became a cause celebre in Paris for the remainder of the week, playing dubs with the Schepper and making TV appearances all over town.
As Tennis East Coast reported, players at the Charlottesville Challenger cheered Herbert on, watching the lanky lad on Tennis Channel in the players lounge, thrilled to be watching one of their own making a splash at such an elite level. You can practically see the thought bubbles above their heads when you picture it, right? It reads: “If he can do it, why can’t I?”
And indeed, a few of those very players are sure to appear on these W.A.T.C.H. List pages one of these days. Stay tuned.
*new in the past 9 weeks, anyway.