In an all-American matchup on Sunday evening, it was Oracle Challenger Series veteran Bradley Klahn who emerged victorious – 76(4) 76(4) – over his wild card compatriot Roy Smith. Klahn landed an impressive 25 aces against his opponent to take home the Houston men’s title as well as take the lead in the Road to Indian Wells leaderboard.
The match, which was moved to an indoor venue due to extensive rain in Houston, was a battle right from the start for the hard-hitting Americans. Smith, who was a bit of a breakout star in this week’s event, fought hard against the 28-year-old World No. 97, as Klahn narrowly won two sets in tie breaks.
The two were as evenly matched as can be, as the match featured no breaks of serve. Klahn won all but two of his first-serve points, and only faced one break point the entire match.
Smith – a sophomore at Baylor University – received a wild card into the main draw in Houston, and took advantage of the opportunity. This week marked not only his first-ever Challenger-level final, but also his first-ever Challenger-level match win.
Klahn, who was the runner-up at the Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach earlier this year – moves into the top spot on the Road to Indian Wells leaderboard. The top two American men and the top two American women who earn the most points over the course of the four-event Series earn main draw wild cards into the 2019 BNP Paribas Open.