McClune captures Costa Mesa Pro Classic doubles title with Venus

COSTA MESA — Michael McClune, an Irvine natvie, and New Zealand's Michael Venus won the doubles championship at the Costa Mesa Pro Classic Friday at Costa Mesa Tennis Center.

No. 3-seeded Bradley Klahn, from Poway, had little trouble advancing to the semifinals in singles. He joins second-seeded Tennys Sandgren of Tennessee, and two South Koreans, Min Hyeok-Cho and Ji Sung Nam, in the Saturday's semifinals, which begins 10 a.m. at Costa Mesa Tennis Center.

Klahn, currently ranked No. 226th in the world, faces Sandgren, ranked 216th, in the first semifinal. Cho, who is unranked, faces Nam, ranked 474th, after the Klahn-Sandgren match.

An intriguing storyline in the Cho-Nam match is that the two South Koreans have the same coaches and, as doubles partners, advanced to Friday's doubles final, before losing to McClune and Venus.

Klahn, 22, had little problem Friday in dispatching Brazil's Caio Zampiere, 6-0, 6-3, in the quarterfinals.

"I just tried to play confident and dictate with my forehand," said Klahn, who won the 2010 NCAA men's championship while playing for Stanford University and, in 2012, became the first men's qualifying wild card to win a round at the U.S. Open.

Klahn has faced his semifinal opponent Sandgren, who climbed nearly 300 rungs up the world rankings in 2012, twice. They have split their two matches.

"He's a left-hander so that always poses a problem," said Sandgren, who defeated Torrance's Jason Jung Friday to advance to the semis. "I think if we were indoors, I'd have the edge, but outdoors, he has it. It's all going to come down to who is stronger mentally."

In the other two quarterfinals Friday, Cho defeated America's Dennis Nevolo and Nam outlasted Trabuco Canyon's Nicholas Meister, in a grueling three-hour and 20-second match.

Both Cho and Nam played earlier in the day before their doubles championship and posed little threat to McClune and Venus, who won, 6-1, 6-3.

Part of the USTA's Pro Circuit, the $15,000 Costa Mesa Pro Classic features 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams. All players are seeking to boost their world tennis ranking through participating in USTA Pro Circuit events held weekly across the country.

— From staff reports

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