Wednesday, March 4, 2015

USF men extend streak; TV schedule, calendar

   The 50th-ranked University of San Francisco men rolled to their sixth straight victory today, blanking host Santa Clara 4-0.  
   Bernardo Saraiva provided the clincher on Court 1 with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ashot Khacharyan in the West Coast Conference opener for both teams.
   Also winning for the Dons (6-3) were 25th-ranked Saraiva and Nils Skajaa at No. 1 doubles, Christian Brockstedt and Alex Santiago at No. 3 doubles, Thomas Takemoto at No. 4 singles and Vasco Valverde at No. 5 singles. 
   Valverde trounced Max Heerinckx of San Jose 6-0, 6-0 as the Broncos fell to 4-5.
TV SCHEDULE
(All broadcasts on Tennis Channel; all times in California)
  Thursday
   Monterrey (women), early rounds, 5-9 a.m., 1-5 p.m., 8-10 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight (delay).
   Indian Wells, 2005 women's final, 9 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   Indian Wells, 2013 and 2014 men's doubles finals, 5-8 p.m. (repeat).
  Friday
   Davis Cup, first round, United States at Great Britain, singles matches, 5-11 a.m. (live).
   Davis Cup, first round, France at Germany, singles match, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (delay).
   Monterrey (women), quarterfinals, 3-9 p.m. (live).
   Davis Cup, first round, United States at Great Britain, second singles match, 9 p.m.-midnight (delay).
  Saturday
   Davis Cup, first round, United States at Great Britain, doubles match, 5-8:30 a.m. (live), 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. (repeat).
   Davis Cup, first round, France at Germany, doubles match, 8:30-11 a.m. (delay).
   Monterrey (women), semifinals, 2-6 p.m. (live). 
   Kuala Lumpur (women), semifinals, 9 p.m.-midnight (delay).
 Sunday 
   Davis Cup, first round, United States at Great Britain, reverse singles matches, 6 a.m.-noon  (live).
  Monterrey (women), doubles final, 3-5 p.m. (delay).
  Monterrey (women), singles final, 5-7 p.m. (delay).
  Davis Cup, first round, United States at Great Britain, last reverse singles match, 7-10 p.m. (repeat).
CALENDAR
   Friday-Sunday -- Davis Cup, first round, United States vs. Great Britain in Glasgow, Scotland. daviscup.com
   Tuesday-March 22 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif. 2014 champions: Novak Djokovic, Flavia Pennetta, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. bnpparibasopen.com
   April 4-10 -- Easter Bowl, Indian Wells. www.easterbowl.com
   April 18-19 -- Fed Cup semifinals, World Group playoffs, www.fedcup.com.
   April 22-25 -- West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Championships, San Diego, www.wccsports.com.
   April 22-25 -- Pacific-12 Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Ojai, Calif., www.pac-12.com.
   April 22-26 -- Mountain West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Albuquerque, N.M, www.themw.com.
   April 23-26 -- Big West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Indian Wells. www.bigwest.org.
   April 24-26 -- Big Sky Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif., www.bigskyconf.com.
   May 1-4 -- USTA National Men's, Women's and Mixed 30 Indoor Championships, Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center, Gold River, Calif.
   May 8-10 -- Maze Cup (Northern California juniors vs. Southern California), Berkeley Tennis Center.
   May 8-9 -- NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Team Championships, first and second rounds at campus sites.
   May 14-19 -- NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Team Championships, round of 16 through finals, Waco, Texas. www.ncaasports.com.
   May 20-25 -- NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Singles and Doubles Championships, Waco, Texas. www.ncaasports.com
   MAY 25-JUNE 8 -- FRENCH OPEN, Paris. 2014 champions: Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Julien Benneteau/Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai, Jean-Julien Rojer/Anna-Lena Groenefeld. www.rolandgarros.com.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cal rises, Stanford falls in women's top 10

   Northern California still has two of the top-10 women's collegiate teams in the nation -- barely.
   Cal (7-2) rose one spot to No. 7 and dropped rival Stanford (7-2) three places to No. 10 with a 4-3 victory over the Cardinal on Sunday at Stanford. It was the Cardinal's first home loss of the season and only its sixth since 1999.
   The Intercollege Tennis Association released the latest women's and men's team rankings today. The next team, singles and doubles rankings will be updated on March 10.
   The Saint Mary's women (5-5) jumped 13 spots to No. 51 after crushing unranked Sacramento State 7-0 in Moraga. Joining the rankings were Fresno State (8-3) at No. 62, USF (5-3) at No. 72 and San Jose State (6-4) at No. 75. North Carolina (13-0) remained No. 1.
   On the men's side, idle Cal (9-3) fell from No. 18 to No. 22, and Stanford (6-4) slipped one notch to No. 38. Previously unranked USF (5-3) soared to No. 50 after beating No. 45 New Mexico to win the UOP Invitational in Stockton. UC Davis (9-3) fell six spots to No. 70.
   Oklahoma (12-1) returned to No. 1 after a one-week hiatus, replacing defending national champion USC (10-2). The Trojans tumbled to sixth after losing to 51st-ranked Tulsa 4-3 in Los Angeles.
COLLEGE RANKINGS
(Top 10 and Northern California; previous ranking in parentheses)
Women's team
1. North Carolina (1)
2. Florida (3)
3. USC (4)
4. Baylor (6)
5. Virginia (5)
6. Georgia (2)
7. Cal (8)
8. Oklahoma State (12)
9. Alabama (9)
10. Stanford (7)
51. Saint Mary's (64)
62. Fresno State (--)
72. USF (--)
75. San Jose State (--)
Women's singles
1. Julia Elbaba, Virginia
2. Maegan Manasse, Cal
3. Robin Anderson, UCLA
4. Carol Zhao, Stanford 
5. Brooke Austin, Florida
6. Lauren Herring,Georgia
7. Chanelle Van Nguyen, UCLA
8. Jamie Loeb, North Carolina
9. Josie Kuhlman, Florida
10. Stephanie Wagner, Miami
13. Taylor Davidson, Stanford
17. Giuliana Olmos (Fremont resident), USC
22. Caroline Doyle, Stanford
24. Zsofi Susanyi, Cal
29. Lynn Chi, Cal
31. Sophie Watts, Fresno State
41. Karla Popovic, Cal
42. Klara Fabikova, Cal
61. Denise Starr, Cal
70. Danielle Flores, Saint Mary's
79. Andrea Ka, USF
99. Jana McCord, Saint Mary's
118. Ellen Tsay, Stanford
Women's doubles
1. Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies, Clemson
2. Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips, UCLA
3. Taylor Davidson and Carol Zhao, Stanford
4. Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr, Cal
5. Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan, Florida
6. Kelsey Laurente and Viktoriya Lushkova, Oklahoma State
7. Lina Lileikite and Stephanie Wagner, Miami
8. Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger, Auburn
9. Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe, Alabama
10. Caroline Doyle and Ellen Tsay, Stanford
12. Klara Fabikova and Zsofi Susanyi, Cal
15. Giuliana Olmos (Fremont resident) and Zoe Scandalis, USC
44. Parminder Kaur and Jana McCord, Saint Mary's
Men's team
1. Oklahoma (2)
2. Duke (4)
3. Illinois (3)
4. Georgia (7)
5. Baylor (5)
6. USC (1)
7. Texas (6)
8. Ohio State (8)
9. Mississippi (10)
10. Texas A&M (9)
22. Cal (18)
38. Stanford (37)
50. USF (--)
70. UC Davis (64) 
Men's singles
1. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Virginia
2. Ryan Shane, Virginia
3. Mackenzie McDonald (Piedmont resident), UCLA
4. Soren Hess-Olesen, Texas
5. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, Louisville
6. Yannick Hanfmann, USC
7. Alex Alvarez Llamas, Oklahoma
8. Nicolas Alvarez, Duke
9. Gonzales Austin, Vanderbilt
10. Brayden Schnur, North Carolina
26. Tom Fawcett, Stanford
58. Andre Goransson, Cal
Men's doubles
1. Gonzales Austin and Rhys Johnson, Vanderbilt
2. Roberto Quiroz and Yannick Hanfmann, USC
3. Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, Tennessee
4. Kevin Metka and Ralf Steinback, Ohio State
5. Mackenzie McDonald (Piedmont resident) and Martin Redlicki, UCLA
6. Axel Alvarez Llamas and Dane Webb, Oklahoma
7. Alex Lawson and Billy Pecor, Notre Dame
8. Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant, Texas A&M
9. Denis Nguyen and Brian Yeung, Harvard
10. Austin Smith and Ben Wagland, Georgia
25. Bernardo Saraiva and Nils Skajaa, USF
31. Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton, Cal
49. Tom Fawcett and Maciek Romanowicz, Stanford

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bellis, 15, crushes Sanchez for Rancho Santa Fe title

   CiCi Bellis is 10 years younger than Maria Sanchez, four inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter.
   But in an all-Northern California final, Bellis demolished Sanchez 6-2, 6-0 today to win the rain-delayed $25,000 Fresh Start Women's Open in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe.
   Bellis, a 15-year-old amateur from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, is listed at 5-foot-6 (1.68 meters) and 110 pounds (50 kilograms). She won the last 11 games against Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto, in their first career meeting.
   It was Bellis' third singles title in a professional tournament (all $25,000 events) and first in her home state. The second-ranked junior in the world, she will rise from No. 244 among women to a career high of about No. 212.
   Bellis became an overnight sensation last August when she stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, the runner-up in the 2014 Australian Open, in the first round of the U.S. Open. Bellis fell in the second round to Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas, ranked 48th then and 32nd now, in three sets.
   Sanchez graduated from USC, two hours up the freeway from San Diego, in 2011. She has slumped from a career-high No. 107 in 2013 to No. 220.
   Sanchez was seeking her third pro singles title, having won Albuquerque ($75,000) and Sacramento ($50,000) in 2012.

Pro final delayed; Muljat, 14, wins women's open title

   Fifteen-year-old CiCi Bellis' Challenger final was postponed by rain, but 14-year-old Jessi Muljat won a women's open title on Sunday.
   The sixth-seeded Bellis, from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, was scheduled to play  fourth-seeded Maria Sanchez, a 25-year-old Modesto product, for the first time on Sunday in the $25,000 Fresh Start Women's Open in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe.
   The match between Sanchez, ranked No. 220 in the world, and Bellis, ranked No. 244, was rescheduled for 9 a.m. today. However, there's an 80 percent chance of more rain.
   Muljat, seeded fourth, outclassed fellow Sacramentan Eirene Granville, who was unseeded, 6-1, 6-2 in the $2,000 Rio del Oro Open at the Rio del Oro Racquet Club in Sacramento.
   Earlier Sunday, Muljat ousted top-seeded Haley Gay of San Ramon 6-2, 7-5. Fourteen women played in the women's open division.
   Muljat, an amateur, advanced to the second round of qualifying in the Fresh Start Women's Open in her first pro tournament.
   Second-seeded Kiryl Harbatsiuk, a 27-year-old resident of Orangevale in the Sacramento area, prevailed in the 57-player men's draw. He overpowered his fellow Belarus native and former Sacramento State teammate, top-seeded Anton Stryhas, 6-3, 6-3.
   Harbatsiuk was named the Big Sky Conference MVP for three consecutive years (2009-11) and briefly played on the professional tour, reaching a career-high No. 710 in the world in 2011.
   Colleges -- Cecilia Estlander outlasted Lindsay Kostas 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Court 6 to clinch a 4-3 victory for the No. 8 Cal women over No. 7 Stanford at Stanford.
   On Court 1, fourth-ranked Carol Zhao of Stanford edged No. 2 Maegan Manasse 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6). Estlander's victory gave the Bears (7-2) an insurmountable 4-2 lead.
   Stanford (7-2) suffered its first home loss of the season and only its sixth since 1999. Cal coach Amanda Augustus has been involved in three of those losses, including as a player in 1999.
   In other college matches, the No. 64 Saint Mary's women trounced Sacramento State 7-0 in Moraga, the host UC Davis women routed UC Riverside 6-1, and the Pacific men lost to Idaho 4-3 to finish sixth among eight teams in the Pacific Mountain Invitational in Stockton.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Kops-Jones, Sanchez, Bellis, Muljat highlight big day

Raquel Kops-Jones, above, and Abigail Spears won the
doubles title in Qatar. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   From Qatar in the Middle East to Southern California to Northern California, it was an eventful day.
   Fourth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of San Jose and Abigail Spears of San Diego surprised top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan and Sania Mirza of India 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday to win the Qatar Total Open, a Premier-level tournament on the WTA tour, in Doha.
   Kops-Jones, 32, and Spears, 33, have won 11 WTA doubles titles together, including seven at the Premier level. One came in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2013.
   Meanwhile, the $25,000 Fresh Start Women's Open in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe will feature an all-NorCal final today.
   Fourth-seeded Maria Sanchez, a 25-year-old Modesto product, will face sixth-seeded CiCi Bellis, 15, of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area for the first time.
   Sanchez, who starred two hours up the freeway from San Diego at USC, topped unseeded countrywoman Sanaz Marand 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Bellis outplayed unseeded Ipek Soylu of Turkey 6-2, 6-4.
   In college action, the No. 37 Stanford men lost at No. 21 UCLA 5-2, the visiting Pacific women beat Cal State Fullerton 4-3, and the host UC Davis women lost to No. 46 Long Beach State 5-2.
   In the $2,000 Rio del Oro Open, 14-year-old Jessi Muljat reached the women's open semifinals at the Rio del Oro Racquet Club in her hometown of Sacramento.
   Muljat, seeded fourth, has not lost a game in two matches. She will face top-seeded Haley Gay, 23, of San Ramon today at 8 a.m. Second-seeded Sophie Lohscheidt will meet fellow Sacramento resident Eirene Granville in the other semifinal. The final is scheduled for 11 a.m.
   Muljat, an amateur, reached the second round of qualifying in the Fresh Start Women's Open in her first professional tournament.
   In the men's open semifinals at 8 a.m., top-seeded Anton Stryhas of Carmichael will play third-seeded Victor Pham of Saratoga, and second-seeded Kiryl Harbatsiuk of Orangevale will take on fourth-seeded Adrian Chamdani of Santa Clara. The final is set for 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

No. 1 USC men rout Stanford; Sac State men, women win

   The 37th-ranked Stanford men had their winning streak stopped at five matches, losing 6-1 to No. 1 USC in Los Angeles on Friday.
   The Cardinal (6-3) won the doubles point against the Trojans (10-1), who have won five of the last six NCAA team titles.
   At No. 1 doubles, Stanford's John Morrissey and Robert Stineman toppled second-ranked Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz 6-3.
   Hanfmann and Quiroz rebounded in singles, though.
   Hanfmann, ranked sixth, defeated No. 26 Tom Fawcett 6-4, 6-4 on Court 1. No. 20 Quiroz won the clincher, beating Morrissey by the same score on Court 2.
OTHER COLLEGE RESULTS
Men
   Sacramento State def. Weber State 4-3 in Sacramento. No. 1 singles (clinching match): Sean Kolar def. Jakub Gewart 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4). Notes: The Hornets were missing two of their top players, injured Marek Marksoo and Niranjan Ram. The Wildcats went 10-0 in the Big Sky Conference during the 2014 regular season. Records: Sacramento State 3-4 overall, 1-0 Big Sky; Weber State 4-8, 0-1.
Women
   Sacramento State def. No. 46 Long Beach State 4-3 in Sacramento. No. 1 singles: No. 93 Maeva Razakasoa (LBSU) def. Alina Soltanici 6-4, 6-1. No. 2 singles (clinching match): Anna-Maria Nau def. Ebba Uden 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Records: Sacramento State 5-5; Long Beach State 6-1.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book review: "Locker Room Power"

   Many, if not all, matches are won or lost before a player steps on the court.
   That's the underlying theme of "Locker Room Power: Building an Athlete's Mind" (2014) by David Sammel of Great Britain.
   Locker Room Power, Sammel writes, is desire + weapons + belief + results. Essentially, it's an aura of superiority.
   To develop an aura, Sammel says players must build their game around weapons, which create confidence, and work on weaknesses only if they undermine the ability to use weapons.
   The 106-page paperback is easy to read. It's clearly written and divided into 27 chapters, each summarized by key points at the end.
   The book contains many good tips, such as "To succeed, you will have to take risks, and with risk comes some failure." It also features numerous inspirational quotes from such diverse figures as ancient Greek poet Aeschylus, Winston Churchill, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Muhammad Ali, Andre Agassi, John Wooden and Dan Marino.
   Two of the best quotes come from Ali:
   --"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses -- in the mind, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
   --"I told the world I was the greatest. I figured if I told them often enough, eventually they would believe me."
   The book, however, boils down to: Work hard and be positive. Hardly earth-shattering advice.
   In addition, the book needs editing. Problems include commas, "you're" vs. "your," "who" vs. "whom," "its" vs. "it's," and "there" vs. "they're."
   Sammel knows much more about tennis and psychology than grammar.