Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Santa Clara men top rival in WCC tourney thriller

   The fourth-seeded Santa Clara men edged ninth-seeded Saint Mary's 4-3 today in a thrilling first-round match at the West Coast Conference Championships in San Diego.
   The 59th-ranked Broncos (16-6) trailed the Gaels (8-13) 3-2 before pulling out two three-set victories to advance. Ilya Osintsev outlasted Tuomas Manner 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 at No. 2 singles to tie the match, and John Lamble won it with a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 decision over Joakim Norstrom at No. 1 singles.
   Lamble, a senior from Saratoga, was named to the All-WCC first team in singles and doubles (with Osintsev) on Monday. Osintsev, a junior from Russia, made the second team in singles.
   Santa Clara will face another San Francisco Bay Area rival, USF, in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 9 a.m. (PDT). The eighth-seeded Dons (15-13) eliminated fifth-seeded Loyola Marymount 4-1.
   Seventh-seeded Pacific (12-11) defeated No. 6 BYU 4-2. The Tigers will meet No. 3 Portland, a 4-2 winner over No. 10 Gonzaga, at 9 a.m.
   No. 1 San Diego and No. 2 Pepperdine received byes into Friday's semifinals.
   For today's full men's results, click on
   The women's WCC tournament also is being held in San Diego. No. 3 Saint Mary's, No. 4 Santa Clara and No. 6 USF coasted to 4-0 victories in the first round. The Gaels ousted No. 10 Pacific.
   In Thursday's quarterfinals, No. 3 Saint Mary's (13-7) will play No. 6 USF (16-7), and No. 4 Santa Clara (11-9) will take on No. 5 San Diego. Both matches are scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.
   No. 1 Pepperdine and No. 2 BYU earned byes into Friday's semis.
   For today's full women's results, click on
   In the Mountain West Conference Women's Championships in Fresno, sixth-seeded San  Jose State reached the quarterfinals with a 4-0 victory over 11th-seeded Colorado State.
   The Spartans (12-13) will meet third-seeded San Diego State on Friday.
   Meanwhile, San Jose State's Marie Klocker and Gaelle Rey -- freshmen from France and Switzerland, respectively -- were named to the 16-player All-Mountain West singles first team and the eight-team all-conference doubles squad. Rey, who went 19-12 playing primarily No. 2 singles, shared Freshman of the Year honors with Lizette Blankers of New Mexico.

Ex-Capitals owner to plead guilty, lawyer says

   Deepal Wannakuwatte, the former owner of the defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, apparently has changed his mind and will plead guilty in an alleged Ponzi scheme.
   The Sacramento Bee reported today that Wannakuwatte, who pleaded not guilty to bank fraud and other charges last month, has a "change of plea" hearing scheduled for May 1 in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.
   The hearing probably will be postponed, but "it's anticipated he's going to plead guilty," Wannakuwatte's lawyer, Donald Heller, said without elaborating.
   Said prosecutor Michael Beckwith, an assistant U.S. attorney: "The evidence in the case is very strong. I think that's a lot of what's driving this."
   Wannakuwatte, a 63-year-old native of Sri Lanka, was arrested on Feb. 20 in Sacramento after allegedly defrauding investors of millions in his medical supply businesses.
   According to the FBI, investment brochures for Wannakuwatte's International Manufacturing Group Inc. and RelyAid said sales reached $110 million in 2012, mostly from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
   In reality, the FBI said, sales to the VA totaled just $25,000 a year. Agents said Wannakuwatte usually repaid investors with funds from new investors.
   Wannakuwatte would become the second Capitals owner in the past 3 1/2 years to plead guilty to one or more crimes. Lonnie Nielson admitted to grand theft related to his real estate business in the fall of 2010 and was released from prison last summer.
   The owner between Nielson and Wannakuwatte, Sacramento real estate developer Bob Cook, declared bankruptcy after the 2011 season.
   The Capitals announced on Feb. 4 that they were moving to Las Vegas after 28 years because Sacramento lacks a permanent tennis facility. Shortly after Wannakuwatte's arrest, however, WTT terminated the franchise.
   The league will begin its 39th season on July 6 with seven teams. 
   The Capitals were the longest-running franchise in WTT at 28 years and won a record six league titles, including four straight (1997-2000).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jullien of Saint Mary's repeats as WCC Player of Year

   Jenny Jullien of Saint Mary's was named the West Coast Conference Women's Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, the league announced this week.
   Jullien, a senior from France, finished the regular season with a 16-2 record at No. 1 singles (7-1 in WCC play).
   Ranked 12th nationally, Jullien became the first competitor to repeat as the WCC Player of the Year since USF's Jenni Heinser earned the honor three times in a row from 2008 to 2010.
   Also named to the All-WCC women's first team in singles were Saint Mary's sophomore Jamie Pawid of Castro Valley, USF sophomore Andrea Ka of France and Santa Clara senior Katie Le of Milpitas. Thyra Taune of Sweden became the second straight USF player to earn WCC Freshman of the Year honors, following Ka.
   On the men's side, Santa Clara senior John Lamble of Saratoga and USF junior Bernardo Saraiva of Portugal were named to the All-WCC first team in singles. Pacific's Miguel Diaz of Castro Valley was chosen as the Freshman of the Year.
   The West Coast Conference men's and women's championships are scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday in San Diego.
   For more information on the All-WCC women's teams, click on
   For more details on the All-WCC men's teams, click on

Rankings, TV schedule, calendar

    Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
   Bob Bryan, 35 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 35 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 23 years old, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 64 in singles (+1), No. 155 in doubles (-20).
   Scott Lipsky, 32 years old, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 38 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, 26 years old, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 69 in singles (+2), No. 113 in doubles (no change).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31 years old, trains at Gorin Tennis Academy in Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay -- No. 34 in singles (-1), No. 94 in doubles (+1).
   Mallory Burdette, 23 years old, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- No. 294 in singles (-2), No. 1,142 in doubles (-3).
   Nicole Gibbs, 21 years old, NCAA singles champion in 2012 and 2013 and NCAA doubles champion in 2012 from Stanford -- Career-high No. 164 in singles (+2), No. 403 in doubles (+2).
   Macall Harkins, 28 years old, Redding resident -- No. 370 in doubles (-1), No. 713 in singles (-2).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 31 years old, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 15 in doubles (no change), No. 1,099 in singles (-2).
   Maria Sanchez, 24 years old, born and raised in Modesto -- No. 105 in doubles (-2), No. 247 in singles (-4).
(All times in California)
   Barcelona (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 4:30-10:30 a.m. (live), 1-10 p.m. (repeat).
   Barcelona (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 5:30 a.m.-noon (live), noon-10 p.m. (repeat).    
   Stuttgart (women), Barcelona (men) and Bucharest (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (live).
   Stuttgart (women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday (repeat).
   Barcelona (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 6-10 p.m. (repeat). 
   Stuttgart (women), Barcelona (men) and Bucharest (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4:30 a.m.-noon (live).
   Barcelona (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, noon-5 p.m. (repeat).  
   Stuttgart (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5-9 p.m. (repeat).
    Stuttgart (women), Barcelona (men) and Bucharest (men), finals, Tennis Channel, 5-10 a.m.  (live).
   Stuttgart (women), final, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-noon and 4:30-6:30 p.m. (repeat).  
   Barcelona (men), final, Tennis Channel, noon-2:30 p.m. and 6:30-9 p.m. (repeat).
   Bucharest (men), final, Tennis Channel, 2:30-4:30 p.m. (repeat).
   Wednesday-Saturday -- West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Championships (Pacific, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, USF), San Diego,
   Wednesday-Sunday -- Pacific-12 Conference Men's and Women's Championships (Cal, Stanford), Ojai, Calif.,
   Wednesday-Sunday -- Mountain West Conference Men's and Women's Championships (San Jose State women), Fresno, Calif.,
   Thursday-Sunday -- Big West Conference Men's and Women's Championships (UC Davis), Indian Wells, Calif.,
   Friday-Sunday -- Big Sky Conference Men's and Women's Championships (Sacramento State), Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif.,
   Saturday-Sunday, May 3-4 -- Rio Del Oro Junior Excellence, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, Sacramento, Calif.
   May 2-5 -- USTA National Men's, Women's and Mixed 30 Indoor Championships, Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center, Gold River, Calif.
   May 9-11 -- Maze Cup (Northern California juniors vs. Southern California), Berkeley Tennis Club,
   May 15-26 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Championships, Athens, Ga.,   
   MAY 25-JUNE 8 -- FRENCH OPEN. 2013 champions: Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Bob Bryan-Mike Bryan, Ekaterina Makarova-Elena Vesnina, Lucie Hradecka-Frantisek Cermak.
   June 7-8, 14-17 -- NorCal Boys 18 and 16 Junior Sectional Championships, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, Sacramento, Calif.
   June 7-8, 14-17 -- NorCal Girls 18 and 16 Junior Sectional Championships, Arden Hills Resort & Spa, Sacramento, Calif.
   June 7-8, 14-17 -- NorCal 14s Junior Sectional Championships, University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif.
   June 7-8, 14-17 -- NorCal 12s Junior Sectional Championships, Sunnyvale Tennis Center, Sunnyvale, Calif.
   JUNE 23-JULY 6 -- WIMBLEDON. 2013 champions: Andy Murray, Marion Bartoli, Bob Bryan-Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei-Peng Shuai, Daniel Nestor-Kristina Mladenovic.
   July 7-12 -- $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif. 2013 champions: Mayo Hibi, Naomi Broady-Storm Sanders.
   July 28-Aug. 3 -- Bank of the West Classic, Stanford. 2013 champions: Dominika Cibulkova, Raquel Kops-Jones-Abigail Spears.
   Aug. 4-10 -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, Aptos, Calif. 2013 champions: Bradley Klahn, Jonathan Erlich-Andy Ram.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mike Bryan wins 100th ATP doubles title

   Mike Bryan today became the first player to win 100 ATP World Tour doubles titles.
   Bryan and twin brother Bob, the top-ranked doubles team, edged third-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 6-3, 3-6 [10-8] for their fourth Monte Carlo title and 98th as a team.
   “It's amazing to hit triple digits,” Mike Bryan said on “It's a great milestone to say that you have a hundred, to be the first player to hit a hundred titles. Kind of snuck up on us pretty quick.
   "Last few years, we've been really hot. We always wanted to beat the Woodies' (Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde's) record of 61. Then trying to clip Todd Woodbridge's 83 titles. All of a sudden, I’m at 99.
   “It will feel a lot better when we do it as a team. We've always looked at our career as team titles, doing it together. That's the huge goal for this year, to do it together.”
   Bob added, “Hopefully [we’ll do it] before (the French Open). We've got two tournaments or three coming up before the French. It's incredible to see what he's done. I guess I'm knocking on the door.”
   The 35-year-old Bryans, former Stanford All-Americans originally from Camarillo in the Los Angeles area, won their fifth straight title and extended their winning streak to 21 matches. Since losing to Australian Open runners-up Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen in the Memphis final in February, the Bryans have won Delray Beach, Indian Wells, Miami and Houston in addition to Monte Carlo.
   The Bryans also won Monte Carlo in 2007, 2011 and 2012. In last year's final, they failed to convert seven match points and lost to Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic.
   Dodig and Melo lost to the Bryans in last year's Wimbledon final.

No. 10 Cal women rout No. 5 Stanford

   The 10th-ranked Cal women trounced No. 5 Stanford 6-1 on Saturday at Stanford to win the Pacific-12 Conference title.
   The Cardinal lost for only the fifth time at home since 1999, including a 4-3 setback to UCLA on April 4. 
   Cal ended the regular season at 10-0 in the Pac-12 and 18-4 overall. Stanford finished at 8-2 and 16-2. Both teams will play in next week's Pac-12 Championships in Ojai and next month's NCAA Championships. Stanford will defend its NCAA title.
   No. 10 Cal 6, No. 5 Stanford 1:  
   San Jose State 4, UC Davis 3:
   Santa Clara 4, Pacific 0:
   No. 37 Stanford 4, No. 16 Cal 2:
   No. 24 Boise State 4, USF 1:
   No. 60 Santa Clara 4, Pacific 0:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Emotional Jullien leads Saint Mary's over Santa Clara

   Jenny Jullien, playing her last home match, defeated Katie Le 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 at No. 1 singles to lead No. 46 Saint Mary's over Santa Clara 5-2 on Friday in Moraga.
   Jullien is ranked 12th nationally and Le 27th.
   "It was very emotional coming into today," Jullien, from France, said on "This morning, I woke up, and I could feel the emotions. It's a bittersweet feeling, I would say, especially playing against Katie because we are rivals in the conference and it's always very tight between us, so I knew I had to bring my 'A' game. I'm glad I did."
   Saint Mary's, which finished its regular season at 12-7 overall and 6-2 in the West Coast Conference, will be seeded third in next week's WCC Championships in San Diego. Santa Clara (9-9, 4-4) will end its regular-season schedule today at Pacific before heading to the WCC tournament.
   No. 46 Saint Mary's 5, Santa Clara 2:
  San Jose State 5, Nevada 2:
  USF 6, Pacific 1:
   No. 60 Santa Clara 4, Saint Mary's 0: