Friday, October 31, 2014

Bay Area players capture Little Mo titles

   Two players from the San Francisco Bay Area won titles Monday in the Little Mo Nationals in Austin, Texas.
   In an all-Bay Area final, fourth-seeded Madeleine Jessup of Menlo Park beat unseeded Ria Bhakta of Saratoga 6-1, 6-3 in the girls 9s.
   Also, Alexander Chang of Berkeley defeated Louis Cloud of San Antonio 6-2, 6-3 in the boys 11s. Both players were unseeded.
   Finishing third were unseeded Ethan Quinn of Fresno in the boys 10s and top-seeded Rudy Quan of Roseville in the Sacramento region in the boys 8s. Unseeded Nicholas Throgmorton of Foster City placed fourth in the boys 9s.
   Dedric Ray of Oakland reached the quarterfinals in the boys 11s.
   Also advancing to the quarters were Anushka Khune of Palo Alto and Pastel Shiuey of San Jose in the girls 10s and 9s.
   Past champions in the singles-only tournament for ages 8-11 include Andy Roddick and Ryan Harrison.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rankings, TV schedule, calendar

WORLD RANKINGS
   Players with Northern California ties ranked in the top 1,000 in the world (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Collin Altamirano, 18-year-old Sacramento resident -- Career-high No. 733 in singles (+8), career-high No. 874 in doubles (no change).
   Bob Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 24-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 124 in singles (-2), No. 143 in doubles (-6).
   Scott Lipsky, 33-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 33 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mackenzie McDonald, 19-year-old Piedmont resident -- No. 626 in singles (+2), No. 577 in doubles (-1).
   Dennis Novikov, 20-year-old San Jose resident -- Career-high No. 411 in singles (+6), No. 459 in doubles (+77).
   Sam Querrey, 27-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 38 in singles (+2), No. 64 in doubles (no change).
   Matt Seeberger, 30-year-old Los Altos resident -- No. 525 in doubles (-1).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31-year-old resident of Folsom in Sacramento area -- No. 107 in singles (-31), No. 177 in doubles (-28).
Women
   Kristie Ahn, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 712 in singles (+15), No. 732 in doubles (+18).
   CiCi Bellis, 15-year-old resident of Atherton in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 257 in singles (+54), career-high No. 864 in doubles (+3).
   Hadley Berg, 18-year-old resident of Greenbrae in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 964 in doubles (no change).
   Mallory Burdette, 23-year-old former Stanford star -- Injured, unranked in singles and doubles.
   Alexandra Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 758 in doubles (+4).
   Kat Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 758 in doubles (+4).
   Nicole Gibbs, 21-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 92 in singles (-2), No. 588 in doubles (-56). 
   Michaela Gordon, 15-year-old resident of Saratoga in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 713 in singles (+38).
    Lejla Hodzic, 28-year-old former Stanford standout -- Career-high No. 748 in doubles (+4).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 31-year-old San Jose resident and former Cal star -- No. 12 in doubles (-1), No. 831 in singles (-2).
   Maria Sanchez, 24-year-old Modesto product -- Career-high No. 82 in doubles (no change), No. 258 in singles (+11).
   Karina Vyrlan, 16-year-old Sacramento resident -- No. 803 in singles (-1).
   Allie Will, 23-year-old San Mateo native -- No. 150 in doubles (no change), No. 500 in singles (-2).
   Carol Zhao, 19-year-old Stanford sophomore -- No. 297 in singles (-1), No. 531 in doubles (no change).
TV SCHEDULE
(All tournaments on Tennis Channel; all times in California)
   Friday
   Paris (men), quarterfinals, 6-10 a.m. (live), 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (live), 3:30-11 p.m. (repeat).
Saturday 
   Paris (men), semifinals, 6:30-11 a.m. (live), 5-10 p.m. (repeat). 
   Sofia (women), semifinals, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (delay), 3-5 p.m. (repeat). 
Sunday
   Paris (men), final, 6-8 a.m. (live), 1-3 p.m. and 5-7:30 p.m. (repeat). 
   Sofia (women), final, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (delay), 3-5 p.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m. (repeat). 
CALENDAR
   Saturday-Sunday -- Sacramento Clay Court League finals, 8582 Westin Lane, Orangevale, Calif.
   Nov. 8-9 -- Fed Cup final, Germany at Czech Republic. fedcup.com
   Nov. 9-16 -- Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London. 2013 champions: Novak Djokovic, David Marrero/Fernando Verdasco. atpworldtour.com
   Nov. 21-23 -- Davis Cup final, Switzerland at France. daviscup.com
   Dec. 8-14 -- Orange Bowl, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Plantation, Fla. orangebowltennis.org
   Dec. 13-23 -- Junior Orange Bowl, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles, Coral Gables, Fla. jrorangebowl.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Scottsdale, Ariz. phoenixtennis.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles and doubles, Tucson, Ariz. reffkintenniscenter.com
   Jan. 19-Feb. 1, 2015 (Jan. 18-31, 2015, in United States) -- Australian Open. 2014 champions: Stan Wawrinka, Li Na, Lukasz Kubot/Robert Lindstedt, Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci, Kristina Mladenovic/Daniel Nestor. ausopen.com
   Feb. 7-8, 2015 -- Fed Cup first round, United States at Argentina. fedcup.com
   March 6-8, 2015 -- Davis Cup first round, United States at Great Britain. daviscup.com
   March 9-22, 2015 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif. 2014 champions: Novak Djokovic, Flavia Pennetta, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. bnpparibasopen.com     

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rankings, TV schedule, calendar

WORLD RANKINGS
   Players with Northern California ties ranked in the top 1,000 in the world (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Collin Altamirano, 18-year-old Sacramento resident -- No. 741 in singles (-1), career-high No. 874 in doubles (+6).
   Bob Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 24-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 122 in singles (-2), No. 137 in doubles (+4).
   Scott Lipsky, 33-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 33 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Mackenzie McDonald, 19-year-old Piedmont resident -- No. 628 in singles (+5), No. 576 in doubles (-1).
   Dennis Novikov, 20-year-old San Jose resident -- Career-high No. 417 in singles (+7), No. 536 in doubles (+2).
   Sam Querrey, 27-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 40 in singles (no change), No. 64 in doubles (-1).
   Matt Seeberger, 30-year-old Los Altos resident -- Career-high No. 524 in doubles (no change).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31-year-old resident of Folsom in Sacramento area -- No. 76 in singles (+2), No. 149 in doubles (-13).
Women
   Kristie Ahn, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 727 in singles (-1), No. 750 in doubles (-5).
   CiCi Bellis, 15-year-old resident of Atherton in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 311 in singles (+112), career-high No. 867 in doubles (+3).
   Hadley Berg, 18-year-old resident of Greenbrae in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 964 in doubles (+3).
   Mallory Burdette, 23-year-old former Stanford star -- Injured, unranked in singles and doubles.
   Alexandra Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 762 in doubles (+2).
   Kat Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 762 in doubles (+2).
   Nicole Gibbs, 21-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 90 in singles (no change), No. 532 in doubles (-3). 
   Michaela Gordon, 15-year-old resident of Saratoga in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 751 in singles (+4).
    Lejla Hodzic, 28-year-old former Stanford standout -- No. 752 in doubles (-1).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 31-year-old San Jose resident and former Cal star -- Career-high No. 11 in doubles (no change), No. 829 in singles (+1).
   Maria Sanchez, 24-year-old Modesto product -- Career-high No. 82 in doubles (-11), No. 269 in singles (+1).
   Karina Vyrlan, 16-year-old Sacramento resident -- No. 802 in singles (+16).
   Allie Will, 23-year-old San Mateo native -- No. 150 in doubles (+2), No. 498 in singles (-32).
   Carol Zhao, 19-year-old Stanford sophomore -- No. 296 in singles (-13), No. 531 in doubles (-1).
TV SCHEDULE
(All tournaments on Tennis Channel except as noted; all times in California)
Wednesday
   WTA Finals, round robin, 1-3 a.m. and 4:30-8 a.m. (live), 5-10:30 p.m. (repeat), 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Thursday (live).
   Basel (men), early rounds, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (live).
   Valencia (men), early rounds, 1-4:30 p.m. (delay).
Thursday
   WTA Finals, round robin, 4:30-8 a.m. (live), 5-10:30 p.m. (repeat), 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday (live).
   Basel/Valencia (men), round of 16, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (live).
   Valencia (men), round of 16, 1-3 p.m. (delay).
   Basel (men), round of 16, 3-5 p.m. (delay).  
   Friday
   WTA Finals, round robin, 4:30-8 a.m. (live), 5-9 p.m. (repeat).
   Basel/Valencia (men), quarterfinals, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (live).
   Valencia (men), quarterfinal, 1-3 p.m. (delay).
   Basel (men), quarterfinals, 3-5 p.m. (delay).
  WTA Finals, doubles semifinal, 9-10:30 p.m. (live).    
  WTA Finals, singles semifinal, 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Saturday (live).
Saturday 
   WTA Finals, singles semifinal, 3-5 a.m. (live).
   WTA Finals, doubles semifinal, 5-6:30 a.m. (live).
   Basel/Valencia (men), semifinals, 6:30-11 a.m. (live).
   Valencia (men), semifinals, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), 3-5 p.m. (repeat).
   Basel (men), semifinal, 1-3 p.m. (delay).
   WTA Finals, semifinals, 5-11 p.m. (repeat).
Sunday
   WTA Finals, doubles final, 1-3 a.m. (live).
   WTA Finals, singles final, ESPN2, 4-6:30 a.m. (live)
   WTA Finals, singles final, Tennis Channel, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. (repeat). 
   Basel/Valencia (men), finals, 6:30-10:30 a.m. (live).
   Valencia (men), final, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (repeat).
   Basel (men), final, 2:30-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. (repeat).
CALENDAR
   Through Sunday -- WTA Finals, Singapore. 2013 champions: Serena Williams, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. wtatennis.com
   Nov. 1-2 -- Sacramento Clay Court League finals, 8582 Westin Lane, Orangevale, Calif.
   Nov. 8-9 -- Fed Cup final, Germany at Czech Republic. fedcup.com
   Nov. 9-16 -- Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London. 2013 champions: Novak Djokovic, David Marrero/Fernando Verdasco. atpworldtour.com
   Nov. 21-23 -- Davis Cup final, Switzerland at France. daviscup.com
   Dec. 8-14 -- Orange Bowl, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Plantation, Fla. orangebowltennis.org
   Dec. 13-23 -- Junior Orange Bowl, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles, Coral Gables, Fla. jrorangebowl.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Scottsdale, Ariz. phoenixtennis.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles and doubles, Tucson, Ariz. reffkintenniscenter.com
   Jan. 19-Feb. 1, 2015 (Jan. 18-31, 2015, in United States) -- Australian Open. 2014 champions: Stan Wawrinka, Li Na, Lukasz Kubot/Robert Lindstedt, Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci, Kristina Mladenovic/Daniel Nestor. ausopen.com
   Feb. 7-8, 2015 -- Fed Cup first round, United States at Argentina. fedcup.com
   March 6-8, 2015 -- Davis Cup first round, United States at Great Britain. daviscup.com
   March 9-22, 2015 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif. 2014 champions: Novak Djokovic, Flavia Pennetta, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. bnpparibasopen.com     

Kozlov, 16, falls in Valencia opener on ATP tour

Stefan Kozlov, shown during the recent Sacramento Challenger,
lost to 37th-ranked Martin Klizan in the Valencia Open 500.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Sixteen-year-old phenom Stefan Kozlov shouldn't feel too bad about losing to Martin Klizan 6-3, 6-3 on Monday in the first round of the Valencia (Spain) Open 500 on an indoor hardcourt.
   Klizan, a 25-year-old left-hander from Slovakia ranked No. 37, knocked off Rafael Nadal three weeks ago in the Beijing quarterfinals before losing to Tomas Berdych in the semis.
   True, Nadal was playing in his first tournament since his shocking loss to 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Nadal, a left-hander with a vicious two-handed backhand, returned from a right wrist injury.
   While Klizan was advancing in Beijing, Kozlov was making a stunning march to the final of the $100,000 Sacramento Pro Circuit Challenger at the Natomas Racquet Club.
   He lost 6-3, 6-4 to top-seeded Sam Querrey, who predicted afterward that Kozlov eventually would reach the top 10. He is ranked No. 441 after starting the year at No. 1,081.    Valencia marked Kozlov's second main-draw appearance on the elite ATP World Tour. At 15 in July, he fell to Polish veteran Michal Przysiezny 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-4 in the first round round on grass at Newport, R.I.
   “In five or six years, I think he will be very good," Przysiezny, then ranked No. 113, told reporters. "I wish him all the best. Normally you can’t practice with a 15-year-old, and here I almost lost the match. … He hit unbelievable a few shots. It was very tough for me to play from the baseline. If I serve good, he returns deep.”
   Klizan, the 2006 French Open junior champion, won his second career title in Munich in April.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bellis, 15, wins second Challenger title in two weeks

CiCi Bellis, shown in 2012, routed No. 6 seed
Ysaline Bonaventure 6-2, 6-1 to win the $25,000
Florence (S.C.) Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Only 15 years old, CiCi Bellis of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area won her second $25,000 Challenger singles title in two weeks on Sunday.
   And it wasn't close.
   The unseeded Bellis dominated sixth-seeded Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium 6-2, 6-1 on an outdoor hardcourt in the McLeod for Health Florence (S.C.) Open.
   Bonaventure, a 20-year-old left-hander, was ranked No. 219 in the world entering the tournament.
   Bellis, the top-ranked 18-and-under girl in the world, will improve from No. 311 in the women's singles rankings to about No. 261. She was No. 423 entering the Rock Hill (S.C.) Rocks Open the week before Florence.
   The 5-foot-6 (1.68-meter), 110-pound (50-kilogram) Bellis stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the U.S. Open in August to become the youngest player to win a main-draw match at Flushing Meadows since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
   Bellis also helped the United States win the Junior Fed Cup title three weeks ago in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sacramento-area coach honored

   The USTA recently announced its 2014 No-Cut Coach All-Star team, including Mark Shahan of Antelope Valley High School in the Sacramento area.
   The No-Cut Coach All-Star team recognizes 14 exceptional high school coaches throughout the nation who implement a no-cut policy that welcomes all interested students to be a part of their school’s tennis team. 
   The No-Cut Coach All-Star team was established last year. Coaches are nominated by their USTA section.
   "Throughout the year, these coaches play an integral role in the development of student-athletes and the success of no-cut tennis,” said Glenn Arrington, the USTA's national manager of high school tennis. “We applaud their efforts at encouraging players of all levels and allowing them to share in a rewarding team experience at their school.”
   Since 2006, more than 4,000 tennis coaches nationwide have made a commitment to offering a no-cut policy, with some programs including more than 100 players.
    To register as a no-cut coach or learn more about the program and free registration incentives, visit www.usta.com/no-cut.

Altamirano to attend Virginia, hold off on pros

Collin Altamirano of Sacramento practices with Ryan Harrison
during the recent $100,000 Sacramento Pro Circuit Challenger.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Collin Altamirano has decided that professional tennis can wait.
   The Sacramentan, last year's USTA boys 18 national champion and this year's runner-up, said recently that he will enroll at the University of Virginia in January as planned.
   "I just felt like it was going to be good for me," Altamirano, 18, said after practicing with countryman Ryan Harrison during the $100,000 Sacramento Pro Circuit Challenger at the Natomas Racquet Club. "It'll be good to be around a team and see something different."
   Altamirano said he chose Virginia over USC, UCLA and Wake Forest.
   "I like the team and the coaching staff the best. I like how (the Cavaliers) are coached and how motivated they are. I like the people on the team. I feel like they're all good guys. I just got along with them really well," Altamirano said.
  Virginia, coached by Brian Boland, won its first NCAA Division I men's tennis title last year, ending USC's four-year reign. The Trojans regained the title this year, defeating the Cavaliers 5-1 in the semifinals.
  When the 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Altamirano was asked how long he plans to stay at Virginia, he said: "Could be a semester, could be four years. We'll see. I'm just going to enjoy it."
   Altamirano verbally committed to Virginia in the spring but held out the possibility of changing his mind based on his results as an amateur in pro tournaments.
   "I had the results," he said. "I did better than the plan was. I just felt there's no rushing it. I didn't want to rush something that's not there. I felt like time is on my side."
   Altamirano achieved the best win of his life in the first round of qualifying for the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., in August. He beat then-No. 170 Luca Vanni of Italy 6-4, 6-2 before losing to then-No. 127 Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 2-6, 6-1, 6-1.
   In Futures tournaments this year, Altamirano has reached one semifinal and four quarterfinals in singles, and won one title and advanced to one final in doubles. He has struggled in Challengers.
   Altamirano is ranked No. 740 in the world in singles and No. 880 in doubles, both career highs.
   Altamirano said he sprained his left ankle in practice at the beginning of September and was "probably 80 percent" during the Sacramento Challenger. He received a wild card in his hometown tournament and lost to fifth-seeded Denis Kudla of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-1, 6-1 in the first round.
   Last year, Altamirano became the first unseeded player in the 71-year history of the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., to capture the title. Past winners include International Tennis Hall of Famers Michael Chang, Stan Smith and Dennis Ralston. 
   The title gave Altamirano a wild card into the U.S. Open men's singles draw, in which he lost to 22nd-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round. Altamirano then  reached the junior boys quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.
   Altamirano trained with Roger Federer in Dubai, where the Swiss star has a residence, for two weeks in December and served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team in late January and early February in San Diego.
   In this year's USTA boys 18 final, Altamirano lost to Wimbledon junior champion Noah Rubin 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Rubin is a freshman at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C.