Monday, April 30, 2012

30's champ falls; Wilson wins marathon

   Few people want to get up early on a Sunday or spend a gorgeous day indoors.
   Those who did, though, were rewarded at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center in Gold River. They witnessed a champion's demise and a thrilling marathon in the USTA National 30's Indoor Championships.
   Third-seeded Calle Hansen of Newbury Park in the Los Angeles area knocked off top-seeded Jan Tiilikainen, the two-time defending champion and four-time winner from Reno, 6-3, 6-3 in a 9 a.m. men's semifinal.
   Roughly when that match ended, second-seeded Kelly (Pace) Wilson of Cameron Park and unseeded Elizabeth Seiverling of Portland, Ore., took the court in the women's semis. Three and one-half hours later, Wilson emerged with a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 triumph.
   Today's 9 a.m. men's final will be a study in contrasts. Hansen, a 6-foot-5 right-hander with a two-handed backhand, will face fifth-seeded Sherif Zaher, a 5-10 left-hander with a one-handed backhand.
   The only apparent similarity between Hansen and Zaher,  who beat No. 4 Hunter Gallaway of Lafayette 6-0, 6-4, is that both moved from their native countries to star at California colleges. Hansen, a 32-year-old teaching pro from Sweden, earned All-America honors at Pepperdine. Zaher, a 33-year-old sports psychologist and tennis coach from Egypt, was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002 at Sacramento State.
   Wilson, meanwhile, will meet top-seeded Romana Tedjakusuma of Tracy at 11 a.m. in a rematch of last year's final, won by Tedjakusuma 7-5, 6-2.
   While Wilson, a teaching pro at the Gold River Racquet Club, was locked in a baseline battle with the 5-foot-2 Seiverling, who stopped playing for 10 years while she completed her residency in dermatology, Tedjakusuma coasted to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Ioulia Bolotova of Philadelphia.
   Hansen overpowered the 5-foot-11 Tiilikainen and displayed surprisingly good movement for his size.
   "He's a good player, perfect for indoors," said Tiilikainen, a 40-year-old teaching pro and former standout at Nevada originally from Finland. "I should have broken him a few more times and put pressure on him. When he gets ahead, he's very tough."
   Wilson, a 38-year-old native of Huntsville, Ala., and former touring pro who cracked the top 200 in the world in 1996, was supported by fans lining one side of the court. She used patience to subdue the gallant Seiverling, a 31-year-old product of Hershey, Pa., who played No. 1 at the College of Charleston (S.C.) after transferring from Tennessee.
   "In the first set, she played unbelievably well," said Wilson, the top-ranked college player in the nation as a senior at Texas in 1995. "She made only two or three unforced errors. I told myself that the odds are she's not going to play an entire match making only four or five errors. It helped to lead 3-0 in the second set. It gave me some momentum."
   Wilson served for the match at 5-3 in the third set, but Seiverling fought back to 5-5. After Wilson held for 6-5, she broke with the help of a drop shot and two Seiverling forehand errors to end the match.
   "She served better at the end than I did," Seiverling lamented. "I've never had a big serve. I'm 5-2. It's not a question of being able to serve aces. It's a matter of getting it in."
   Seiverling, who returned to tennis last year, added that she was playing in her first tournament "in many, many years."
   Said Wilson: "She played very well. She didn't give me many free points. Every point was a battle."
   To which fans who missed church Sunday can only say, "Amen."
   Women's Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. -- Fourth-seeded Maria Sanchez of Modesto and Yasmin Schnack, who plays for her hometown Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, beat unseeded Elena Bovina of Russia and Julia Glushko of Israel 6-2, 6-2 to win the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Women's Clay Court Classic.   Schnack, who will turn 24 on Friday, won her fourth doubles title on the ITF Women's Circuit this year and ninth overall. Sanchez, 22, has won three and six, respectively. Schnack is 4-0 in doubles finals this year, three of the wins coming with Sanchez.
   Men's Challenger in Kaohsiung, Taiwan -- Second-seeded John Paul Fruttero, an ex-Cal All-American living in San Jose, and Raven Klaasen of South Africa won the doubles crown in the $125,000 OEC Kaohsiung with a 6-7 (6), 7-5, 10-8 victory over Daniel King-Turner of New Zealand and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark.
   Fruttero, who turns 31 today, has won two Challenger doubles titles this year and five overall.
   Pac-12 Championships in Ojai -- Top-seeded Nicole Gibbs routed unseeded Anett Schutting of Cal 6-0, 6-2 to become the second consecutive Stanford woman to win the Pac-12 Championships. Kristie Ahn triumphed last year.
   After needing three sets to win her opening match, Gibbs lost only four games in her subsequent four contests. From the quarterfinals through the final, she won four consecutive sets 6-0. Three of Gibbs' five victims were from Cal. 
   Gibbs, a sophomore from Santa Monica who reached the NCAA semifinals last year, improved to 31-5 (17-2 in dual matches) with seven straight wins.
   However, she fell short in her bid to become the first Stanford player to sweep the conference titles since Marissa Irvin in 1999. Gibbs and Mallory Burdette, the top seeds, lost to USC's Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles final.
   Big West Championships in Indian Wells -- Third-seeded UC Irvine, with freshman twins Ali and Kat Facey of Cameron Park in the Sacramento area, lost to top-seeded Long Beach State 4-1 in the final of the Big West Championships.
   Kat Facey fell to Sarah Cantlay 6-1, 7-5 at No. 4 singles and teamed with Ali in an 8-2 loss to Cantlay and Julie Luzar at No. 3 doubles.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stanford's Gibbs posts another shutout

   The question entering today's women's singles final at the Pac-12 Championships might not be whether Cal's Anett Schutting will win the match.
   It might be whether she will win a game.
   Granted, the unseeded Schutting has knocked off second-seeded Robin Anderson of UCLA (after Anderson retired with an injury at one set apiece), third-seeded Mallory Burdette of Stanford and seventh-seeded Danielle Lao of USC.
   But Schutting's opponent in the final, top-seeded Nicole Gibbs of Stanford, has lost only two games in her last three matches. The sophomore from Santa Monica demolished her teammate, Stacey Tan, 6-0, 6-0 Saturday in the semifinals after hammering Cal's Tayler Davis 6-0, 6-0 and Annie Goransson 6-2, 6-0. All three victims were unseeded.
   But Tan, a junior from Lakewood, avenged a loss to Jana Juricova of Cal in last year's NCAA final in the second round and upset sixth-seeded Zoe Scandalis of USC in the quarterfinals.
   Schutting, a sophomore from Estonia, defeated Burdette 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to become the first Bear to reach the conference final since NCAA champion Susie Babos in 2007. The last Cal player to capture the title was Zsuzsanna Fodor in 2006.
   Gibbs is ranked third nationally, and Schutting, who ended Burdette's winning streak at 21 matches, is 96th.
   Also today, Gibbs will try to become the first Stanford player to sweep the singles and doubles titles since Marissa Irvin in 1999. The top-seeded team of Burdette and Gibbs will face third-seeded Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria of USC in the final.
   Burdette and Gibbs eliminated Juricova and Zsofi Susanyi 8-5 in the quarterfinals and Valeria Pulido and Scandalis 8-3 in the semis.Christian and Santamaria routed Sofia Hager and Patricia Skowronski of Oregon 8-2 and second-seeded Goransson and Schutting 8-1.
   In the men's team final, second-seeded USC (27-1) beat UCLA (22-3). The Trojans, three-time defending NCAA champions, are ranked first and the Bruins fifth. However, UCLA recently beat USC.
    Big West Championships in Indian Wells -- The UC Davis men and women lost 4-0 in the semifinals of their respective conference tournaments.
   The fifth-seeded UCD men (6-16) fell to top-seeded Cal Poly (14-7), and the No. 2 Aggies women (12-12) succumbed to No. 3 UC Irvine (16-7).
   Anteaters freshman Kat Facey of Cameron Park in the Sacramento area did not finish her match at No. 4 singles. Nor did Facey and her twin sister, Ali, at No. 3 doubles.
   Women's Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. -- Fourth-seeded Maria Sanchez of Modesto and Yasmin Schnack, a member of her hometown Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, reached the doubles final of the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Women's Clay Court Classic.   Sanchez and Schnack -- former rivals at USC and UCLA, respectively -- outplayed unseeded Irina Falconi and CoCo Vandeweghe, another Capital, 7-6 (1), 6-4 in an all-American encounter.
   In the other semifinal, Elena Bovina of Russia and Julia Glushko of Israel downed third-seeded Sharon Fichman of Canada and Valeria Solovieva of Russia 6-4, 6-4. Bovina and Glushko also beat second-seeded Jill Craybas and Alison Riske in the first round.
   In the singles semifinals, the second-seeded Falconi overcame Vandeweghe 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 to set up a meeting with Melanie Oudin of Marietta, Ga. 
   Men's Challenger in Kaohsiung, Taiwan -- Second-seeded John Paul Fruttero, a former Cal All-American from San Jose, and Raven Klaasen of South Africa dispatched Taiwan's Tsung-Hua Yang and Chu-Huan Yi 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the $125,000 OEC Kaohsiung.
   USTA National 30's in Gold River -- Fifth-seeded Sherif Zaher, a former Sacramento State star living in Folsom, ousted second-seeded Michael Cunningham of Lexington, Ky., 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the $10,000 USTA National Men, Women & Mixed 30's Indoor Championships at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center.
   In today's semifinals at 9 a.m., Zaher will face fourth-seeded Hunter Gallaway of Lafayette, and top-seeded Jan Tiilikainen of Reno will meet third-seeded Calle Hansen of Newbury Park.
   The women's semis are set for 10 a.m. Top-seeded Romana Tedjakusuma of Tracy will take on unseeded Ioulia Bolotova of Philadelphia, and second-seeded Kelly Wilson of Cameron Park will go against unseeded Elizabeth Seiverling of Portland, Ore.
   The men's and women's doubles semis are scheduled for 3 p.m. and the mixed doubles semis for 6 p.m.
   Admission to the tournament is free, and food and drinks are available for purchase.      

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stanford's Tan shocks NCAA champ

   Avenging a loss to Jana Juricova of Cal in last year's NCAA women's singles final, unseeded Stacey Tan of Stanford surprised the No. 4 seed 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 Friday in the second round of the Pac-12 Championships in Ojai.
   Tan, a junior from Lakewood in the Los Angeles area, then knocked off No. 6 seed Zoe Scandalis of USC 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
   In today's all-San Francisco Bay Area semifinals, Tan will face teammate Nicole Gibbs, seeded  No. 1, and third-seeded Mallory Burdette of Stanford will meet unseeded Anett Schutting of Cal.
   Gibbs, an NCAA semifinalist as a freshman last year, cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Cal's Tayler Davis in the second round and a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over the Bears' Annie Goransson in the quarterfinals.
Sacramento State's Tatsiana Kapshai was named
the Big Sky Conference female MVP for the third
year in a row. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Burdette eliminated Patricia Skowronski of Oregon 6-0, 6-4 and fifth-seeded Zsofi Susanyi of Cal 7-6 (4), 6-2.
   Schutting upset seventh-seeded Danielle Lao of USC 6-3, 6-3 and was tied with second-seeded Robin Anderson of UCLA 4-6, 6-0 when the Bruins standout retired with an undisclosed injury.
   Winning first-round doubles matches were top-seeded Burdette and Gibbs, second-seeded Goransson and Schutting, and unseeded Juricova and Susanyi. Tan and Ellen Tsay, from Pleasanton, lost to Oregon's Sofia Hager and Skowronski 8-5.
   Meanwhile, in the semifinals of the Pac-12 men's team tournament, top-seeded UCLA crushed fourth-seeded Cal 5-0, and second-seeded USC whipped Stanford 4-0.
   Big West Championships in Indian Wells -- The UC Davis men and women routed Pacific to reach the semifinals of the Big West Championships.
   The fifth-seeded UCD men (6-15) won 4-1 against the fourth-seeded Tigers (8-15), and the second-seeded Aggies women (12-11) romped to a 4-0 victory over seventh-seeded Pacific (5-15) for their fifth straight win.
   The UCD men will take on top-seeded Cal Poly, and the Aggies women will go against third-seeded UC Irvine.
   Kapshai named Big Sky MVP -- Sacramento State senior Tatsiana Kapshai was named the Big Sky Conference women's MVP for the third straight year. The native of Minsk, Belarus, is 15-11 at No. 1 singles. She went undefeated in conference play for the fourth straight year and led Sac State to its 11th straight Big Sky Championships title.
   Joining Kapshai on the all-Big Sky first team are teammates Clarisse Baca, a senior, and Rebeca Delgado, a junior, and Montana's Heather Davidson, a junior from Rocklin in the Sacramento area. Sac State senior Maria Meliuk earned second-team recognition.
   Hornets junior Aliaksandr Malko and freshman Marek Marksoo were named to the men's first team, and Sac State senior Javier Millan received second-team honors.
   ATP World Tour in Barcelona, Spain -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former NCAA champions from Stanford, defaulted their quarterfinal match in the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell after Bob contracted a stomach virus.
   The Bryan twins, who won the Barcelona doubles title in 2003 and 2008, had been scheduled to play  eighth-seeded Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya, both of Austria.
   Also, fourth-seeded Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski edged seventh-seeded Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Roger, a member of the Sacramento Capitals from Netherlands Antilles, 6-3, 6-7 (8), 10-7 tiebreak.
    Women's Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. -- CoCo Vandeweghe of the Capitals won twice to reach the semifinals of the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Women's Clay Court Classic.
   Vandeweghe upset fourth-seeded Alison Riske 6-2, 7-5 in the second round and outlasted wild card Maria Sanchez of Modesto 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
   Vandeweghe, a 20-year-old resident of Rancho Sante Fe in the San Diego area, will meet her doubles partner, second-seeded Irina Falconi of Atlanta, in today's semifinals.
   USTA National 30's in Gold River -- Chris Gerety of Gold River and Todd Stanley of Sacramento routed Luke Roloff of San Francisco and Reid Wiggins of Kirkland, Wash., 6-1, 6-2 in the first round of men's doubles in the USTA National Men, Women & Mixed 30's Indoor Championships at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center in the Sacramento area.
   Dave Kuhn of Elk Grove and John Saviano of Los Altos Hills topped William Coe of Rancho Cordova and Bobby Martinez of Citrus Heights 6-4, 6-2.
   Also, the all-Sacramento team of Jordan Boyls and Brian Martinez lost to Jan Tiilikainen of Reno and Mark Fairchilds of Modesto 7-6 (4), 6-4.
  Play begins today at 9 a.m. with men's and women's singles and continues through the evening with men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pac-12 men's semis set; USTA 30's to start

   The third-seeded Stanford men and fourth-seeded Cal won rain-delayed quarterfinals Thursday in the Southern California town of Ojai in the first Pac-12 Championships.
   The Cardinal defeated seventh-seeded Utah 4-2, and the Bears edged fifth-seeded Washington 4-3.
   Daniel Ho clinched the match for Stanford with a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-0 victory over Devin Lane at No. 5 singles in a match that ended at 11:30 p.m. Meanwhile, 44th-ranked Ben McLachlan lifted Cal with a 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 decision over No. 22 Kyle McMorrow at No. 1 singles.
   Cal's Nick Andrews, a senior from the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, lost to Marton Bots 7-6 (4), 6-4 at No. 2 singles but teamed with Christoffer Konigsfeldt to beat McMorrow and Bots 8-5 at No. 1 doubles.
   Andrews is ranked No. 56 in singles, and he and Konigsfeldt are No. 5 in doubles.
   In today's semifinals, Stanford (17-7) will play second-seeded USC, and Cal (12-10) will meet top-seeded UCLA.
   While the men play a team tournament, the women are using an individual format with 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams.
   All nine Stanford and Cal women won first-round singles matches. Advancing for Stanford were top-seeded Nicole Gibbs, No. 3 Mallory Burdette, Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay. Moving on for Cal were No. 4 Jana Juricova, No. 5 Zsofi Susanyi, Tayler Davis, Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting.
   Rain postponed the round of 16 until today, when doubles play begins.
   USTA National 30's in Gold River -- The $10,000 USTA National Men, Women & Mixed 30's Indoor Championships begin today at 3 p.m. at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center in the Sacramento suburb of Gold River.  
   Play is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Monday's finals are set for 10 a.m. (women's singles), noon (men's singles), 1 p.m. (women's doubles), 2 p.m. (mixed doubles) and 4 p.m. (men's doubles).
   Reno's Jan Tiilikainen, seeded first in men's singles, is scheduled to play Arnie Dun of Sacramento on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the second round. Both drew first-round byes.
   Tracy's Romana Tedjakusuma, the top seed in women's singles, also received a first-round bye and will meet Zeynep Aynaci of San Francisco or Ioulia Bolotova of Philadelphia in the semifinals Sunday at 10 a.m.
   Admission to all matches is free.
   ATP World Tour in Barcelona, Spain -- Seventh-seeded Jean-Julien Rojer of the Sacramento Capitals and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan tipped brothers Andy and Jamie Murray of Great Britain 6-2, 5-7, 10-8 tiebreak in the second round of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
   Andy Murray won his first career ATP singles title at 18 years old in the 2006 SAP Open in San Jose and repeated the following year. Jamie Murray captured the doubles title in the 2007 SAP Open with Eric Butorac, who played for the Capitals in 2008.
   Men's Challenger in Kaohsiung, Taiwan -- Second-seeded Go Soeda of Japan beat Taiwan's Jimmy Wang, who trains in Granite Bay in the Sacramento area, 6-4, 5-5, retired in the second round of the $125,000 OEC Kaohsiung.
   The reason for Wang's retirment was not available. Soeda won the 2009 Tiburon Challenger.
   Women's Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. -- Irina Falconi and CoCo Vandeweghe, who's scheduled to return to the Capitals in July after playing for them in 2009, knocked off top-seeded Alexa Glatch and Melanie Oudin 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 tiebreak in an all-American quarterfinal at the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Women's Clay Court Classic.
   Falconi and Vandeweghe will face fourth-seeded Maria Sanchez of Modesto and Yasmin Schnack, a member of her hometown Capitals. They eliminated Carly Gullickson and Ashley Weinhold 7-6 (6), 6-2 in another all-American encounter.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Capitals' Fish questionable for French Open

Mardy Fish, left, and Andy Roddick, former high school
teammates in tennis and basketball, played doubles
together at Indian Wells in March. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Mardy Fish of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis continues to deal with fatigue and is questionable for the French Open.
   Fish, the highest-ranked American at No. 9 in the world, woke up in the middle of the night feeling ill in late March and withdrew from the Davis Cup quarterfinals the following week in Monte Carlo. He returned to the circuit in Houston two weeks ago, losing his opening match to fall to 7-6 this year.
   "I'm doing OK," Fish, who's scheduled to play home matches for the Capitals on July 12 and 13, told the Associated Press. "We're doing lots of tests to try to figure out what's going on and what went wrong. It's sort of unclear as to how or why it happened, but we're trying to figure it out. It's not something I'm super comfortable talking about. It certainly was a scare.''
   Fish hopes to play clay-court tournaments in Madrid and Rome during the weeks of May 6 and 13 to prepare for the French Open, which begins May 27.
   "I'm not 100 percent sure whether I'll be back for that,'' Fish said, "but that's the goal.''
   Fish, 30, attained a career-high ranking of No. 7 last year and played in the season-ending tour championships for the first time, extending his season. A marathon Davis Cup victory on clay in Switzerland in February, in addition to tournament schedule, also might have taken a toll.
   ATP World Tour in Barcelona, Spain --Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, the 1998 NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, nipped Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco 5-7, 6-2, 10-7 tiebreak to reach the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
    The Bryan twins, coming off their second title of the season in Monte Carlo last week, seek their third Barcelona crown. They won in 2003 and 2008.
   Men's Challenger in Savannah, Ga. -- Top-seeded Carsten Ball of Australia and Bobby Reynolds of Acworth, Ga., edged Dmitry Tursunov, a Moscow native living in Folsom, and Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 tiebreak in the first round of the $50,000 Savannah Challenger.
   Tursunov, who also lost in the first round of singles as the top seed, returned after being sidelined for more than three months with a left wrist injury. Ball won the doubles crown in the Sacramento Challenger last October with Chris Guccione of Australia.
   Women's Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. -- CoCo Vandeweghe of the Capitals and wild card Maria Sanchez of Modesto won their first-round singles matches in straight sets in the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Women's Clay Court Classic.
   USTA Nationals in Gold River -- Jan Tiilikainen of Reno and Romana Tedjakusuma of Tracy are seeded first in men's and women's singles, respectively, in the USTA National Men, Women & Mixed 30's Indoor Championships, Friday through Monday at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center in the Sacramento area.
   Other top seeds are Michael Cunningham of Lexington, Ky., and Thomas Lackey of Sebring, Fla., in men's doubles, Marisue Jacutin-Mariona of Los Altos and Tedjakusuma in women's doubles, and Isabella Kling of Orangevale and Martin Rothfels of Gold River in mixed doubles.
    College results -- The No. 5 Stanford women earned a share of the Pacific-12 Conference title with a 4-0 victory over No. 31 Washington State in a makeup match in Ojai. The Cardinal's Mallory Burdette and Stacey Tan won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively.
   Stanford (18-1, 9-1) tied USC (20-3, 9-1) for first place but received the Pac-12's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament  because of the Cardinal's 4-2 victory over the Trojans two weeks ago. Stanford has captured at least a share of the conference title every year since 1987 except 2009.
   Washington State fell to 18-6 and 6-4.
   The Pac-12 Women's Championships begin Thursday in Ojai. The men's championships started Wednesday in the Southern California town, with fifth-seeded Washington drubbing No. 8 Arizona 4-0 and No. 7 Utah trouncing No. 6 Oregon 4-0.
   In Thursday's men's quarterfinals, No. 3 Stanford faces Utah, and No. 4 Cal meets Washington. No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 USC drew byes until Friday's semifinals.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BAY AREA TO LOSE ATP TOURNEY

   Northern California fans suffered a crushing blow Tuesday when it was announced that next February's SAP Open, the second-oldest tennis tournament in the United States, will be the last.
   Rio de Janeiro, the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics and a co-host of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, will replace San Jose on the ATP World Tour beginning in 2014.
   “We were presented with a fantastic opportunity to further strengthen the ATP’s presence in South America and Brazil, in particular, a country with a great tradition in tennis," ATP executive director and president Brad Drewett said on atpworldtour.com. "Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant world city that will offer an excellent platform for the ATP World Tour and men’s tennis.” 
   This year's SAP Open, won by Milos Raonic of Canada for the second time in a row, marked the 124th edition of the tournament.
   The event began in Monterey in 1889 and also has been held in Berkeley, San Francisco, Alamo and Daly City. San Jose's HP Pavilion, the home of the San Jose Sharks in the NHL, has hosted the tournament since 1994, when it opened.
   Past champions include legends Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. But the tournament has struggled to attract top players and big crowds in recent years. American Andy Roddick has headlined the tournament for the past nine years -- winning the title in 2004, 2005 and 2008 -- but has fought age and injuries lately.
   France's Gael Monfils, ranked 13th in the world, was seeded first in this year's SAP Open and withdrew beforehand with a knee injury. The final, in which Raonic beat unseeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, drew an announced crowd of 5,682.
   “The history and longevity of pro tennis in the Bay Area is definitely something we didn’t take lightly,” Mike Lehr, executive vice president of business development for Sharks Sports & Entertainment (which owns the tournament), told the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s one reason we’re going to continue to try to find ways to bring tennis to San Jose.”
   Lehr hopes to lure superstars for Bay Area exhibitions. 
   The loss of the SAP Open will leave the Challengers, equivalent to Triple-A baseball, in Tiburon, Sacramento and Aptos as the top men's tournaments in Northern California. 
   Also, the Bank of the West Classic on the elite WTA Tour is scheduled for July 9-15 at Stanford. In its 42nd year, the Bank of the West ranks as the oldest women's tournament in the world.
   History, though, doesn't count for much these days.
   Tursunov loses in return -- Understandably, Dmitry Tursunov was rusty Tuesday. 
   Playing his first match in more than three months, the top-seeded Sacramento-area resident fell to Peter Polansky of Canada 6-4, 6-3 on clay in the first round of the $50,000 Savannah (Ga.) Challenger.  
   Tursunov, a 29-year-old Moscow native living in Folsom, had been sidelined with a strained tendon in his left wrist. He is right-handed but uses a two-handed backhand.
   "The wrist felt OK," the 88th-ranked Tursunov, who reached a career-high No. 20 in 2006, said by telephone. "It didn't bother me. There were a couple moments when it felt uncomfortable."
   Tursunov started well in his first meeting with the 23-year-old Polansky, ranked No. 211, before faltering.
   "I was playing OK," Tursunov said. "I was up a break a couple times in the first set but started rushing a little bit. I was not comfortable being in the lead. Everything was moving faster, and I didn't make decisions fast enough. I was a little rattled. When you first come back, it's hard to stay within yourself. You start rushing and making bad decisions."
  It won't get any easier Wednesday in the first round of doubles. Tursunov and Teymuraz Gabashvili are scheduled to face top-seeded Carsten Ball of Australia and Bobby Reynolds of Acworth, Ga. Ball and Chris Guccione, also from Australia, won the Sacramento Challenger last October.
  The irreverent Tursunov, formerly the ATP World Tour's resident blogger, recently began writing an advice column called Agony Uncle at www.thetennisspace.com/opinion/expert-help-from-agony-uncle-dmitry.
  ATP World Tour in Barcelona, Spain -- Eric Butorac of Rochester, Minn., and Bruno Soares of Brazil defeated Scott Lipsky of Huntington Beach and Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the Barcelona Open. Lipsky won the title last year with Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico.
   Butorac played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in 2008. Lipsky helped Stanford win the NCAA team title in 2000 and reached the NCAA doubles final in 2002 with David Martin. Ram advanced to Sacramento Challenger finals in 2006 (singles) and 2008 (doubles).
   Men's Challenger in Kaohsiung, Taiwan -- Second-seeded John Paul Fruttero of San Jose and Raven Klassen of South Africa edged Hsien-Yin Peng of Taiwan and Bumpei Sato of Japan 4-6, 6-4, 12-10 tiebreak in the first round of the $125,000 OEC Kaohsiung.
   Fruttero, an ex-Cal American, gained the doubles final of the Sacramento Challenger in 2005, the inaugural tournament, and in 2007.
   Women's Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. -- Fourth-seeded Yasmin Schnack, a member of her hometown Capitals, and Maria Sanchez of Modesto topped Lena Litvak of New York and Chanel Simmonds of South Africa 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round of the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Women's Clay Court Classic.
   College rankings -- Following are this week's Division I college rankings of Northern California teams and players:
   Women's team -- 5. Stanford; 8. Cal; 41. Saint Mary's; 54. Sacramento State.
   Women's singles -- 3. Nicole Gibbs, Stanford; 5. Mallory Burdette, Stanford; 7. Jana Juricova, Cal; 14. Zsofi Susanyi, Cal; 23. Denise Dy (San Jose), Washington; 49. Katie Le, Santa Clara; 55. Tayler Davis (San Jose), Cal; 57. Stacey Tan, Stanford; 65. Ellen Tsay (Pleasanton), Stanford; 83. Annie Goransson, Cal; 86. Jenny Jullien, Saint Mary's; 96. Anett Schutting, Cal; 105. Catherine Isip, Saint Mary's.
   Women's doubles -- 2. Burdette and Gibbs, Stanford; 5. Goransson and Schutting, Cal; 18. Juricova and Susanyi, Cal; 25. Tan and Tsay, Stanford; 70. Rebeca Delgado and Tatsiana Kapshai, Sac State.
   Men's team -- 10. Stanford; 14. Cal; 35. Santa Clara.
   Men's singles -- 12. Artem Ilyushin (Granite Bay), Mississippi State; 27. Ryan Thacher, Stanford; 36. Bradley Klahn, Stanford; 44. Ben McLachlan, Cal; 56. Nick Andrews, Cal; 69. Carlos Cueto, Cal; 78. Kyle Dandan, Santa Clara; 113. Matt Kandath, Stanford.
   Men's doubles -- 5. Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt, Cal; 6. Klahn and Thacher, Stanford; 25. George Coupland and Ilyushin (Granite Bay), Mississippi State; 56. Cueto and McLachlan, Cal; 60. John Morrissey and Thacher, Stanford; 90. Ilya Osintev and John Lamble, Santa Clara.
THIS WEEK'S TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Thursday -- Barcelona (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 4:30-10:30 a.m. (live), 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (repeat), 4 p.m.-midnight (repeat).
   Friday -- Barcelona (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3:30-9:30 a.m. (live), 7:30-11:30 p.m. (repeat); Stuttgart (women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. (delay).
   Saturday -- Stuttgart (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5-7 a.m. (live), 7-10 a.m. (repeat), 9:30-11:30 a.m. (live), 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (repeat); Barcelona (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (delay); Bucharest (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4:30-8:30 p.m. (delay). 
   Sunday -- Barcelona (men), final, Tennis Channel, 7-9:30 a.m. (live), 5-7:30 p.m. (repeat); Stuttgart (women), final, Tennis Channel, 9:30-11:30 a.m. (live), 1:30-3:30 p.m. (repeat), 7:30-9:30 p.m. (repeat); Bucharest (men), final, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (delay).
   CALENDAR
   Wednesday-Saturday -- Pacific-12 Conference Men's Championships, Ojai.
   Thursday-Sunday -- Pacific-12 Conference Women's Championships, Ojai; Big West Conference Women's Championships, Indian Wells.
   Friday-Sunday -- Big West Conference Men's Championships, Indian Wells.
   Friday-April 30 -- USTA National Men's, Women's and Mixed 30's Indoor Championships, Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center, 11205 Pyrites Way, Gold River, Calif. (Sacramento area).

Tursunov set to launch comeback today

   Folsom resident Dmitry Tursunov is scheduled to begin his comeback from a left wrist injury today.
   The top-seeded Tursunov, ranked No. 88 after reaching a career-high No. 20 in 2006, faces Canada's Peter Polansky, ranked No. 211, on clay in the first round of the $50,000 Savannah (Ga.) Challenger.
   Tursunov, a 29-year-old Moscow native, has been sidelined since losing in the first round of the Australian Open in mid-January. He strained a tendon in his wrist during the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur last September but continued to play. Tursunov is right-handed but has a two-handed backhand.
    Meanwhile, Jimmy Wang, who trains with Tursunov at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, continued his comeback in his native Taiwan. The former top-100 player dispatched Denys Molchanov of Ukraine 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round of the $125,000 Challenger in Kaohsiung.
   Wang, 27, returned to action in late 2010 after missing three years because of two operations on his right (playing) wrist. Rated a career-high No. 85 in 2006, he dropped out of the rankings but has rebounded to No. 193. Wang reached the semifinals of the $15,000 Sacramento Futures last June.
   Women's Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. -- Yasmin Schnack, a resident of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area and member of her hometown Capitals in World TeamTennis, lost to top-seeded Gail Brodsky of Brooklyn, N.Y., 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the first round of qualifying at the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Women's Clay Court Classic.
   Schnack and Maria Sanchez of Modesto are seeded fourth in the main draw of doubles.
   New pro rankings -- Following are this week's rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 9 in singles (+1), No. 99 in doubles (+3).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- Career-high No. 93 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Kiryl Harbatsiuk, three-time Big Sky Conference MVP (2009-11) at Sacramento State -- No. 783 in singles (-3), No. 1,255 in doubles (+5).
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 77 in doubles (-11), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 42 in doubles (-6), unranked in singles.
   David Martin, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 175 in doubles (-11), No. 776 in singles (-6).
   Conor Niland, 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American at Cal -- No. 340 in singles (no change), unranked in doubles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native -- No. 80 in singles (+18), No. 24 in doubles (no change).
   Jean-Julien Rojer, Capitals (2012) -- No. 36 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 88 in singles (-1), No. 224 in doubles (+3).
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 193 in singles (+2), No. 382 in doubles (-3).
   Pedro Zerbini, Pacific-10 All-Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 773 in singles (+459), No. 1,348 in doubles (unranked last week).
Women
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 24 in doubles (no change), No. 721 in singles (+1).
   Asia Muhammed, Capitals (2012) -- No. 178 in doubles (+3), No. 387 in singles (+5).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- Career-high No. 174 in doubles (+11), career-high No. 371 in singles (+13).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- Career-high No. 163 in doubles (+10), No. 374 in singles (+5).
   Coco Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 163 in singles (+2), No. 331 in doubles (+45).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sac State sweeps Big Sky crowns

The Sacramento State women's tennis team won its 11th straight Big Sky
Conference Tournament title Sunday. Kneeling (from left) are head coach
Dima Hrynashka and assistant coach Gergana Avramova-Hunt. Standing
(from left) are Chyna Brown, Jessica Eung, Andrea Gomez Carus, Katharina
Knoebl, Maria Meliuk, Sophie Lohscheidt, Clarisse Baca, Rebeca Delgado
and Tatsiana Kapshai.
   To no one's surprise, the Sacramento State men and women won Big Sky Conference championships Sunday at the Gold River Racquet Club.
   The only surprise was the ease of the men's victory.
   Both teams rolled to 4-0 victories over Montana to earn automatic berths in next month's NCAA Tournament. The top-seeded Sac State women won their 11th straight Big Sky Tournament title and the second-seeded men their fourth. The women also extended their conference win streak to 92 matches.
Sacramento State junior Aliaksandr Malko beat
Montana's Carl Kuschke 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles
in the Big Sky Conference Tournament final.
   The Hornets men avenged a 4-3 loss at Montana during the regular-season that snapped their conference win streak at 24 matches.
   Of Sunday's combined six singles matches and two doubles sets, only men's No. 2 doubles was competitive. Sac State freshmen Sean Kolor of Del Oro High School in Loomis and Tom Miller defeated Michael Facey of Cameron Park and Ethan Vaughn 8-6.
   The Sac State men (11-12) received singles victories from No. 1 Aliaksandr Malko, No. 3 Javier Millan and No. 6 Miller against top-seeded Montana (16-5). Cruising to singles wins for the Hornets women (17-9) against the third-seeded Grizzlies (14-8) were No. 1 Tatsiana Kapshai, No. 3 Clarisse Baca and No. 5 Maria Meliuk.  
    Montana's Heather Davidson, from Rocklin, lost at No. 1 singles and doubles.
   Stanford women top Cal -- Stanford's Nicole Gibbs beat reigning NCAA champion Jana Juricova as the No. 5 Cardinal women beat No. 10 Cal 4-3 Saturday at Stanford.
   The fourth-ranked Gibbs, an NCAA semifinalist as a freshman last year, downed the sixth-ranked Juricova, a senior, 7-6 (2), 6-2 at No. 1 singles.
   Stanford (17-1, 8-1 Pacific-12 Conference) will end its regular-season Wednesday in Ojai, where the Pac-12 Championships begin the next day, against Washington State in the makeup of a rained-out match. With a victory, the Cardinal can tie USC for the conference title. Cal (17-6, 8-2) tied UCLA for third place.
   ATP World Tour in Monte Carlo, Monaco -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, ex-Stanford All-Americans, earned their second straight Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters trophy and third overall with a 6-2, 6-3 victory on clay over second-seeded Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor.
    It was the Bryan twins' 20th career title in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, the highest level outside of the Grand Slams.
   Meanwhile, Mardy Fish of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis returned to No. 1 in the United States after one week. Fish rose one notch to No. 9 in this week's world rankings, and John Isner dropped two places to No. 11. Both were off last week.
   Men's Challenger in Sarasota, Fla. -- No. 6 seed Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native living in Las Vegas, topped No. 5 Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-3 to win the $50,000 Sarasota Challenger on clay.
   It was the first singles title for Querrey, a right-hander who underwent surgery on his right elbow last June, since Los Angeles on the ATP World Tour in July 2010.  
   Women's Challenger in Dothan, Ala. -- Unseeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Jessica Pegula of Boca Raton, Fla., nipped American wild cards Irina Falconi and CoCo Vandeweghe, a member of the
Capitals, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 10-7 tiebreak in the semifinals of the $50,000 Dothan Pro Classic.
   Bouchard and Pegula, 18-year-olds born one day apart, then edged top-seeded Sharon Fichman and Marie-Eve Pelletier, both of Canada, 6-4, 4-6, 10-5 tiebreak for the title. 
THIS WEEK'S TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Thursday -- Barcelona (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 4:30-10:30 a.m. (live), 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (repeat), 4 p.m.-midnight (repeat).
   Friday -- Barcelona (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3:30-9:30 a.m. (live), 7:30-11:30 p.m. (repeat); Stuttgart (women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. (delay).
   Saturday -- Stuttgart (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5-7 a.m. (live), 7-10 a.m. (repeat), 9:30-11:30 a.m. (live), 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (repeat); Barcelona (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (delay); Bucharest (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4:30-8:30 p.m. (delay). 
   Sunday -- Barcelona (men), final, Tennis Channel, 7-9:30 a.m. (live), 5-7:30 p.m. (repeat); Stuttgart (women), final, Tennis Channel, 9:30-11:30 a.m. (live), 1:30-3:30 p.m. (repeat), 7:30-9:30 p.m. (repeat); Bucharest (men), final, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (delay).
   CALENDAR
   Wednesday-Saturday -- Pacific-12 Conference Men's Championships, Ojai.
   Thursday-Sunday -- Pacific-12 Conference Women's Championships, Ojai; Big West Conference Women's Championships, Indian Wells.
   Friday-Sunday -- Big West Conference Men's Championships, Indian Wells.
   Friday-April 30 -- USTA National Men's, Women's and Mixed 30's Indoor Championships, Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center, 11205 Pyrites Way, Gold River, Calif. (Sacramento area).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sac State teams in Big Sky finals; Sierra fundraiser

The Sierra College women pose with doubles exhibition players
Vahe Assadourian (rear middle), Nikita Matveyko (rear right),
Sam Riffice (second from right) and Gabriela Knutson (far right) in
Orangevale. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The Sacramento State men and women reached the Big Sky Conference Tournament finals with 4-0 victories Saturday at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.
   The top-seeded women (16-9) trounced No. 4 Northern Colorado (9-9) for their 91st consecutive conference win. Maria Meliuk, a senior from Belarus, clinched the Hornets' victory with a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Jennifer Buchanan at No. 5 singles.
   Sac State will seek its 11th straight Big Sky title when it faces No. 3 Montana (14-7), a 4-2 winner over No. 2 Northern Arizona (10-13), today at 10 a.m. 
   The No. 2 Sac State men (10-12) drubbed No. 3 Eastern Washington (12-9) in the other semifinal. Freshman Sean Kolar from Del Oro High School in the Sacramento suburb of Loomis provided the clincher, defeating Chad Henninger 7-5, 6-2 at No. 4 singles.
   The Hornets will face No. 1 Montana (16-4), which prevailed 4-3 against No. 4 Weber State (9-13), today at 2 p.m. Sac State try to win its 10th Big Sky crown and avenge its only league loss of the season, 4-3 in Missoula, Mont., on April 8. The defeat snapped the Hornets' 24-match conference winning streak.
   The winners of today's matches receive automatic berths in the NCAA Tournament, which begins May 11.
   UC Davis -- The UC Davis women (11-11, 6-2 Big West Conference) ended their regular season with a 6-1 victory at home over Cal State Fullerton.
   The Aggies earned the No. 2 seed in the Big West Championships, which begin Thursday in Indian Wells. It's their best league finish since joining Division I.
   UCD seniors Dahra Zamudio, Noelle Eades and Zoe Davidson played their last home matches.
   ATP World Tour in Monte Carlo, Monaco -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, the 1998 NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, beat unseeded Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-4, 7-6 (5) on clay to reach the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters for the fifth time.
   The Bryan twins, who won the Monte Carlo title last year and in 2007, will meet second-seeded Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Canada's Daniel Nestor, a former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis.
   Men's Challenger in Sarasota, Fla. -- Sixth-seeded Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native living in Las Vegas, outlasted unseeded Michael Russell of Houston 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 on clay to advance to the final of the $50,000 Sarasota Challenger.
   Querrey will take on fifth-seeded Paolo Lorenzi of Italy for the title. Lorenzi fought off seventh-seeded Wayne Odesnik, a resident of Weston, Fla., who won the 2007 Sacramento Challenger, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. 
   Tursunov to return -- Dmitry Tursunov of Folsom in the Sacramento area is scheduled to launch the latest comeback of his injury-plagued career this week in the $50,000 Savannah (Ga.) Challenger on clay.
   The 29-year-old Moscow native, who's seeded first, has been out since mid-January with a strained tendon in his left wrist. Tursunov is right-handed but has a two-handed backhand.
   Women's Challenger in Dothan, Ala. -- American wild cards Irina Falconi and CoCo Vandeweghe, who will play for the Capitals in July, trail Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Jessica Pegula of Boca Raton, Fla., 3-6, 6-6 in the semifinals of the $50,000 Dothan Pro Classic. The match is set to resume today.
Vahe Assadourian, above, and Gabriela
Knutson edged Nikita Matveyko and
Sam Riffice in an exhibition during
a fundraiser for the Sierra College women.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Sierra College Fundraiser in Orangevale -- Vahe Assadourian and Gabriela Knutson edged Nikita Matveyko and Sam Riffice 6-3, 6-7 (5), 10-8 tiebreak in a clay-court exhibition during a fundraiser for the Sierra College women.
   Assadourian, the director of the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, coaches former top-100 singles player Jimmy Wang of Taiwan. They won the doubles title of the Chico Futures last year.
   Knutson, a Sacramento native who turned 15 Saturday, trains at the same club in Prostejov, Czech Republic, as reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych. Knutson has a Czech mother and American father.
   Matveyko, a Russia native who will turn 16 next Sunday, trains at the Gorin academy, and Riffice, 13, is a top junior from Roseville.
   The event raised $2,000 for the Sierra women.
TODAY'S TV SCHEDULE
Today
(All times PDT)
   Monte Carlo final (Nadal vs. Djokovic), Tennis Channel, 4:30-7 a.m. (live), 5-10 p.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group playoffs, United States at Ukraine, Tennis Channel, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group semifinals, Italy at Czech Republic, Tennis Channel, 1:30-3:30 p.m. (taped).
   CALENDAR
   Today
    Big Sky Conference Tournament, Gold River Racquet Club, 2201 Gold Rush Drive, Gold River, Calif.  (Sacramento area), women's final (Sacramento State vs. Montana) at 10 a.m., men's final (Sac State vs. Montana) at 2 p.m.  
Friday-April 30
   USTA National Men's, Women's and Mixed 30's Indoor Championships, Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center, 11205 Pyrites Way, Gold River, Calif. (Sacramento area).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sac State women seek 11th straight Big Sky title

   The last time the Sacramento State women's tennis team lost a Big Sky Conference match, Barack Obama was an obscure state senator, and Twitter was something birds did.
   Since 2002, the Hornets have won 90 consecutive conference matches and 10 straight Big Sky Tournament titles. They'll try to extend those streaks beginning today at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.
   In today's Big Sky semifinals at 10 a.m., top-seeded Sac State (15-9, 8-0) will face No. 4 Northern Colorado (9-8, 5-3), and No. 2 Northern Arizona (10-12, 7-1) will play No. 3 Montana (13-7, 6-2). The winners will meet Sunday at 10 a.m. for the title.
   Playing singles for the 52nd-ranked Hornets will be No. 1 Tatsiana Kapshai, a senior from Belarus; No. 2 Rebeca Delgado, a junior from Mexico; No. 3 Clarisse Baca, a senior from Mexico; No. 4 Sophie Lohscheidt, a sophomore from Germany; No. 5 Katharina Knoebl, a sophomore from Austria; and No. 6 Maria Meliuk, a senior from Belarus.  
   The Sac State men (9-12, 7-1) seek their 10th Big Sky Tournament title in 15 years. Seeded second, the Hornets will take on No. 3 Eastern Washington (12-8, 6-2) today at 2 p.m. in one semifinal. No. 1 Montana (15-4, 8-0) will go against No. 4 Weber State (9-12, 5-3) in the other, also at 2 p.m. The winners will vie for the championship on Sunday at 2 p.m.
   Sac State's singles lineup consists of No. 1 Aliaksandr Malko, a junior from Belarus; No.2 Marek Marksoo, a freshman from Estonia; No. 3 Javier Millan, a senior from Mexico; No. 4 Sean Kolar, a freshman from Del Oro High School in Loomis; No. 5 Roy Brandys, a freshman from Poland; and No. 6 Tom Miller, a freshman from England.
   Admission to the Big Sky Tournament is free.
   ATP World Tour in Monte Carlo, Monaco -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford All-Americans originally from Camarillo in the Los Angeles area, crushed No. 5 Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-0 in 51 minutes on clay in the quarterfinals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
   The Bryans, who won the Monte Carlo title last year and in 2007, avenged losses to Paes and Stepanek in this year's Australian Open final and Sony Ericsson semifinals. The Australian Open loss ended the Bryans' streak of three titles in the year's first Grand Slam tournament.
   Men's Challenger in Sarasota, Fla. -- Sixth-seeded Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native living in Las Vegas, routed unseeded Michael Yani of Durham, N.C., 6-3, 6-1 on clay in the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Sarasota Open.
   Querrey, 6-foot-6, will play 5-foot-8 Michael Russell of Houston in today's semifinals. The 33-year-old Russell, who reached the semifinals of last week's ATP World Tour event on clay in Houston as a qualifier, outplayed Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
   Women's Challenger in Dothan, Ala. -- Unseeded Maria Sanchez of Modesto and Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area lost to top-seeded Sharon Fichman and Marie-Eve Pelletier of Canada 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 tiebreak in the semifinals of the $50,000 Dothan Pro Classic.
   Stanford men beat Cal -- The 12th-ranked Stanford men (16-7, 5-2 Pacific-12 Conference) won 5-2 against Cal (11-10, 4-3) as Bears seniors Nick Andrews and Carlos Cueto played the last regular-season home match of their collegiate careers.
  Andrews, from the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, lost to Bradley Klahn, the 2010 NCAA singles champion, 6-3, 6-4. Cueto, a Spaniard, fell to Matt Kandath 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.
   WEEKEND TV SCHEDULE
   Today
(All times PDT)
   Monte Carlo semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4-9 a.m. (live), 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group playoffs, United States at Ukraine, Tennis Channel, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group semifinals, Italy at Czech Republic, Tennis Channel, 1-5 p.m. (taped).
   Sunday
   Monte Carlo final, Tennis Channel, 4:30-7 a.m. (live), 5-10 p.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group playoffs, United States at Ukraine, Tennis Channel, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group semifinals, Italy at Czech Republic, Tennis Channel, 1:30-3:30 p.m. (taped).
   CALENDAR
   Today
   Big Sky Conference Tournament, Gold River Racquet Club, 2201 Gold Rush Drive, Gold River, Calif. (Sacramento area), women's semifinals (No. 1 Sacramento State vs. No. 4 Northern Colorado, No. 2 Northern Arizona vs. No. 3 Montana) at 10 a.m., men's semifinals (No. 1 Montana vs. No. 4 Weber State, No. 2 Sac State vs. No. 3 Eastern Washington) at 2 p.m.
   Sierra College Women's Tennis Fundraiser, Ben Combs' clay court, 8582 Westin Lane, Orangevale (Sacramento area), blue group at 10 a.m., red group at 11:30 a.m., playoffs at 1 p.m., doubles exhibition match (players to be announced) at 1:30 p.m.
   Sunday
   Big Sky Conference Tournament, Gold River Racquet Club, 2201 Gold Rush Drive, Gold River, Calif.  (Sacramento area), women's final at 10 a.m., men's final at 2 p.m.  
Friday-April 30
   USTA National Men's, Women's and Mixed 30's Indoor Championships, Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center, 11205 Pyrites Way, Gold River, Calif. (Sacramento area).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bryans win battle of brothers; TV schedule, calendar

   Andy and Jamie Murray have played tennis together for a long time.
   But not as long as Bob and Mike Bryan.
   The Bryans, identical twins and former Stanford All-Americans who will turn 34 on April 29, outdueled 24-year-old Andy Murray and his 26-year-old brother, both of Scotland, 7-5, 6-4 Thursday in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in Monaco.
   Both teams featured not only brothers but one left-hander (Bob Bryan and Jamie Murray). All except Andy Murray are doubles specialists.
   Earlier Thursday, fourth-ranked Andy Murray advanced to the quarterfinals when France's Julien Benneteau, a semifinalist in his SAP Open debut at San Jose in February, retired with Murray leading 6-5. Benneteau slipped on the court and injured his right ankle and right wrist.
  The top-seeded Bryans, who won Monte Carlo last year and in 2007, will meet fifth-seeded Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek today in the quarterfinals. Paes and Stepanek beat the Bryans 7-6 (1), 6-2 in the Australian Open final in January, ending the Americans' streak of three straight titles in the year's first Grand Slam tournament. Bob Bryan's wife, Michelle, gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Micaela, four days later.
    Women's Challenger in Dothan, Ala. -- American wild cards Irina Falconi and CoCo Vandeweghe topped fourth-seeded Erika Sema of Japan and Roxane Vaisemberg of Brazil 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 tiebreak to reach the semifinals of the $50,000 Dothan Pro Classic.
   The 6-foot-1 Vandeweghe, 20, will return to the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in July after playing for them in 2009. She competed for the Boston Lobsters in the last two seasons.
   Maria Sanchez of Modesto and Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area knocked off third-seeded Jill Craybas and Tetiana Luzhanska, both of the United States, 6-4, 6-2 to move into the quarterfinals.
   UC Davis women win -- The UC Davis women (10-11, 5-2) moved within one victory of earning the No. 2 seed in the Big West Conference Championships with a 5-2 win over Pacific (4-14, 1-6) in Stockton.
   The Aggies end the regular season at home on Saturday against Cal State Fullerton (7-10, 1-5).
   On Wednesday, Dahra Zamudio of UC Davis was named the Big West Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week. Zamudio, a senior from Orange, won all four of her matches (two singles and two doubles) and helped the Aggies upset No. 66 UC Irvine.
   WEEKEND TV SCHEDULE
   Today 
   Monte Carlo quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 1:30-9:30 a.m. (live), 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (taped), 3-11 p.m. (taped).
Saturday
   Monte Carlo semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4-9 a.m. (live), 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group playoffs, United States at Ukraine, Tennis Channel, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group semifinals, Italy at Czech Republic, Tennis Channel, 1-5 p.m. (taped).
   Sunday
   Monte Carlo final, Tennis Channel, 4:30-7 a.m. (live), 5-10 p.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group playoffs, United States at Ukraine, Tennis Channel, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (taped).
   Fed Cup, World Group semifinals, Italy at Czech Republic, Tennis Channel, 1:30-3:30 p.m. (taped).
   CALENDAR
   Saturday
   Big Sky Conference Tournament, Gold River Racquet Club (Sacramento area), women's semifinals (No. 1 Sacramento State vs. No. 4 Northern Colorado, No. 2 Northern Arizona vs. No. 3 Montana) at 10 a.m., men's semifinals (No. 1 Montana vs. No. 4 Weber State, No. 2 Sac State vs. No. 3 Eastern Washington) at 2 p.m.
   Sierra College Women's Tennis Fundraiser, Ben Combs' clay court, 8582 Westin Lane, Orangevale (Sacramento area), blue group at 10 a.m., red group at 11:30 a.m., playoffs at 1 p.m., doubles exhibition match (players to be announced) at 1:30 p.m.
   Sunday
   Big Sky Conference Tournament, Gold River Racquet Club (Sacramento area), women's final at 10 a.m., men's final at 2 p.m.   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

College, NorCal halls name new inductees

   Former Stanford stars David Wheaton and Patrick DuPre and four other luminaries will be inducted in the Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame on May 23 during the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Championships at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
   Also immortalized will be coaches Chuck Kriese, Paul Scarpa and Ron Smarr and contributor Jon Vegosen.
  DuPre, a native of Anniston, Ala., helped Stanford win NCAA titles in 1973 and 1974 and reached the 1976 NCAA singles final. As a pro, he advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals and U.S. Open quarterfinals in 1979 and attained a career-high ranking of No. 14 in 1980.
  Wheaton, originally from Excelsior, Minn., led the Cardinal to the 1988 NCAA crown in his only season at Stanford before turning pro. He reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 12 in 1991 and played on the  1993 United States Davis Cup Team.
   Kriese, led Clemson to 10 Atlantic Coast Conference championships as the Tigers' coach from 1975 to 2008. He holds the ACC record of 685 wins.
   Scarpa coached at Furman in South Carolina for 48 years, finishing with a Division I men's record of 853 victories. He also helped introduce the team format currently used in collegiate tennis.
   Smarr totaled 855 wins in 41 years at Rice, Colorado, South Carolina and Wingate. He is one of only two men's coaches to take three schools to the round of 16 at the NCAAs.
   Vegosen, the chairman of the board and president of the USTA, chaired the college varsity committee and served as the liaison to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
   NorCal Hall of Fame -- The Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame will add four members, including ex-Stanford All-American Nick Saviano, on July 12 during the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford.
   Joining Saviano will be volunteer Andrea Norman; Steve Cornell, an accomplished junior, collegiate and senior player and tennis advocate; and Martha Downing, a gifted senior player, teaching pro and volunteer.  
   Saviano has coached more than 50 ATP and WTA players. He helped Stanford win NCAA titles in both of his years there (1974 and 1975) before he turned pro. Saviano peaked at No. 48 in the world in 1978 and reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 1980.
   Norman directed the USTA Girls 18 National Championships in Berkeley, started a tennis-based non-profit organization and participated on national and regional committees aimed at making tennis accessible to everyone.
   Cornell played on UCLA's national championship teams in 1970 and 1971. His teammates included Jimmy Connors, Jeff Borowiak of Berkeley and Jeff Austin.Cornell, a founding member of the Berkeley Tennis Club Foundation, is a USTA committee member and an avid volunteer.
   Downing, a retired teaching pro and tennis director at Sacramento-area clubs for more than 35 years, holds 27 national senior titles and represents the United States in international competitions. A member of the inaugural class of the Sacramento Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009, she has been named the NorCal Senior Player of the Year four times.
   Men's Challenger in Sarasota, Fla. -- Sixth-seeded Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native living in Las Vegas, outlasted qualifier Brian Baker of Nashville, Tenn., 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 on clay in the second round of the $100,000 Sarasota Open.
   Querrey will face Michael Yani of Durham, N.C., in the quarterfinals. Yani, who won the 2008 Yuba City Challenger as a qualifier and the 2006 Woodland Futures, upset second-seeded Go Soeda of Japan 6-3, 6-4.
   Soeda, the 2009 Tiburon Challenger champion, needed 2 hours, 41 minutes to subdue Jesse Levine 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (5) Tuesday in the first round.  
   Men's Futures in Little Rock, Ark. -- Pedro Zerbini, a former Cal standout from Brazil, lost to eighth-seeded John Peers of Australia 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the $15,000 St. Vincent Tour De Paul Tournament. Zerbini, who completed his eligibility last year, was the runner-up as a qualifier last week in Oklahoma City.  
   Women's Challenger in Dothan Ala. -- Coco Vandeweghe of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis and Maria Sanchez of Modesto dropped opening-round singles matches in the $50,000 Dothan Pro Classic.
   Vandeweghe, a resident of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area and niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe, lost to qualifier Sharon Fichman of Canada 6-2, 7-5. Sanchez, a qualifier, lost to second-seeded Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania 6-0, 6-3.
   College report -- Stanford's Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher, last year's runners-up in the NCAA championships on the Farm, played the final home matches of their collegiate careers as the No. 12 Cardinal (15-7, 4-2 Pacific-12 Conference) coasted to a 7-0 win over Pacific (8-12).
   Klahn routed Ivan Castro 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, and Thacher outplayed Ben Mirkin 6-4, 6-3 at No. 2. Klahn and Thacher played doubles separately.
   The No. 10 Cal women (17-5, 8-1 Pac-12) rolled to a 7-0 victory over No. 53 Fresno State (11-8, 3-0 Western Athletic Conference) on senior day Tuesday in Berkeley. Bears seniors Jana Juricova, Catalina Visico and Stephany Chang played the last regular-season home match of their collegiate careers.
   Juricova, the reigning NCAA singles champion who's ranked sixth, outslugged No. 38 Marianne Jodoin 6-1, 7-5 at the top position. At No. 1 doubles, 15th-ranked Juricova and Zsofi Susanyi downed Jodoin and Laura Pola 8-4. Visico and Chang did not play.
   The UC Davis men (5-14) won 6-1 against Hawaii-Hilo (3-14) in the Aggies' home finale. Junior Toki Sherbakov led the way for the Aggies, beating Carlos Quijano 6-1, 6-3.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh, brother: Bryans, Murrays to meet

Andy Murray slugs a forehand during his quarter-
final victory over Kei Nishikori at the Australian
Open in January.
   Family pride will be at stake Thursday in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
   Identical twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the top seeds and defending champions in doubles, will face brothers Andy and Jamie Murray for the first time in the second round. It's not known when the last time two sets of brothers met on the ATP World Tour.
   Andy, 24, and Jamie, 26, set up the intriguing match with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Christopher Kas of Germany. It was the Murrays' first win together on clay.
   The Bryans, former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford who will turn 34 on April 29, received a first-round bye. They also won the Monte Carlo title in 2007.
   The Bryans grew up in Camarillo in the Los Angeles area and the Murrays in Scotland.
   Andy Murray won his first ATP World Tour singles title in San Jose at 18 years old in 2006 and repeated the following year. Jamie won the 2007 doubles title in San Jose with Eric Butorac, who played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in 2008.
   Curiously, the Bryans have never won the San Jose crown in nine attempts. They have reached one final there, losing to former NCAA doubles finalists Scott Lipsky and David Martin of Stanford in 2008.
   In another first-round doubles match in Monte Carlo, Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez eliminated Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer, a product of Netherlands Antilles who will make his Capitals debut in July, 6-4, 6-4.
   Men's Challenger in Sarasota, Fla. -- Sixth-seeded Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, wore down Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round of the $100,000 Sarasota Open on clay.
   Men's Futures in Little Rock, Ark. -- Peter Aarts of the United States and Daniel Chu of Canada edged Dean O'Brien of South Africa and Pedro Zerbini, a former Cal star from Brazil, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 tiebreak in the first round of the $15,000 St. Vincent Tour de Paul Tournament.
   ITF Women's Circuit in Dothan, Ala. -- In an all-American battle, Julia Cohen and Chi Chi Scholl nipped Alexandra Mueller and the Capitals' Asia Muhammed 4-6, 7-5, 10-5 tiebreak in the opening round of the $50,000 Dothan Pro Classic.
   Colleges -- It's been a big week of Artem Ilyushin.
   On Monday, the Mississippi State senior from the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay was named the Southeastern Conference Men's Player of the Week for the second time this season. Ilyushin beat 14th-ranked Nik Scholtz of then-No. 14 Mississippi 6-4, 6-1 at the top position to clinch No. 9 Mississippi State's 4-3 victory Saturday in Oxford, Miss. That gave the Bulldogs (18-5, 9-2) their second straight SEC Western Division championship.
   On Tuesday, Ilyushin cracked the top 10 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings for the first time. He rose two spots to No. 10.
   Meanwhile, three of the top six women's singles players in the nation and two of the top five doubles teams play for Stanford or Cal. In singles, Stanford sophomore Nicole Gibbs ranks fourth, Cardinal junior Mallory Burdette fifth and Cal senior Jana Juricova sixth. In doubles, Burdette and Gibbs are second, and Cal's Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting are fifth.
   Here are this week's rankings of Northern California teams and players in Division I:
   Men's team -- 12. Stanford; 14. Cal; 30. Santa Clara.
   Men's singles -- 10. Ilyushin, Mississippi State; 31. Ryan Thacher, Stanford; 41. Ben McLachlan, Cal; 45. Bradley Klahn, Stanford; 48. Nick Andrews (Folsom), Cal; 58. Carlos Cueto, Cal; 68. Kyle Dandan, Santa Clara.
   Men's doubles -- 5. Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt, Cal; 7. Klahn and Thacher, Stanford; 35. George Coupland and Ilyushin, Mississippi State; 47. Cueto and McLachlan, Cal; 52. John Morrissey and Thacher, Stanford; 84. Ilya Osintev and John Lamble, Santa Clara.
   Women's team -- 5. Stanford; 10. Cal; 42. Saint Mary's; 52. Sacramento State.
   Women's singles -- 4. Gibbs, Stanford; 5. Burdette, Stanford; 6. Juricova, Cal; 11. Zsofi Susanyi, Cal; 22. Denise Dy (San Jose), Washington; 48. Katie Le, Santa Clara; 54. Stacey Tan, Stanford; 57. Tayler Davis (San Jose), Cal; 61. Ellen Tsay, Stanford; 79. Goransson, Cal; 91. Jenny Jullien, Saint Mary's; 93. Schutting, Cal; 105. Catherine Isip, Saint Mary's.
   Women's doubles -- 2. Burdette and Gibbs, Stanford; 5. Goransson and Schutting, Cal; 15. Juricova and Susanyi, Cal; 29. Tan and Tsay, Stanford; 68. Rebeca Delgado and Tatsiana Kapshai, Sac State.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bay Area's McDonald wins Easter Bowl title

  After sitting out for eight months last year with a blood disorder, Mackenzie McDonald is playing the best tennis of his life.
   A resident of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area who turned 17 today, McDonald won the boys 18 singles title at the Easter Bowl in the Palm Springs suburb of Rancho Mirage.
Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont in the
San Francisco Bay Area competes in the
2012 Australian Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The third-seeded McDonald, who missed last year's Easter Bowl, rallied to beat No. 4 Alexios Halebian of Glendale in the Los Angeles area 6-4, 6-1 Sunday for his second title in the tournament. He also won the singles title in the 14s three years ago.
   "This is so big, one of the most prestigious events we have in the nation," McDonald, a boys semifinalist at the Australian Open in January, said on usta.com. "It shows all my hard work has paid off. When you've been away from the game as long as I have, you begin to appreciate things more."    
   Halebian started fast, breaking serve twice to lead 4-1 in the first set and holding game points for 5-1, usta.com reported.
   "I was looking good and hoping to make it 5-1, and he started playing better," Halebian said. "That was my best chance to win the match -- to win the first set. He started hitting the ball bigger."
   See below for results of all boys and girls divisions over the weekend.
   ATP World Tour in Casablanca, Morocco -- Unseeded Jean-Julien Rojer, a member of the Sacramento Capitals from the Netherlands Antilles, and Robin Haase of the Netherlands fell to fourth-seeded Daniele Bracciali and Fabio Fognini of Italy 5-7, 6-4, 11-9 tiebreak Saturday on clay in the semifinals of the Grand Prix Hassan II. 
   Bracciali and Fognini then lost in the final to unseeded Dustin Brown of Germany and Paul Hanley of Australia 7-5, 6-3.
   Rojer is playing with Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan in this week's Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. They are scheduled to face Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez on Tuesday in the first round.
   Men's Challenger in Sarasota, Fla. -- Jesse Levine of Boca Raton, Fla., and Marinko Matosevic of Australia defeated Scott Lipsky, an ex-Stanford star living in Huntington Beach, and Vasek Pospisil of Canada 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the first round of the $100,000 Sarasota (Fla.) Open.  
   Men's Futures in Oklahoma City -- Second-seeded Greg Ouellette, a 5-foot-10 left-hander from Ormond Beach, Fla., routed qualifier Pedro Zerbini, a former Cal standout from Brazil, 6-2, 6-1 Sunday to win the $15,000 Oklahoma City Open. It was the 25-year-old Ouellette's fifth Futures singles title, including Chico two years ago.
   Colleges -- Cal's Annie Goransson was named the Pacific-12 Conference Women's Player of the Week.
   Goransson, a junior from Sweden ranked 99th in singles, went undefeated in her four matches (two singles and two doubles) last weekend as the No. 10 Bears (16-5, 8-1) upended top-ranked and undefeated UCLA 4-3 Friday, then fell to No. 4 USC 4-3 Saturday.
   The Bruins (21-1, 8-1) rebounded Saturday at Stanford to hand the No. 6 Cardinal its first loss of the season, 5-2. Stanford (16-1, 7-1) had been the nation's last remaining undefeated team.
   At No. 1 singles, fourth-ranked Robin Anderson, a freshman, handled third-ranked Nicole Gibbs, a sophomore who reached the NCAA semifinals last year at Stanford, 6-2, 6-2.
   The No. 11 Stanford men (14-7, 4-2) were crushed 7-0 at No. 1 USC (25-0, 6-0) and 6-1 at No. 6 UCLA (20-2, 6-0) over the weekend. The Cardinal's victory came at No. 1 singles from 46th-ranked Bradley Klahn, the 2010 NCAA singles champion. He beat No. 62 Clay Thompson 6-4, 6-4.
   The No. 12 Cal men (11-9, 4-2) lost 7-0 at UCLA and 6-1 at USC. The Bears' win came at No. 2 singles as 41st-ranked Ben McLachlan topped 20th-ranked Ray Sarmiento 6-4, 6-2.
   The Sacramento State women (15-9, 8-0) earned their 11th straight Big Sky Conference regular-season title with a 6-1 victory at Northern Colorado on Sunday. The Hornets have won 90 straight conference matches dating to 2002. The Sac State men (9-12, 7-1) finished the regular season with a 6-1 win over visiting Idaho State on Sunday.
  The Hornets women will be seeded first and the men second in the Big Sky Tournament, Saturday and Sunday at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.
   The UC Davis women (9-11, 4-2 Big West Conference) swept home matches, winning 5-2 against No. 66 UC Irvine and 6-1 vs. San Jose State.  The UC Davis men (4-14, 1-4) split home contests, winning 5-2 against UC Riverside and falling 7-0 to UC Irvine.
   New pro rankings -- Following are this week's rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 10 in singles (-1), No. 102 in doubles (+3).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- Career-high No. 94 in doubles (+6), unranked in singles.
   Kiryl Harbatsiuk, three-time Big Sky Conference MVP (2009-11) at Sacramento State -- No. 780 in singles (-9), No. 1,260 in doubles (-2).
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 66 in doubles (+3), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 36 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   David Martin, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 164 in doubles (-11), No. 770 in singles (-7).
   Conor Niland, 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American at Cal -- No. 340 in singles (-23), unranked in doubles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native -- No. 98 in singles (+5), No. 24 in doubles (+9).
   Jean-Julien Rojer, Capitals (2012) -- No. 37 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 87 in singles (-12), No. 227 in doubles (+1).
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 195 in singles (-2), No. 379 in doubles (+1).
   Pedro Zerbini, Pacific-10 All-Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 1,232 (-6) in singles, unranked in doubles.
Women
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 24 in doubles (no change), No. 722 in singles (no change).
   Asia Muhammed, Capitals (2012) -- No. 181 in doubles (-1), No. 392 in singles (-6).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 185 in doubles (-1), No. 384 in singles (-1).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 173 in doubles (-4), No. 379 in singles (-1).
   Coco Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 165 in singles (-1), No. 376 in doubles (+2).
EASTER BOWL
In Rancho Mirage
Boys 18s
Singles final  
    Mackenzie McDonald (3), Piedmont, def. Alexios Halebian (4), Glendale, 6-4, 6-1.
Doubles final
   Alexios Halebian, Glendale, and Mitchell Krueger (1), Aledo, Texas, def. Jordan Daigle, Lafayette, La., and Austin Siegel (2), Tarrytown, N.Y., 6-2, 6-7 (3), 1-0 (7).
Boys 16s
Singles final
   Joseph Di Giulio (12), Newport Beach, def. Aron Hiltzik (9), Wilmette, Ill., 7-5, 6-1.
Doubles final
   Joseph Di Giulio, Newport Beach, and Logan Smith (5), Carlsbad, def. Jake Devine, Boca Raton, Fla., and Cameron Klinger, San Jose, 6-3, 6-3.
Doubles consolation (third place)
   Garrett Auproux, Studio City, and Fabian Schaefer, Ventura, def. Winston Limhengco, Sacramento, and Cody Rakela, Scotts Valley, 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles semifinals 
   Devine and Klinger def. Limhengco and Rakela 6-4, 6-4.
Boys 14s
Singles final
   William Blumberg (14) Greenwich, Conn., def. Kyle Seelig (2), Hatfield, Pa., 6-2, 6-1.
Doubles final
   William Blumberg, Greenwich, Conn., and Brian Tsao (8), Sparks Glencoe, Md., def. Anudeep Kodali, Durham, N.C., and Johnathan Small (1), Midland, Mich., 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Doubles consolation (third place)
   Lane Leschly, Atherton, and Victor Pham (7), Saratoga, def. Alexander Hwang, Orinda, and Sreyas Kolachalam, Campbell, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Doubles semifinals
   Kodali and Small (1) def. Leschly and Pham (7), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4).
   Blumberg and Tsao (8) def. Hwang and Kolachalam, 6-2, 6-1.
Girls 18s
Singles final 
   Taylor Townsend (1), Stockbridge, Ga., def. Brooke Austin, Indianapolis, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
Doubles final
   Samantha Crawford, Tamarac, Fla., and Alexandra Kiick (3), Plantation, Fla., def. Gabrielle Andrews, Pomona, and Taylor Townsend (1), Stockbridge, Ga., 3-1, retired.
Girls 16s
Singles final
   Brooke Broda (8), West Chester, Ohio, def. Meredith Xepoleas, Huntington Beach, 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles final
   Alexis Pereira, San Gabriel, and Elizabeth Profit (6), Bellflower, def. Shannon Hudson, Virginia Beach, Va., and Olivia Sneed (1), Prairie Village, Kan., 6-2, 7-5.
Doubles consolation (third place)
   Caroline Brinson, Metarie, La., and Megen Cochran (2), Calhoun, Ga., def. Hadley Berg, Greenbrae, and Kristina Hovsepyan (9), Danville, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Doubles semifinals
   Hudson and Sneed (1) def. Berg and Hovsepyan (9), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
 Doubles quarterfinals
   Berg and Hovsepyan (9) def. Aryn Greene, Alpharetta, Ga., and Adi Milstein (5), Boca Raton, Fla., 6-7 (5), 6-2, 1-0 (8).  
   Brinson and Cochran (2) def. Paige Cline, Kentfield, and Annika Ringblom, Palos Verdes Estates, 7-6 (7), 6-4.
Girls 14s
Singles final
   Emma Higuchi (1), Los Angeles, def. Catherine Bellis (17), Atherton, 6-4, 6-4.
Doubles final
   Ena Shibahara, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Savannah Slaysman, Phoenix, def. Sofia Kenin, Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Parris Todd (8), Irvine, 6-3, 6-4.
Doubles consolation (third place)
   Helen Altick, Monroe, La., and Catherine Bellis (1), Atherton, def. Jessie Aney, Rochester, Minn., and Alexis Nelson (6), Saint Paul, Minn., 6-1, 6-4.
SPRING NATIONALS
In Delray Beach, Fla.
Boys 12s
Singles final
   Sangeet Sridhar (4), Simi Valley, def. Ryan Seggerman (5), Coronado, 6-4, 6-1.
Doubles final 
   Timothy Sah, San Diego, and Sangeet Sridhar (4), Simi Valley, def. Trent Bryde, Suwanee, Ga., and Boris Kozlov (3), Pembroke Pines, Fla., 6-0, 6-7, 6-0.  
Girls 12s
Singles final
   Nicole Conard (1), Boca Raton, Fla., def. Rachel Papavasilopoulos (13), Boca Raton, Fla., 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles final
   Danielle Quevedo, Tyler, Texas, and Emily Thomas (4), Cincinnati, def. Sasha Belaya, Melbourne, Fla., and Emma Decoste, Stuart, Fla., 6-3, 6-3.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Isner to replace Fish as top American

John Isner acknowledges the
crowd after an early-round
victory at Indian Wells
last month. Isner went on
to reach the final.
   John Isner will replace Mardy Fish of the Sacramento Capitals as the top American when this week's ATP World Tour rankings are released tonight.
   The 6-foot-10 Isner, who won a 2007 Futures tournament in the Sacramento area in his professional debut, will improve from No. 10 to No. 9. Fish, 30, will fall from No. 9 to at least No. 10.
   Isner, seeded second, outlasted No. 3 Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-3 Saturday to reach the final of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston. Isner will meet fourth-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina today at noon PDT (Tennis Channel).
   Monaco ended the run of 33-year-old qualifier Michael Russell 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. Russell, a 5-foot-8 Detroit native, was playing in his adopted hometown.
   Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, and James Blake of Tampa, Fla., won the doubles title with a 7-6 (14), 6-4 tiebreak victory over Treat Conrad Huey, a Washington, D.C., native who plays for the Philippines, and Dominic Inglot of Great Britain. 
   Men's Futures -- Qualifier Pedro Zerbini, a former Cal standout from Brazil, ousted third-seeded Tennys Sandgren of the United States 7-6 (5), 7-5 to advance to the final of the $15,000 Oklahoma City Open.
   Zerbini, who also knocked off top-seeded Stefan Seifert of Germany in the quarterfinals, will meet No. 2 Greg Ouellette of the United States in the final. Ouellette beat unseeded Mark Verryth of Australia 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
   Easter Bowl -- Third-seeded Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, near Oakland, overwhelmed No. 2 Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre, N.Y., 6-2, 6-0 to reach the boys 18 final at the Easter Bowl in Rancho Mirage.
   McDonald, who has lost only eight games in his last three matches, will play fourth-seeded Alexios Halebian of Glendale in the Los Angeles area for the title. Halebian downed sixth-seeded Thai Kwiatkowski of Charlotte, N.C., 6-3, 6-3.
   In the girls 14 final, 17th-seeded Catherine Bellis of Atherton lost to No. 1 Emma Higuchi of Los Angeles 6-4, 6-4. Bellis turned 13 last Sunday.
   Doubles results will be posted later.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bellis blanks No. 2 seed in Easter Bowl semis

   Seventeenth-seeded Catherine Bellis of Atherton demolished No. 2 Raquel Pedraza of Claremont 6-0, 6-0 Friday to reach the girls 14 singles final at the Easter Bowl in Rancho Mirage.
   It was Bellis' second shutout in the tournament, and she has not lost a set in six matches. Bellis will face top-seeded Emma Higuchi of Los Angeles in Saturday's final. Higuchi defeated fourth-seeded Usue Arconada of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, 7-5, 6-3.
   In the boys 18 singles quarterfinals, third-seeded Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont beat fifth-seeded Austin Siegel of Tarrytown, N.Y., 6-2, 6-2. McDonald, a Australian Open boys semifinalist in January, will meet second-seeded Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre, N.Y., in Saturday's semifinals.
   Doubles results in the Easter Bowl were not yet available.
   ATP World Tour in Houston -- James Blake of Tampa, Fla., and Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, edged Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and Frank Moser of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 tiebreak in a battle of unseeded teams to gain the final of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.
   Blake and Querrey will meet Treat Conrad Huey, a Washington, D.C., native who plays for the Philippines, and Dominic Inglot of Great Britain for the title.
   Women's Challenger in Pelham, Ala. -- Eighth-seeded Coco Vandeweghe, a resident of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area who will play for the Sacramento Capitals in July, lost to unseeded Heidi El Tabakh of Canada 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of a $25,000 Challenger.
   Men's Futures in Oklahoma City -- Qualifier Pedro Zerbini, a former Cal star from Brazil, downed unseeded Marvin Barker of New Zealand 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the $15,000 Oklahoma City Open