Saturday, June 30, 2012

Querrey ousts Raonic in 'Comeback Classic'

   Officially, it was a second-round men's singles match at Wimbledon.
   Unofficially, it was the Comeback Classic.
   Unseeded Sam Querrey topped 21st-seeded Milos Raonic 6-7 (3), 7-6 (7), 7-6 (8), 6-4 Friday in their first career meeting.
   Querrey, 24, and Raonic, 21, have several similarities.
   Querrey is 6-foot-6 and Raonic 6-foot-5.
   Both have strong ties to Northern California. Querrey, a San Francisco native, is scheduled to play five matches for the Sacramento Capitals during the World TeamTennis season next month. Raonic has won the last two SAP Open titles in San Jose.
   And both underwent surgery at about this time last year. Querrey, who's right-handed, missed Wimbledon in 2011 after a June 16 operation for bone spurs in his right elbow. Ranked a career-high No. 17 in January last year, he is No. 64 after plunging to No. 120 in October.
   Raonic played Wimbledon for the first time in 2011. He retired from his second-round match against Gilles Muller with a right hip injury and had surgery on July 5. Raonic is ranked No. 22, one notch below his career high in May.
   Querrey next will face 16th-seeded Marin Cilic, a 6-foot-6 Croat who won the Queen's Club title on grass two weeks ago.
   Querrey is 0-2 against the 23-year-old Cilic, losing two close matches on grass. Cilic prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the semifinals at the recent Queen's Club tournament, where Querrey was the defending champion, and 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in the second round at Wimbledon in 2009.
   Top seeds ousted in men's doubles -- Second-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan's hopes of winning their third Wimbledon men's doubles title received a big boost when top-seeded Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor lost to Daniele Bracciali and Julian Knowle 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.
   Knowle, from Austria, reached the 2003 Wimbledon final with Nenad Zimonjic.
   Mirnyi and Nestor had won 11 straight matches, beating the Bryan twins 6-4, 6-4 for the French Open crown and 6-3, 6-4 in the Queen's Club final.
   The Bryans, former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, won Wimbledon last year and in 2006. They are tied with Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde for the Open era record of 11 Grand Slam men's doubles titles.
OTHER WIMBLEDON RESULTS
(Players with Northern California connections only)
Men's second-round doubles
   Scott Lipsky (ex-Stanford All-American), Huntington Beach, and Rajeev Ram, Carmel, Ind., def. Dustin Brown, Germany, and Oliver Marach, Austria, 7-5, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Women's second-round doubles
   Raquel Kops-Jones (ex-Cal All-American), Fresno, and Abigail Spears (10), San Diego, def. Liga Dekmeijere, Latvia, and Varvara Lepchenko, Allentown, Pa., 6-3, 7-6 (4).
First-round mixed doubles  
   Mark Knowles (Capitals), Bahamas, and Ekaterina Makarova, Russia, def. Robert Farah, Colombia, and Monica Niculescu, Romania, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
   Treat Conrad Huey, Philippines, and Raquel Kops-Jones (ex-Cal All-American), Fresno, def. Bruno Soares, Brazil, and Jarmila Gajdosova, Australia, 6-7 (13), 6-4, 6-4.
WIMBLEDON TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Early rounds, 5 a.m.-noon, ESPN (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (repeat).  
   Sunday -- No matches scheduled. Wimbledon Primetime (first-week highlights), Tennis Channel, 1 p.m. (premiere), 5-9 p.m. (repeat), 9 p.m.-1 a.m. (repeat). 
   Monday -- Fourth round, Courts 1 & 2 and outer courts, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), Centre Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (repeat).
   Tuesday, July 3 -- Women's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Centre Court, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (repeat).
   Wednesday, July 4 -- Men's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Center Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 p.m. (repeat).
   Thursday, July 5 -- Women's semifinals, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (repeat).
   Friday, July 6 -- Men's semifinals, ESPN, 5-11 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (repeat).
   Saturday, July 7 -- Women's final, ESPN, 6-11 a.m. (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat), Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m.-midnight (repeat), midnight-4 a.m. (repeat).
   Sunday, July 8 -- Men's final, ESPN, 6 a.m.-noon (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m.-midnight (repeat), midnight-4 a.m. (repeat).
CALENDAR  
   THROUGH-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   Friday -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), public invited ($10), (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-10 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT, Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Smart as a Fox: Psychologist to discuss stress

   At the club level, at least, it really doesn't matter who wins tennis matches.
   Nobody dies, loses his or her job or flunks out of school.
   So why do we act as if winning matters so much?
   Why do we swear or drop, even throw, our racket when we miss an easy shot? Why do we choke on key points?
   "Unfortunately, wanting to win is part of our wiring," renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox explained Thursday. "We like to win, even though it's not important. The problem is that the outcome in all sports is uncertain. It makes it very stressful. ... Stress makes it hard to perform."
   Fox, 73, will discuss stress and other psychological issues in tennis tonight at 5:30 at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay. The public is invited to attend at $10 per person.
   A former NCAA singles (1961) and doubles (1960) champion at UCLA, Fox reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1965 and coached the Pepperdine men from 1979 to 1995. He earned a Ph.D. from UCLA and has written four books, most recently "Tennis: Winning the Mental Match" (www.allenfoxtennis.net, also for consulting) in 2010.
   Fox coaches Igor Kunitsyn, a 5-foot-11 Russian who reached a career-high No. 35 in the world in 2009, and works with two other professionals whom he politely declined to name.
   So how can tennis players reduce stress?
   "The first trick is to understand the problem and not let nature take its course," Fox said. "What causes the trouble is people don't do anything about stress. They let their emotions take over. The trick is recognizing this beforehand."
   Fox recommends "focusing on rituals rather than winning and losing" and deep breathing. The rituals, he added, occur between points.
   "Show no emotion about the last point, whether you hit a great shot or missed an easy one. Let it go by. Take a deep breath and relax while you're walking into position to return serve. Just before the next point, get somewhat excited, such as by slapping your thigh, so you're ready to move quickly," Fox said.
   "Review what you need to do: short backswing, weight foreward ... Then put all your focus on the ball being tossed and watching the ball come off the court on your side."
   Fox distinguishes between practice and matches.
   "Practice is for habit development," he said. "Repetition strengthens habit. When you're competing, it's emotion control."  
   Club players will vouch for that.
 WIMBLEDON RESULTS
(Players with Northern California ties only)
Men's second-round singles
   Mardy Fish (10), Tampa, Fla., def. James Ward, Britain, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3.
   Sam Querrey, Las Vegas, vs. Milos Raonic (21), Canada, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (7), 3-3, susp.
Men's first-round doubles
   Scott Lipsky (ex-Stanford All-American), Huntington Beach, and Rajeev Ram, Carmel, Ind., def. Paul Hanley, Australia, and Mark Knowles (Capitals), Bahamas, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
   Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana, Thailand, def. Sergiy Stakhovsky, Ukraine, and Dmitry Tursunov, Russia, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Women's first-round doubles
   Raquel Kops-Jones (ex-Cal All-American), Fresno, and Abigail Spears (10), San Diego, def. Nina Bratchikova, Russia, and Anna Tatishvili, Georgia, 6-3, 6-4.
   Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (8), Czech Republic, def. Vania King, Boynton Beach, Fla., and Yasmin Schnack (Capitals), Elk Grove, 6-4, 6-1. (Schnack made her Grand Slam debut.)
First-round mixed doubles
   Dominic Inglot and Laura Robson, Britain, def. Scott Lipsky (ex-Stanford All-American), Huntington Beach, and Natalie Grandin, South Africa, 7-6 (2), 6-4. 
WIMBLEDON TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Early rounds, ESPN, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday -- Early rounds, 5 a.m.-noon, ESPN (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).  
   Sunday -- No matches scheduled. Wimbledon Primetime (first-week highlights), Tennis Channel, 1 p.m. (premiere), 5 p.m. (repeat), 9 p.m. (repeat). 
   Monday -- Fourth round, Courts 1 & 2 and outer courts, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), Centre Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Tuesday, July 3 -- Women's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Centre Court, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Wednesday, July 4 -- Men's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Center Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Thursday, July 5 -- Women's semifinals, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday, July 6 -- Men's semifinals, ESPN, 5-11 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday, July 7 -- Women's final, ESPN, 6-11 a.m. (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat), Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m. (repeat), midnight (repeat).
   Sunday, July 8 -- Men's final, ESPN, 6 a.m.-noon (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m. (repeat), midnight (repeat).
CALENDAR  
   THROUGH-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   Friday -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), public invited ($10), (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-10 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT, Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Three Capitals fall at Wimbledon

   Height and power count for a lot in professional tennis, but they're not everything.
   Athleticism, especially on grass, is even more important.
   Consider the results of two part-time Sacramento Capitals, both qualifiers, on Wednesday at Wimbledon.
   Ryan Sweeting, a 6-foot-5 resident of Fort Lauderdale, lost to eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, a 5-foot-11 Serb, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round.
   CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-foot-1 from Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area, succumbed to 10th-seeded Sara Errani, a 5-foot-4 1/2 Italian, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round. Errani reached the final of the recent French Open, losing to Maria Sharapova.
    Another tall part-time Capital, 6-foot-6 Sam Querrey, fell in the first round of doubles with fellow American James Blake to David Marrero of Spain and Andreas Seppi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
   Querrey, a 24-year-old San Francisco native, is scheduled to meet 21st-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada for the first time Thursday in the second round of singles. Raonic, the two-time reigning SAP Open champion in San Jose, topped Colombia's Santiago Giraldo, who won the 2009 Sacramento Challenger, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
WIMBLEDON TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Thursday -- Early rounds, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Early rounds, ESPN, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday -- Early rounds, 5 a.m.-noon, ESPN (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).  
   Sunday -- No matches scheduled. Wimbledon Primetime (first-week highlights), Tennis Channel, 1 p.m. (premiere), 5 p.m. (repeat), 9 p.m. (repeat). 
   Monday -- Fourth round, Courts 1 & 2 and outer courts, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), Centre Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Tuesday, July 3 -- Women's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Centre Court, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Wednesday, July 4 -- Men's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Center Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Thursday, July 5 -- Women's semifinals, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday, July 6 -- Men's semifinals, ESPN, 5-11 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday, July 7 -- Women's final, ESPN, 6-11 a.m. (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat), Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m. (repeat), midnight (repeat).
   Sunday, July 8 -- Men's final, ESPN, 6 a.m.-noon (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m. (repeat), midnight (repeat).
CALENDAR  
   THROUGH-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   Friday -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), public invited ($10), (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-10 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT, Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Capitals' Fish wins at Wimbledon in return

   Playing his first match since April, 10th-seeded Mardy Fish defeated Spain's Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (1) Tuesday in the opening round at Wimbledon.
   Fish, 30, underwent a procedure on May 23 for heart palpitations. He is set to play home matches for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis on July 12 and 13.
   Fish achieved his best result at Wimbledon last year by reaching the quarterfinals, losing to Rafael Nadal in four sets. Fish next will face British wild card James Ward, who outlasted Pablo Andujar of Spain 4-6, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Ward, 25, is ranked No. 173. 
   Also advancing was Sam Querrey, a 6-foot-6 native of San Francisco who's scheduled to play five matches for the Capitals later in the July season. Querrey topped Vasek Pospisil of Canada 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 to earn a likely meeting with another Canadian, 21st-seeded Milos Raonic, in the second round.
   Raonic, the two-time reigning SAP Open champion in San Jose, leads Colombia's Santiago Giraldo, who won the 2009 Sacramento Challenger, 6-4, 6-4, 5-4 in a match suspended by darkness. 
   The Capitals' Kevin Anderson, seeded 32nd, lost to promising Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-5, 7-6 (30, 6-7 (4), 6-3. Anderson, a 6-foot-8 South African, is set to play the last three matches of the regular season for Sacramento.
   CoCo Vandeweghe, another part-time Capital, trails 10th-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 6-1, 5-3 in a first-round match halted by fading light. Errani reached the final of the recent French Open, falling to Maria Sharapova.
   Olympic entries announced -- Bob and Mike Bryan will try to fill the only remaining gap on their resume and Dmitry Tursunov will hope for a better draw when they compete in the Olympic tennis event July 28-Aug. 5 at Wimbledon.
   The Bryan twins, who won the 1998 NCAA doubles title as Stanford sophomores, will represent the United States. Tursunov, a Moscow native and longtime Sacramento-area resident, will play for Russia.
   The International Tennis Federation on Tuesday announced entries for the men's and women's 64-player singles draws and 32-team doubles fields. Direct acceptances were based on the world rankings of June 11, with a limit of four singles players per gender per country. Nations also could nominate up to two doubles teams per event, with a maximum of six players per gender per country total.
   Entries for mixed doubles, which will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1924, will be determined on site from players already participating in singles or doubles.
   The Bryans have won all four Grand Slam men's doubles titles at least once, and they played on the United States' 2007 Davis Cup championship team. But their best Olympic result is a bronze medal in 2008, when they lost to eventual champions Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinals at Beijing.
   At 34, the Bryans likely have two remaining chances, this year and in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, to earn gold.
   Tursunov lost to Federer not once but twice in Beijing, falling 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of singles and 6-4, 6-3 with Mikhail Youzhny to Federer and Wawrinka 6-4, 6-3 in the secound round of doubles.  
   Notable absences from the London entries are Fish and former Capital Vania King.
   Fish, ranked second in singles among U.S. men at No. 12, was eligible but chose to skip the Olympics for the second straight time. He remains emotionally scarred after failing to capitalize on a two-sets-to-one lead over Nicolas Massu of Chile in the gold-medal match at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
   “I had some great memories from Athens," Fish told the New York Times, "and if you would have told me before the tournament that I’d get a medal, I would have taken it 100 percent and probably would have thought you were lying. But then being put in that scenario and two sets to one up in a match I really I was going to win. I mean I was going to win the whole thing, and even just thinking about it is really hard.”
   King, currently ranked 61st in singles, fell just short in that event. She is ranked ninth in doubles, but the U.S. bids went to top-ranked Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond and two-time Olympic gold medalists Venus and Serena Williams. Huber (South Africa) is a naturalized U.S. citizen, as is singles entrant Varvara Lepchenko (Uzbekistan). 
WIMBLEDON TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Today-Thursday -- Early rounds, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Early rounds, ESPN, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday -- Early rounds, 5 a.m.-noon, ESPN (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).  
   Sunday -- No matches scheduled. Wimbledon Primetime (first-week highlights), Tennis Channel, 1 p.m. (premiere), 5 p.m. (repeat), 9 p.m. (repeat). 
   Monday -- Fourth round, Courts 1 & 2 and outer courts, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), Centre Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Tuesday, July 3 -- Women's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Centre Court, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Wednesday, July 4 -- Men's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Center Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Thursday, July 5 -- Women's semifinals, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday, July 6 -- Men's semifinals, ESPN, 5-11 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday, July 7 -- Women's final, ESPN, 6-11 a.m. (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat), Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m. (repeat), midnight (repeat).
   Sunday, July 8 -- Men's final, ESPN, 6 a.m.-noon (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m. (repeat), midnight (repeat).
CALENDAR  
   THROUGH-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   Friday -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), $10, (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-10 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT at Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.

Sweeting faces tough match, but it could be worse

   Ryan Sweeting of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis faces a tough second-round match against eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic on Wednesday at Wimbledon.
   But it beats last year, when Sweeting lost to Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the same situation. Sweeting will take his chances with Tipsarevic, thank you very much.
   The 6-foot-5 Sweeting, who's scheduled to play three matches for the Capitals next month, advanced Monday as a qualifier when "Sweet" Potito Starace of Italy retired while trailing 6-2, 2-0. The reason was not available.
   Tipsarevic, from Serbia, defeated David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-2. Nalbandian, the Wimbledon runner-up 10 years ago, was defaulted from the June 17 final at Queen's Club in London for kicking a wooden box around a line judge in anger and slightly injuring him.
   Tipsarevic is 3-0 lifetime against Sweeting, including a 6-1, 7-6 (2) decision in the second round at the recent Queen's Club tournament.
   Meanwhile, Dmitry Tursunov and qualifier Jimmy Wang, who both train at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, lost as they continue their comebacks from long injury layoffs.
   Tursunov fell to 31st-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-3, and Wang succumbed to 17th-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-5. 
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Today-Thursday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, ESPN, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, 5 a.m.-noon, ESPN (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).  
   Sunday -- No matches scheduled. Wimbledon Primetime (first-week highlights), Tennis Channel, 1 p.m. (premiere), 5 p.m. (repeat), 9 p.m. (repeat). 
CALENDAR  
   THROUGH-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   Friday -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), $10, (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-10 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- Olympic tennis tournament at Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.
PRO RANKINGS
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Kevin Anderson, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 31 in singles (-1), No. 126 in doubles (no change).
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 3 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 3 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Capitals (2012) -- No. 12 in singles (no change), No. 730 in doubles (-7).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 97 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 71 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 39 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Conor Niland, 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American at Cal -- No. 374 in singles (-4), unranked in doubles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 64 in singles (-1), No. 61 in doubles (-1).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 130 in singles (-1), No. 855 in doubles (-3).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 129 in singles (-1), No. 148 in doubles (+57).
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 207 in singles (no change), No. 356 in doubles (-2).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 647 in singles (-1), No. 1,011 in doubles (-5).
Women
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 24 in doubles (-1), No. 727 in singles (-5).
   Asia Muhammed, Capitals (2012) -- No. 178 in doubles (no change), No. 414 in singles (-4).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 138 in doubles (no change), No. 225 in singles (-1).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 146 in doubles (no change), No. 432 in singles (-1).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 560 in singles (-4), No. 1,164 in doubles (-4).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 132 in singles (no change), No. 515 in doubles (no change).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Little Bellis gets big results

Catherine (CiCi) Bellis, ranked fifth in the United States in the 14s,
 won two national titles last year in the 12s. She weighs only 85
pounds.  Photo by Paul Bauman
   Catherine Bellis looks like she should be swinging on the monkey bars.
   Or maybe doing flips on a gymnastics mat.
   But dominating Northern California's top juniors in tennis? Bellis, who turned 13 in April, stands 5-foot-3 1/2 and weighs all of 85 pounds. Her regulation-size Babolat racket looks gigantic in her hand, but she wields it masterfully.
   "She gets a lot of bang for her buck," said Bellis' coach, John Hubbell.
   Seeded sixth in the recent NorCal 18 Junior Sectional Championships at Sacramento State, Bellis surrendered as many as four games in a set only once -- against top-seeded Kassidy Jump, 17, of Granite Bay in the quarterfinals -- en route to the title.
   Bellis, from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, knocked off 17-year-old Kristina Hovsepyan, a 5-foot-4, 140-pound left-hander from Danville, 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals and eighth-seeded Hadley Berg, 16, of Greenbrae 6-1, 6-3 in the final.
   "She's really consistent," said Berg, who briefly rallied after trailing 6-1, 5-0. "She's good at keeping the ball deep. She takes whatever you give her and redirects the ball."
   Bellis, who's ranked No. 1 in the NorCal 18s, won her first two national titles last year in the 12s. She triumphed in the USTA hard courts and became the first Northern Californian -- according to her mother, Lori -- to win the clay courts.
   As the No. 17 seed in the prestigious Easter Bowl in Rancho Mirage in April, Bellis annihilated No. 2 Raquel Pedraza of Claremont 6-0, 6-0 in the girls 14 semifinals before losing to top-seeded Emma Higuchi, 14, of Los Angeles 6-4, 6-4. CiCi, as Bellis is known, is ranked No. 5 nationally in the 14s.
   "She definitely has the talent and work ethic to be a good pro," Hubbell said of his braces-wearing, home-schooled protege, who will enter the eighth grade in the fall.
   What about the size factor in an era of power tennis? CiCi said she's projected to reach 5-foot-6 or 5-7,still undersized in the pros. Her father, Gordon, is 5-9 and Lori 5-5.
   "There are some very successful pros out there who are 5-5, 5-6," Hubbell noted. "Right now, girls (on the pro tour) are big and strong. If CiCi works to get stronger, she certainly could be a great player."
   Hubbell mentioned Christina McHale, a 5-foot-7 American who's ranked 30th in the world. He also could have cited 5-foot-4 1/2 Sara Errani, an Italian who's ranked 10th, and 5-foot-3 Dominika Cibulkova, a Slovakian who's No. 13.
   Bellis can hit surprisingly hard and has a strong return of serve. But her greatest assets, Hubbell said, are desire and quickness.
   "She's a great competitor and very focused. She's fast and a good mover who's able to cover a lot of court. It's an I-can-get-any-ball type of attitude. She's going to run and dig and make somebody have to beat her. She doesn't give a whole lot away," Hubbell said.
   Northern California -- with its chilly, rainy winters -- produces far fewer top players than Southern California or Florida. But growing up in Stanford's back yard, Bellis has been exposed to top-level professional and college tennis.
   Serena Williams will defend her title in the Bank of the West Classic next month at Stanford. Bellis was involved in the coin flip for Maria Sharapova's second-round match against Daniela Hantuchova last year.
   "That's (CiCi's) favorite tournament," Lori Bellis said. "We go to qualifying. We go every night (during the main draw) and stay until the doubles is over at midnight."
   In addition, Lori said, "We go to every college match we can."
   CiCi often practices with current or former college stars such as Stanford's Lindsay and Mallory Burdette and Cal's Jana Juricova and Tayler Davis. Lindsay Burdette won the 2010 NCAA doubles title, and her younger sister, 5-foot-10 Mallory, has won the last two. Juricova, 6-foot, took the 2011 NCAA singles crown, and the 5-foot-10 Davis played in the NCAA Singles Championships in May, falling in the first round.
   "Mallory Burdette is as good a ball-striker as there is," Hubbell said. "If CiCi can get anything from her, it's going to be all positive."
   Lori Bellis said of CiCi: "We wouldn't send her away (to an academy). We don't have to. The colleges have been so good about setting up players to play with her."
   CiCi also has had the good fortune of living near the Burlingame Country Club, which has one of the few clay courts in Northern California, in Hillsborough and practicing with Chris Evert, the greatest female clay-court player in history. Lori's uncle lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and played every day at Holiday Park, where Evert's father taught tennis.
   "CiCi has played a lot on clay," Lori said.
   Lori grew up playing tennis with her twin sister and mother in Marion, Ind., a town of about 30,000 people 81 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Marion is not exactly a tennis hotbed, but Lori's mother comes from Cincinnati, which is.
   "We played in a barn," Lori said. "We didn't have indoor tennis in Marion. We had a friend who was a doctor and loved tennis, and he turned his barn into an indoor court."
   Lori, who played competitive junior tennis, describes herself as a 5.5 (very advanced) player and practices daily with her CiCi. Gordon Bellis, an investment manager who grew up in San Francisco, does not play.
   "I'm the chief ball-picker-upper and lead Sherpa," he said.
   Although Lori admits to being intense, she and Gordon do not appear to be high-pressure parents.
   "He sees the beauty in everything," Lori said. "I'm not more critical, but I see what CiCi has to do. Someone has to be the good guy, and someone has to be the bad guy.'
   CiCi, who likes to cook and ride her bicycle in her spare time, hopped on Lori's lap after dismantling Hovsepyan at Sac State and cuddled with her mother after winning the title. Both parents quietly watched CiCi in the semifinals, but only Gordon observed the final. He offered a few encouraging words but otherwise was silent. Lori ran on a nearby track and appeared after the match.
   "We practice together so much, I know what she need to work on," Lori said. "I don't need to see it in a match. She wants to play on her own, and we've always fostered that. We want her to figure out what to do when the match gets close."
   CiCi, an only child, began playing at 3 and picked up the game quickly.
   "She had very good hand-eye coordination, and she was always lightning fast," Gordon said. "Even today, one of her great assets is her speed and agility getting to balls that other players don't expect."
   Lori and Gordon actually thought CiCi would become a soccer player, but she chose tennis at 9. 
   "Tennis was more fun," CiCi explained. "The (soccer) team was getting really competitive (internally)."
   Added Lori: "She liked the individual aspect of tennis. I don't think she liked the physical aspect of soccer. She got trampled a few times. She still has a scar on one leg."
   Bellis plays four to five hours a day six days a week. She drills for two hours in the morning and plays matches against top juniors, open-level men and college players in the afternoon.    
   "She's on almost a pro-level schedule now," Hubbell noted. " ... What separates her from other kids who do that is she loves practicing. Other kids burn out, but she's very hungry mentally. She gets on the court, and she's bouncing all around and ready to go. She's like the Energizer bunny. She's willing to try things she's not great at yet. ...
   "The key thing, especially for girls, is going from being consistent to being more aggressive at 13, 14, 15. If you don't learn an all-around game and a big serve, you're not going to be as dominant. That's what we're working on in practice. She loves it. Other kids are afraid to make a mistake. They don't want to get out of their comfort zone."
   Bellis hopes to play at Stanford or Cal eventually. Or possibly turn pro instead.
   "Anything would be really nice," she said.
   Lori sees college in her daughter's future.
   "She's an only child, and she's home-schooled. She would like to play on a team. She loved the Maze Cup," Lori said in reference to the prestigious annual competition between the top juniors from Northern and Southern California.
   Lori downplays CiCi's pro prospects.
   "We know that regardless, she'll be a great college player," Lori said. "If she happens to do more, it'll be icing on the cake. She has accomplished more than most have in a lifetime. We're ecstatic with what she's done."

Tursunov, Cabal fall in UNICEF doubles final

   Dmitry Tursunov and Jean Sebastian Cabal fared well in their first tournament together.
   The unseeded pair reached the final of the UNICEF Open in s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, falling to top-seeded Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Horia Tecau of Romania 6-3, 7-6 (1).
   Tursunov, a 29-year-old Russian living in the Sacramento area, sought his sixth ATP World Tour doubles title and Cabal, 26, of Colombia his first. In Cabal's only other final, he and Eduardo Schwank of Argentina advanced to last year's French Open final. 
   Lindstedt and Tecau, both doubles specialists, now will try to gain their third consecutive berth in the Wimbledon final. They lost to Bob and Mike Bryan last year and Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner in 2010. This year's tournament starts Monday.
   Tursunov will play singles and doubles (with Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine) at Wimbledon. Cabal will compete in doubles with his countryman and regular partner, Robert Farah.
  UNICEF Open in s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands -- Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia and Tursunov reached the doubles final of the grass-court UNICEF Open. Playing in their first tournament together, they defeated Germans Benjamin Becker and Philipp Petzschner 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) in a battle of unseeded teams.
   Cabal and Tursunov will face top-seeded Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Horia Tecau of Romania today for the title. Lindstedt and Tecau, the 2010 UNICEF Open champions, have reached the last two Wimbledon finals. Tursunov seeks his sixth ATP World Tour doubles crown and Cabal, 26, his first.
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Eastbourne (women), final, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-noon (repeat), 7-9 p.m. (repeat). s'-Hertogenbosch (women), final, Tennis Channel, noon-2 p.m. (delay). s'-Hertogenbosch (men), final, Tennis Channel, 2-4 p.m. Eastbourne (men), final, Tennis Channel, 5-7 p.m. (repeat). 
   Monday -- Wimbledon, first round, ESPN2, 3:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Tuesday-Thursday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, ESPN, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, 5 a.m.-noon, ESPN (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).  
   July 1 -- No matches scheduled. Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 1 p.m. (premiere), 5 p.m. (repeat), 9 p.m. (repeat). 
CALENDAR  
   MONDAY-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   Friday -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), $10, (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-10 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- Olympic tennis tournament at Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tursunov, Wang draw seeds at Wimbledon

   Dmitry Tursunov of Russia and Jimmy Wang of Taiwan have more in common than might be readily apparent.
   Both train at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay. Both returned from extended injury layoffs in 2010. And both drew seeds Friday at Wimbledon.
   Tursunov will face No. 31 Florian Mayer of Germany in the first round, and Wang will meet No. 17 Fernando Verdasco of Spain. Wimbledon begins Monday and continues through
July 8.
   Both Mayer, 28, and Tursunov, 29, have had their best Grand Slam singles results at Wimbledon early in their careers. Mayer reached the quarterfinals in 2004, and Tursunov advanced to the fourth round in 2005 and 2006.
   Wang, 27, will play in the main draw at Wimbledon for the first time since 2007, when he reached the second round as a qualifier.
   Meanwhile, five part-time Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis will play singles at Wimbledon.
   Mardy Fish, seeded 10th, is scheduled to play his first match since early April when he faces Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain in the opening round. Fish, a Wimbledon quarterfinalist last year, underwent a procedure on May 23 for heart palpitations.
   Kevin Anderson, seeded 32nd, will meet dangerous Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, will take on rising Canadian Vasek Pospisil and could face another Canadian, 21st-seeded Milos Raonic, in the second round.
   Qualifier Ryan Sweeting will play Potito Starace of Italy. The winner will face either eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia or David Nalbandian of Argentina. Nalbandian, the Wimbledon runner-up 10 years ago, was defaulted from Sunday's final at Queen's Club in London for kicking a wooden box around a line judge in anger and slightly injuring him.
   On the women's side, qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe drew 10th-seeded Sara Errani of Italy. Errani reached the French Open final two weeks ago but has not advanced past the third round at Wimbledon in four attempts.
   Five men's and two women's doubles teams at Wimbledon feature at least one player with Northern California ties.
   Second-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, won Wimbledon last year and in 2006. Other men's pairings are: Tursunov-Sergiy Stakhovsky, Querrey-James Blake, Mark Knowles (Capitals)-Paul Hanley and Scott Lipsky (ex-Stanford All-American)-Rajeev Ram.
   Raquel Kops-Jones, a former NCAA doubles champion from Cal, and Abigail Spears are seeded 10th in women's doubles. Also, Yasmin Schnack, who plays for her hometown Capitals, will make her Grand Slam debut. She will team with close friend Vania King, the 2010 Wimbledon champion with Yaroslava Shvedova.     
   UNICEF Open in s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands -- Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia and Tursunov reached the doubles final of the grass-court UNICEF Open. Playing in their first tournament together, they defeated Germans Benjamin Becker and Philipp Petzschner 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) in a battle of unseeded teams.
   Cabal and Tursunov will face top-seeded Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Horia Tecau of Romania today for the title. Lindstedt and Tecau, the 2010 UNICEF Open champions, have reached the last two Wimbledon finals. Tursunov seeks his sixth ATP World Tour doubles crown and Cabal, 26, his first.
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Eastbourne (women), final, Tennis Channel, 4-6 a.m. (live), 6-8 a.m. (repeat), 2-4 p.m. (repeat). s'-Hertogensbosch (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 8 a.m.-noon (delay), 4-8 p.m. (repeat). Eastbourne (men), final, Tennis Channel, noon-2 p.m. (delay), 8-10 p.m. (repeat).
   Sunday -- Eastbourne (women), final, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-noon (repeat), 7-9 p.m. (repeat). s'-Hertogenbosch (women), final, Tennis Channel, noon-2 p.m. (delay). s'-Hertogenbosch (men), final, Tennis Channel, 2-4 p.m. Eastbourne (men), final, Tennis Channel, 5-7 p.m. (repeat). 
   Monday -- Wimbledon, first round, ESPN2, 3:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Tueday-Thursday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, ESPN, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, 5 a.m.-noon, ESPN (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).  
   Sunday -- No matches scheduled. Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 1 p.m. (premiere), 5 p.m. (repeat), 9 p.m. (repeat). 
CALENDAR  
   MONDAY-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   June 29 -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), $10, (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-10 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- Olympic tennis tournament at Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Capitals' Vandeweghe qualifies for Wimbledon

   CoCo Vandeweghe will play in the main draw of singles at Wimbledon for the second straight year.
   This time, however, she had to qualify.
   The 14th-seeded Vandeweghe, a member of the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis, downed 11th-seeded Lara Arruabarrena-Vecin of Spain 6-2, 6-7 (2), 7-5 Thursday to advance. Vandeweghe's first-round opponent will be determined in today's draw.
   Vandeweghe has slipped from No. 102 in the world one year ago to No. 132. She lost to Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-4, 6-4 in the first round at Wimbledon last year.
   Vandeweghe, the 20-year-old niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe, is scheduled to play at least five of the Capitals' 14 regular-season matches next month.
   ATP World Tour -- Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia and Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian living in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, topped Belgians Xavier Malisse and Dick Norman 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals at s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
   Cabal and Tursunov are scheduled to face Germany's Benjamin Becker and Philipp Petzschner today. Both teams are unseeded.
   Becker and Petzschner upset second-seeded Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer of Netherlands Antilles 3-6, 6-3, 10-5 tiebreak Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Eastbourne (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 3-7 a.m. (live), 7-11 a.m. (repeat), 8-10 p.m. (repeat). Eastbourne (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, noon-4 p.m. (delay). s'-Hertogenbosch (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (delay).
   Saturday -- Eastbourne (women), final, Tennis Channel, 4-6 a.m. (live), 6-8 a.m. (repeat), 2-4 p.m. (repeat). s'-Hertogensbosch (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 8 a.m.-noon (delay), 4-8 p.m. (repeat). Eastbourne (men), final, Tennis Channel, noon-2 p.m. (delay), 8-10 p.m. (repeat).
   Sunday -- Eastbourne (women), final, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-noon (repeat), 7-9 p.m. (repeat). s'-Hertogenbosch (women), final, Tennis Channel, noon-2 p.m. (delay). s'-Hertogenbosch (men), final, Tennis Channel, 2-4 p.m. Eastbourne (men), final, Tennis Channel, 5-7 p.m. (repeat). 
   Monday -- Wimbledon, first round, ESPN2, 3:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Tueday-Thursday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, ESPN, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).
   Saturday -- Wimbledon, early rounds, 5 a.m.-noon, ESPN (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2 p.m. (premiere), 6 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m. (repeat).  
   Sunday -- Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 1 p.m. (premiere), 5 p.m. (repeat), 9 p.m. (repeat).

CALENDAR  
   Today -- Wimbledon draw.
   MONDAY-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   June 29 -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), $10, (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wang continues remarkable comeback

   One hundred and twenty-eight men will begin play at Wimbledon early next week.
   Other than American Brian Baker, who missed six years because of five operations,  perhaps no one has a better story than Jimmy Wang.
   One year ago, Wang was ranked No. 491 in the world early in his injury comeback and playing before a handful of spectators in a low-level professional tournament in Sacramento. On Wednesday, the 27-year-old Taiwan native qualified for Wimbledon.
   Wang, who trains at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, advanced to the main draw with a 6-0, 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory over 10th-seeded Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain. Wang's first-round opponent will be determined during Friday's draw. 
   Also winning in the final round of qualifying was 21st-seeded Ryan Sweeting, who's scheduled to play three matches for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis next month. Sweeting, ranked No. 129 after climbing to a career-high No. 64 last September, rallied to beat Peter Torebko of Germany 3-6, 1-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 6-4.
   Fourteenth-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe, who's set to play at least five matches for the Capitals, will face 11th-seeded Lara Arruabarrena-Vecin of Spain on Thursday for a berth in the women's main draw. 
   Wang reached a career-high No. 85 in 2006 before missing three years, beginning in 2007, because of two operations on his right (dominant) wrist. The first was for a torn ligament and the second for a bone spur.
   “It’s good to be back,” Wang said during last year's Sacramento Futures, in which he reached the semifinals. “I don’t know how to describe (how much I missed tennis). Every day I followed tennis. I grew up in tennis. My whole family played. It’s what I’m used to.”
   Wang, ranked No. 207 after reaching No. 188 in March, will make his fourth appearance in the main draw at Wimbledon but first since 2007. He lost to eventual runner-up Andy Roddick in the first round in 2004 and reached the second round in 2006 and 2007. Wang got straight into the draw the first two times and qualified the third time.      
   Wang's given name is Yeu-Tzuoo. When he was 8, an English teacher dubbed him Jimmy. The nickname has nothing to do with Jimmy Connors, Wang said.
   Wimbledon seedings -- Part-time Capitals Mardy Fish and Kevin Anderson are seeded 10th and 32nd at Wimbledon, respectively.  The seedings were announced Wednesday.
   Fish, ranked 12th, is scheduled to play home matches for Sacramento on July 12 and 13. He has not competed since undergoing a procedure in May to correct an irregular heartbeat. Anderson, ranked 30th, is set to play the Capitals' last four matches (at home on July 24, 27 and 28 and away on July 25).  
   Five-time Wimbledon singles champion Venus Williams and four-time Grand Slam singles winner Kim Clijsters are unseeded for the first time in more than a decade, the Associated Press noted. Williams has dropped to No. 55 while dealing with an autoimmune disease. Clijsters, ranked 53rd, has been plagued by ankle and hip injuries.
   Men's seedings:  1. Novak Djokovic, 2. Rafael Nadal, 3. Roger Federer, 4. Andy Murray, 5. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6. Tomas Berdych, 7. David Ferrer, 8. Janko Tipsarevic, 9. Juan Martin Del Potro, 10. Mardy Fish, 11. John Isner, 12. Nicolas Almagro, 13. Gilles Simon, 14. Feliciano Lopez, 15. Juan Monaco, 16. Marin Cilic, 17. Fernando Verdasco, 18. Richard Gasquet, 19. Kei Nishikori, 20. Bernard Tomic, 21. Milos Raonic, 22. Alexandr Dolgopolov, 23. Andreas Seppi, 24. Marcel Granollers, 25. Stanislas Wawrinka, 26. Mikhail Youzhny, 27. Philipp Kohlschreiber, 28. Radek Stepanek, 29. Julien Benneteau, 30. Andy Roddick, 31. Florian Mayer, 32. Kevin Anderson
   Women's seedings: 1. Maria Sharapova, 2. Victoria Azarenka, 3. Agnieszka Radwanska, 4. Petra Kvitova, 5. Samantha Stosur, 6. Serena Williams, 7. Caroline Wozniacki, 8. Angelique Kerber, 9. Marion Bartoli, 10. Sara Errani, 11. Na Li, 12. Vera Zvonareva, 13. Dominika Cibulkova, 14. Ana Ivanovic, 15. Sabine Lisicki, 16. Flavia Pennetta, 17. Maria Kirilenko, 18. Jelena Jankovic, 19. Lucie Safarova, 20. Nadia Petrova, 21. Roberta Vinci, 22. Julia Goerges, 23. Petra Cetkovska, 24. Francesca Schiavone, 25. Jie Zheng, 26. Anabel Medina Garrigues, 27. Daniela Hantuchova, 28. Christina McHale, 29. Monica Niculescu, 30, Shuai Peng, 31. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 32. Svetlana Kuznetsova.
TV SCHEDULE
(All matches on Tennis Channel; all times PDT)
   Thursday -- Eastbourne (women), quarterfinals, 3-7 a.m. (live), 7-11 a.m. (repeat), noon-4 p.m. (repeat), 5-9 p.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Eastbourne (women), semifinals, 3-7 a.m. (live), 7-11 a.m. (repeat), 8-10 p.m. (repeat).    Eastbourne (men), semifinals, noon-4 p.m. (delay). s'-Hertogenbosch (men), semifinals, 4-8 p.m. (delay).
   Saturday -- Eastbourne (women), final, 4-6 a.m. (live), 6-8 a.m. (repeat), 2-4 p.m. (repeat). s'-Hertogensbosch (women), semifinals, 8 a.m.-noon (delay), 4-8 p.m. (repeat). Eastbourne (men), final, noon-2 p.m. (delay), 8-10 p.m. (repeat).
   Sunday -- Eastbourne (women), final, 10 a.m.-noon (repeat), 7-9 p.m. (repeat). s'-Hertogenbosch (women), final, noon-2 p.m. (delay). s'-Hertogenbosch (men), final, 2-4 p.m. Eastbourne (men), 5-7 p.m. (repeat). 
CALENDAR  
   Thursday -- Wimbledon qualifying, women's final round.
   Friday -- Wimbledon draw.
   MONDAY-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   June 29 -- Renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox speaks at 5:30 p.m. at the Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), $10, (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Anderson, ranked 30th, to join Capitals

   The Sacramento Capitals added 30th-ranked Kevin Anderson for their last four matches this season, the team announced Tuesday.
   Anderson, 6-foot-8, will make his World TeamTennis debut July 24 against the Orange County Breakers at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights.
Kevin Anderson
   The 26-year-old South African also will play July 25 at Orange County, July 27 at home against the Philadelphia Freedoms and July 28 at home against the Boston Lobsters. Playing for Orange County will be Lindsay Davenport, formerly ranked No. 1 in singles and doubles. Competing for Philadelphia will be Mark Philippoussis, an ex-Wimbledon and U.S. Open finalist.
   Anderson has won two ATP World Tour singles titles (Johannesburg last year and Delray Beach, Fla., this year). He also has had extensive success in Northern California from the highest level of professional tennis to the lowest.
   In February, he reached the singles quarterfinals and doubles final (with Frank Moser of Germany) at the SAP Open in San Jose. Anderson and Moser fell to Mark Knowles, a longtime Capital, and Xavier Malisse.
   In $15,000 Futures tournaments in the Sacramento area, Anderson won doubles titles in Woodland and Rocklin in 2006 and the singles crown at the Natomas Racquet Club in 2007.          
   On the Capitals, Anderson will join marquee player Mardy Fish (July 12 and 13), Knowles, Sam Querrey (five matches), Ryan Sweeting (three matches), CoCo Vandeweghe (at least five matches), hometown favorite Yasmin Schnack and Asia Muhammed. Wayne Bryan will return for his 11th season as the Capitals' coach.
   Fish, who has not played since undergoing a procedure for an irregular heartbeat in May, was ranked in the top 10 until falling to 12th two weeks ago. Querrey, a 6-foot-6 San Francisco native, reached No. 17 in January 2011, and the 40-year-old Knowles climbed to No. 1 in doubles in 2002 and 2004.
   Sweeting, 24, and Vandeweghe, 20, won U.S. Open junior singles titles in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Schnack, a 24-year-old former UCLA All-American, has won 10 doubles crowns (five this year) in tennis' minor leagues and the 21-year-old Muhammed five. 
  “I'm really excited to be part of what sounds like a great WTT squad over the summer," Anderson, who won the 2006 NCAA doubles title with Ryan Rowe at Illinois, said in a statement. "I've always loved the team format since I played college tennis at Illinois, so when the opportunity came to play for Sacramento, I couldn't pass it up.  I've known coach Bryan for a long time, so it will be a pleasure to play for him. 
   Capitals individual match tickets and three match packages are on sale at www.saccaps.com. Prices for individual tickets start at $25, and three-match packages begin at $60. Children’s tickets are $15. Home matches begin at 7:35 p.m.
   Pro results --  Querrey quit his first-round match with a back injury while trailing 5-2 against sixth-seeded Andy Roddick at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, England.
   Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia and Sacramento-area resident Dmitry Tursunov of Russia knocked off fourth-seeded Scott Lipsky, a former Stanford All-American, and Leander Paes of India 6-2, 7-5 in the opening round of the UNICEF Open in s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
   Advancing to the final round of Wimbledon qualifying were Sweeting, seeded 21st; Jimmy Wang, a Sacramento-area resident from Taiwan; and Vandeweghe, seeded 14th.
CALENDAR  
   Wednesday -- Wimbledon seedings announced.
   Wednesday-Thursday -- Wimbledon qualifying continues.
   Friday -- Wimbledon draw conducted.
   MONDAY-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   June 29 -- Speech by renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox, 5:30 p.m., Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), $10, (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.

Tennis psychologist Fox to speak in Sacramento area

   Allen Fox, a renowned tennis psychologist and author and formerly a top player and coach, will speak at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento area on June 29 at 5:30 p.m.
   The public is invited to attend at $10 per person. The Gorin Tennis Academy is located at 8970 Carriage Drive in Granite Bay.
   Fox, who will turn 73 on Monday, has worked with players such as former world No. 1s John McEnroe and Dinara Safina as well as former top-20 players Sam Querrey and Dmitry Tursunov. Fox has written four books, including "Tennis: Winning the Mental Match"  (2010) and "Think to Win: The Strategic Dimension of Tennis" (1993). He earned a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA.
   A three-time All-American (1959-61) at UCLA, Fox won the NCAA singles title in 1961 and the doubles crown with Larry Nagler in 1960. Fox spent five years in the top 10 in the United States, played on the Davis Cup team for three years and reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1965.
   Fox coached the Pepperdine men from 1979 to 1995, compiling a record of 368–108 (.778). His teams, which included Brad Gilbert, reached the NCAA final twice, the semifinals three times and the quarterfinals six times.
   ATP World Tour -- Philipp Petzschner of Germany ousted defending champion Tursunov, a Moscow native living in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the grass-court UNICEF Open in s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. 
   Men's Futures -- Devin Britton skyrocketed 107 places to a career-high No. 449 in the world with his singles title in the recent $15,000 Tennis Town Pro Tennis at Park Terrace tournament in Sacramento. The 21-year-old resident of Brandon, Miss., won the 2009 NCAA singles crown as a freshman at Mississippi.
   Meanwhile, Jeff Dadamo jumped 77 spots to a career-high No. 554 with his runner-up finish in Sacramento. The 22-year-old Tampa, Fla., resident captured last year's NCAA doubles crown as a senior at Texas A&M.
OTHER PRO RESULTS
(Players with Northern California connections only)
Wimbledon qualifying
First-round men's singles
   Ryan Sweeting (21), Capitals/Fort Lauderdale, Fla., def. Alex Kuznetsov, Tampa, Fla., 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom/Taiwan, def. Dusan Lajovic, Serbia, 6-4, 6-1.   
First-round men's doubles
   Rik de Voest, South Africa, and Adil Shamasdin, Canada, def. John-Paul Fruttero (ex-Cal All-American), San Jose, and Raven Klaasen (1), South Africa, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3.
CALENDAR  
   Today-Thursday -- Wimbledon qualifying.
   Wednesday -- Wimbledon seedings announced.
   Friday -- Wimbledon draw conducted.
   MONDAY-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   June 29 -- Speech by renowned tennis psychologist and author Allen Fox, 5:30 p.m., Gorin Tennis Academy, 8970 Carriage Drive, Granite Bay (Sacramento area), $10, (916) 797-8444.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
PRO RANKINGS
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 3 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 3 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 12 in singles (no change), No. 723 in doubles (+2).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 96 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 71 in doubles (-3), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 39 in doubles (+4), unranked in singles.
   Conor Niland, 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American at Cal -- No. 370 in singles (+1), unranked in doubles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 63 in singles (+14), No. 60 in doubles (-1).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 129 in singles (+5), No. 852 in doubles (-3).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 128 in singles (-62), No. 205 in doubles (+1).
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 207 in singles (-7), No. 354 in doubles (+22).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- Career-high No. 646 in singles (+23), No. 1,006 in doubles (+375).
Women
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 23 in doubles (no change), No. 722 in singles (+4).
   Asia Muhammed, Capitals (2012) -- No. 178 in doubles (+12), No. 410 in singles (+2).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 138 in doubles (-1), No. 224 in singles (-2).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 146 in doubles (-6), No. 431 in singles (-24).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 556 in singles (+2), No. 1,160 in doubles (+28).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 132 in singles (-2), No. 515 in doubles (-229).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thirteen-year-old, Sutter earn NorCal 18 titles

Champion Catherine Bellis, right, and runner-up Hadley Berg,
left, pose with their trophies Sunday. Bellis, who also received
a gift basket, is 13 and Berg 16. Photo by Paul Bauman
   For a few minutes, Catherine Bellis was in trouble.
   The sixth-seeded Bellis, 13, bolted to a 6-1, 5-0 lead against eighth-seeded Hadley Berg on Sunday in the girls singles final of the NorCal 18 Sectional Championships at Sacramento State.
   Then Berg, playing with nothing to lose, won a game. And the next. And the next. And she had a point to pull within 5-4. But that was as close as Berg, a 16-year-old Greenbrae resident, got as Atherton's Bellis closed out a 6-1, 6-3 victory.   
   Bellis, who and improved to 3-0 against Berg, admitted afterward that she was concerned at 5-3.
   "I tried to calm myself down, not think about the score and just play," she said.
   Bellis was fresher than Berg for the final. In Saturday's semifinals, Bellis dispatched unseeded Kristina Hovsepyan of Danville 6-2, 6-3 while Berg outlasted second-seeded Iris Lin of South San Francisco 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. The temperature reached 104 degrees Saturday and 99 degrees Sunday.
   Bellis, ranked fifth nationally in the 14s, lost as many as four games in a set only once in five matches en route to the title. That was against top-seeded Kassidy Jump of Granite Bay in the quarterfinals.
   A profile of Bellis will be posted later this week.  
Brandon Sutter, left, and Ivan Kravtchenko display their trophies.
Both are 17. Sutter's gift basket also is shown. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Meanwhile, Brandon Sutter of El Dorado Hills swept the boys titles.
   Seeded first in singles, Sutter wore down seventh-seeded Ivan Kravtchenko of Sunnyvale 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in a battle of 17-year-olds.
   Sutter had not lost more than five games in any of his five matches before the final, and that came in the first round.  Kravtchenko, on the other hand, suffered full body cramps after his 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 triumph over sixth-seeded Lovedeep Singh of Sacramento on Saturday and began to cramp in his left calf in the third set of the final.
   In doubles, top-seeded Richard Pham of Saratoga and Sutter handled fifth-seeded Singh and Manpreet Tiwana of Cupertino 6-3, 6-3.
   Sutter, who will be a senior at Oak Ridge High School in the fall, has verbally accepted a tennis scholarship at Cal. Kravtchenko, who just graduated from Archbishop Mitty in San Jose, will play tennis at Brown, an Ivy League school in Providence, R.I., in the fall.
   Men's Futures -- Unseeded Phillip Simmonds of Reston, Va., upended third-seeded Michael McClune of Irvine 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to win the $15,000 Chico Futures at the Chico Racquet Club & Resort.
   Simmonds, 26, seemed to have a bright future when he reached the final of the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2006 as a qualifier, but he has struggled since then. The Chico title, which followed his doubles crown in the Sacramento Futures two weeks ago, was his fourth in singles but first on a hardcourt since 2006.
   Devin Britton, the Sacramento singles champion, also won his second title in two weeks. The second-seeded American team of Britton and Jordan Cox edged top-seeded Daniel King-Turner of New Zealand and Nima Roshan of Australia 6-7 (6), 7-6 (8), 10-7 tiebreak for the doubles crown.
   ATP World Tour, WTA -- Former Stanford and Cal All-Americans went 0 for 3 in grass-court doubles matches at the top level of men's and women's pro tennis.
   No. 2 seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford) of Wesley Chapel, Fla., lost to top-seeded Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club in London. It was a virtual replay of the previous week's French Open final, which Mirnyi and Nestor won 6-4, 6-4 to retain their title.
   Unseeded Scott Lipsky (Stanford) of Huntington Beach and Treat Conrad Huey of the Philippines fell to top-seeded Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands Antilles 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany.
   Also, fourth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones (Cal) of Fresno and Abigail Spears of San Diego came up short against top-seeded Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England.
CALENDAR  
   Today -- Wimbledon qualifying begins.
   Wednesday -- Wimbledon seedings announced.
   Friday -- Wimbledon draw conducted.
   JUNE 25-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bellis, 13, advances to NorCal 18 final

   Catherine Bellis, 13, defeated top-seeded Kassidy Jump and Kristina Hovsepyan in straight sets Saturday to reach the final of the NorCal 18 Junior Sectional Championships at Sacramento State.
    The sixth-seeded Bellis, from Atherton, ousted Granite Bay's Jump 6-3, 6-4 and the unseeded Hovsepyan, a 17-year-old left-hander from Danville, 6-2, 6-3.
   Bellis, who won two national singles titles in the 12s last year, said of Hovsepyan: "She's a really good player. I was more consistent and waited for the right shot to be aggressive."
   Hovsepyan played with left rotator cuff tendinitis but said that wasn't why she lost.
   "She just made more balls and served at a higher percentage. She was offensive on her forehand. She ripped some good winners off that."
   Bellis will face eighth-seeded Hadley Berg, 16, of Greenbrae in today's final at 9:30 a.m. Berg downed second-seeded Iris Lin of South San Francisco 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the semis. Bellis is 2-0 against Berg.
   In the boys final, also at 9:30 a.m., top-seeded Brandon Sutter of El Dorado Hills will play seventh-seeded Ivan Kravtchenko of Sunnyvale.
   Sutter routed ninth-seeded William Griffith of Fresno 6-3, 6-0 in the semis, while Kravtchenko outlasted sixth-seeded Lovedeep Singh of Sacramento 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.
   Men's Futures -- Third-seeded Michael McClune of Irvine and unseeded Phillip Simmonds of Reston, Va., will meet in the final of the $15,000 Chico Futures today not before 11 a.m. at the Chico Racquet Club & Resort.
   McClune eked out a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (6) victory over fifth-seeded Fritz Wolmarans of South Africa, and Simmonds surprised fourth-seeded Kento Takeuchi of Japan 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1.
   In the doubles final at 10 a.m., top-seeded Daniel King-Turner of New Zealand and Nima Roshan of Australia will play second-seeded Devin Britton of Brandon, Miss., and Jordan Cox of Duluth, Ga.
   ATP World Tour -- In a battle of 6-foot-6 veterans, sixth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia held off unseeded Sam Querrey 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 on a windy day in the semifinals of the grass-court Aegon Championships at Queen's Club in London.
   Querrey, a San Francisco native and the 2010 champion at Queen's Club, is scheduled to play five matches for the Sacramento Capitals next month in World TeamTennis.
   Top-seeded Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada will face No. 2 seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford All-Americans, in today's doubles final. Mirnyi and Nestor defeated the Bryans 6-4, 6-4 last Sunday to retain their French Open title.
   In Halle, Germany, unseeded Treat Conrad Huey of the Philippines and Scott Lipsky, an ex-Stanford All-American living in Huntington Beach, will meet top-seeded Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands Antilles in the final of the grass-court Gerry Weber Open.
   WTA -- Fourth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, a former Cal All-American from Fresno, and Abigail Spears of San Diego will take on top-seeded Liezel Huber of Houston and Lisa Raymond of Wayne, Pa., in the semifinals of the grass-court Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England. 
TV SCHEDULE
(All matches on Tennis Channel; all times PDT)
   Today -- Bad Gastein (women), final, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (delay); Queen's Club (men), final, 1-3 p.m. (delay), 7-9 p.m. (repeat); Birmingham (women), final, 3-5 p.m. (delay); Halle (men), final, 5-7 p.m. (delay).
CALENDAR  
   Today -- NorCal 18 Junior Sectional Championships, Sacramento State, boys and girls singles finals at 9:30 a.m., girls doubles final at 2 p.m., boys doubles final at 4:30 p.m., www.norcal.usta.com.
   Today -- $15,000 Chico Futures, Chico Racquet Club & Resort, 1629 Manzanita Ave., Chico, doubles final at 10 a.m., singles final not before 11 a.m., www.chicoracquetclub.com.
   JUNE 25-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

NorCal legend MacKay dies at 76

   Barry MacKay, a Northern California tennis legend, died Friday in San Francisco after a long illness. He was 76.
   MacKay left an indelible mark as a player, tournament director, promoter and commentator. Nicknamed "The Bear," he was among the friendliest and best-liked members of the tennis community.
   Renowned coach and commentator Brad Gilbert won the San Francisco title in 1989, when MacKay was the tournament director. 
   "Just heard the sad news," Brad Gilbert, a Bay Area native, said on atpworldtour.com. "Barry MacKay, one of the greats and without question one of the real good guys in tennis, passed away."
   A native of Dayton, Ohio, MacKay won the 1957 NCAA title while playing for Michigan. He competed on the U.S. Davis Cup team from 1956 through 1960, reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 1959 and earned the top seeding in the 1960 French Championships.
   MacKay was ranked No. 1 in the United States in 1960 and that year received the Bob Hope Award as the Amateur Athlete of the Year. He turned pro in 1961 and played on Jack Kramer's tour for three years.
   After his playing career, MacKay served as the tournament director of the Pacific Coast Championships (now the SAP Open) as it moved from Berkeley to Daly City to San Jose. He also promoted two Davis Cup finals in the United States.
   The SAP Open will be held at HP Pavilion, the home of the NHL's San Jose Sharks, one last time next February. Unable to draw many top players in recent years, it will be replaced on the calendar by Rio de Janeiro.
   MacKay was a popular tennis commentator on television for decades until his death. Most recently, he called matches for Tennis Channel and Fox Sports Network. He was well-known for his catchphrase "And there it is" when match point was converted.
   ATP World Tour -- Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, topped Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in a quarterfinal between unseeded players in the Aegon Championships on grass at Queen's Club in London.
   Querrey, 24, is scheduled to play five matches for the Sacramento Capitals during the World TeamTennis season next month. He reached his first semifinal on the ATP World Tour since repeating as the Los Angeles champion in 2010. The 6-foot-6 right-hander underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow last June and missed three months.
   Querrey will face another Croat, sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, in the semis. Also 6-foot-6, Cilic beat Querrey in five sets in the second round at Wimbledon in 2009 in their only previous meeting.
   Also Friday, second-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan of Wesley Chapel, Fla., won two matches to reach the doubles semifinals.
   Men's Futures -- Both the top seed and last week's Sacramento champion lost in the quarterfinals of the $15,000 Chico Futures at the Chico Racquet Club & Resort.
   No. 1 Tennys Sandgren of Gallatin, Tenn., fell to fifth-seeded Fritz Wolmarans of South Africa 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3, and No. 6 Devin Britton of Brandon, Miss., was eliminated by No. 3 Michael McClune of Irvine 6-2, 6-3. McClune, a Sacramento quarterfinalust, has not lost more than three games in a set in three Chico matches.
   In today's semifinals at 10 a.m., McClune will face Wolmarans, and fourth-seeded Kento Takeuchi of Japan will meet unseeded Phillip Simmonds of Reston, Va. Simmonds won the Sacramento doubles title with Vahid Mirzadeh of Wellington, Fla. 
WEEKEND TV SCHEDULE
(All matches on Tennis Channel; all times PDT)
   Today -- Halle (men), semifinals, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (delay); Queen's Club (men), semifinals, 2-6 p.m. (delay); Birmingham (women), semifinals, 6-10 p.m. (delay).
   Sunday -- Bad Gastein (women), final, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (delay); Queen's Club (men), final, 1-3 p.m. (delay), 7-9 p.m. (repeat); Birmingham (women), final, 3-5 p.m. (delay); Halle (men), final, 5-7 p.m. (delay).
CALENDAR  
   Today -- NorCal 18 Junior Sectional Championships, Sacramento State, boys and girls singles quarterfinals at 8 a.m., singles semifinals at 11:30 a.m., girls doubles quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m., boys doubles quarterfinals at 3 p.m., www.norcal.usta.com.
   Today -- $15,000 Chico Futures, Chico Racquet Club & Resort, 1629 Manzanita Ave., Chico, singles semifinals at 10 a.m., www.chicoracquetclub.com.
   Sunday -- NorCal 18 Junior Sectional Championships, Sacramento State, boys and girls singles finals at 9:30 a.m., girls doubles final at 2 p.m., boys doubles final at 4:30 p.m., www.norcal.usta.com.
   Sunday -- $15,000 Chico Futures, Chico Racquet Club & Resort, 1629 Manzanita Ave., Chico, singles and doubles finals, times TBA, www.chicoracquetclub.com.
   JUNE 25-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.