Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Who's better, Roddick or Chang?

Andy Roddick, above, turns 30 on Thursday. He figures
to join fellow American Michael Chang, below right, in the
International Tennis Hall of Fame. Photos by Paul Bauman
   The question is not whether Andy Roddick, who turns 30 on Thursday, eventually will be inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
   Considering the low standards of the Hall -- like seemingly everywhere else in society -- that's a given. If Michael Chang (a 2008 inductee) gets in, so does Roddick. Both are singles specialists with one Grand Slam title.
   So which player is better?
   Stylistically, Roddick and Chang hardly could be more different. Roddick, 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, relies on his punishing serve and forehand. Until last year, he had the world's fastest serve at 155 mph. The 5-9, 160-pound Chang, meanwhile, was renowned for his quickness and heart.
   Otherwise, Roddick and Chang, 40, are remarkably similar.
   Both, of course, are American. Although Roddick grew up in Omaha, Neb., and Florida, and Chang in the Los Angeles area, both have ties to Northern California.
   Roddick has won the San Francisco Bay Area stop on the ATP World Tour three times (2004, 2005 and 2008) and Chang twice (1988 and 1992). Chang, in fact, won his first career title there at 16 years old, and his wife, the former Amber Liu, won the 2003 and 2004 NCAA women's singles titles while attending Stanford. Chang also played part-time for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in 2009 and 2010.
   Most significantly, Roddick and Chang won their Grand Slam titles early in their careers, and it seemed more would follow. Roddick captured the 2003 U.S. Open at 21. Chang took the 1989 French Open at 17 to become the youngest men's Grand Slam singles champion, a distinction he still holds.
   Roddick has played in five Grand Slam singles finals overall and Chang four.
   Roddick climbed to No. 1 in the world in 2003. Chang peaked at No. 2 in 1996, coming within one loss to Pete Sampras of attaining No. 1. Roddick also holds the edge in year-end top-10 singles rankings, nine (2002-10) to seven (1989 and 1992-97).   
   Chang won 34 ATP singles titles. Roddick is at 32 and, by the time he retires, could tie or surpass Chang.
   Roddick, with 610 ATP match victories, also could finish close to Chang's total of 662. The biggest statistical difference between the players is Roddick has exactly 100 fewer losses for a winning percentage of .742 to Chang's .680. 
   Both Chang and Roddick were overshadowed by the Big Three of their eras: Chang by Sampras, Andre Agassi and Jim Courier, and Roddick by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The difference there is that Chang's chief rivals were fellow Americans and Roddick's are foreigners.
   Both Chang and Roddick played on one Davis Cup championship team, Chang in 1990 and Roddick in 2007. Their winning percentages in Davis Cup singles -- .733 for Roddick and .667 for Chang -- almost duplicate their figures in ATP matches.
   Roddick has played far more Davis Cup matches because he has been the No. 1 American for most of his career and Chang was often squeezed out by his compatriots. Roddick has won 33 Davis Cup singles matches, second in U.S. history behind John McEnroe's 41, against 12 losses. Chang was 8-4.
   Neither Roddick nor Chang has won an Olympic medal.
   To summarize, Roddick and Chang are even in Grand Slam singles titles and Davis Cup championships. Roddick holds an edge in Grand Slam singles finals, highest singles ranking and year-end top-10 singles rankings, and he has a much better winning percentage in ATP and Davis Cup matches. Chang has won two more ATP singles crowns, but Roddick could equal or surpass him before retiring.
   Advantage: Roddick.

Monday, August 27, 2012

TV schedule, calendar, pro rankings

TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Today -- U.S. OPEN, first round, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live). 
   Tuesday -- U.S. OPEN, first round, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live).  
   Wednesday -- U.S. OPEN, men's first round/women's second round; Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live).  
   Thursday -- U.S. OPEN, second round, Tennis Channel, 10- a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live). 
   Friday -- U.S. OPEN, men's second round/women's third round, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live).  
   Saturday -- U.S. OPEN, third round, CBS, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (live); Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (live).  
   Sunday -- U.S. OPEN, men's third round/women's fourth round, CBS, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (live); Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (live). 
   Monday, Sept. 3 -- U.S. OPEN, fourth round, CBS, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 4-8 p.m. (live). 
CALENDAR
   Today-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN main draw, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.
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. 34 in singles (+1), No. 93 in doubles (+1).
   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. 25 in singles (-1), No. 737 in doubles (-1).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 96 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Artem Ilyushin, Granite Bay resident -- No. 862 in singles (+1), No. 1,233 in doubles (+7).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 489 in singles (-4), No. 1,038 in doubles (+4). 
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 101 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 29 in doubles (+5), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 28 in singles (no change), No. 41 in doubles (no change).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 132 in singles (-2), No. 847 in doubles (+2).
   Ryan Thacher, 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1,277 in singles (+2), No. 1,428 in doubles (+8).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 144 in singles (-1), No. 181 in doubles (+1).
   Jimmy Wang, trains part-time in Granite Bay -- No. 182 in singles (no change), No. 344 in doubles (+4).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- Career-high No. 619 in singles (+1), No. 714 in doubles (+2).
Women
   Jana Juricova, NCAA singles (2011) and doubles (2009) champion from Cal -- No. 937 in singles (+2), unranked in doubles.
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 8 in doubles (no change), No. 52 in singles (no change).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 20 in doubles (no change), No. 709 in singles (+3).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- No. 186 in doubles (+34), No. 549 in singles (+4).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 151 in doubles (+5), career-high No. 211 in singles (+3).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 148 in doubles (+5), No. 456 in singles (+3).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 467 in singles (+1), No. 1,128 in doubles (+2).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 75 in singles (-2), No. 499 in doubles (-4).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TV schedule, calendar, pro rankings

TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
    Monday -- U.S. OPEN, first round, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live). 
   Tuesday -- U.S. OPEN, first round, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live).  
   Wednesday -- U.S. OPEN, men's first round/women's second round; Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live).  
   Thursday -- U.S. OPEN, second round, Tennis Channel, 10- a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live). 
   Friday -- U.S. OPEN, men's second round/women's third round, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (live).  
   Saturday -- U.S. OPEN, third round, CBS, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (live); Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (live).  
   Sunday, Sept. 2 -- U.S. OPEN, men's third round/women's fourth round, CBS, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (live); Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (live). 
   Monday, Sept. 3 -- U.S. OPEN, fourth round, CBS, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (live); ESPN2, 4-0
CALENDAR
   Monday-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN main draw, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.
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. 35 in singles (-1), No. 94 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. 24 in singles (-4), No. 736 in doubles (+1).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 96 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Artem Ilyushin, Granite Bay resident -- No. 863 in singles (+13), No. 1,240 in doubles (+13).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 485 in singles (+4), No. 1,042 in doubles (+3). 
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 101 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 34 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 28 in singles (+1), No. 41 in doubles (+4).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 130 in singles (-2), No. 849 in doubles (+6).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 143 in singles (+4), No. 182 in doubles (+2).
   Jimmy Wang, trains part-time in Granite Bay -- No. 182 in singles (+1), No. 348 in doubles (no change).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 620 in singles (+6), No. 716 in doubles (no change).
Women
   Jana Juricova, NCAA singles (2011) and doubles (2009) champion from Cal -- No. 939 in singles (no change), unranked in doubles.
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 8 in doubles (-3), No. 52 in singles (-1).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 20 in doubles (-1), No. 712 in singles (-2).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- No. 220 in doubles (-1), No. 553 in singles (no change).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 156 in doubles (-1), career-high No. 214 in singles (+1).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 153 in doubles (-1), No. 459 in singles (no change).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 468 in singles (no change), No. 1,130 in doubles (+5).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 73 in singles (-1), No. 495 in doubles (+1).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Anderson to lead Capitals in WTT playoffs

The Sacramento Capitals' Kevin Anderson, a 6-foot-8
South African, is ranked 34th in the world in singles.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Kevin Anderson will lead the Sacramento Capitals in the World TeamTennis playoffs next month in Charleston, S.C., league officials announced Thursday.
   Sacramento (7-7) will face the rival Orange County Breakers (8-6), led by former world No. 1 and ex-Capital Lindsay Davenport, on Sept. 14 in the Western Conference finals. Orange County won three of four matches against Sacramento in the regular season.
   The defending champion Washington Kastles (14-0), with Venus Williams, will take on the New York Sportimes (9-5), featuring John McEnroe, on Sept. 15 in the Eastern Conference finals. Washington has won 30 consecutive matches, the second-longest winning streak by a U.S. team in history behind the Los Angeles Lakers' 33 straight in 1971-72.
   The conference champions will meet Sept. 16 in the WTT Finals.
   Anderson, a 6-foot-8 South African, is ranked 34th in the world in singles. As a 26-year-old WTT rookie, he played the last four matches of the regular season for the Capitals and won 15 of 33 singles games (.455). That was not enough to qualify among WTT regular players.
   Anderson lost both of his singles sets to Orange County's John-Patrick Smith, the WTT Male Rookie of the Year.   
   Capitals coach Wayne Bryan wrote in an e-mail during the season that Sam Querrey, rather than Anderson, would compete for the team in the playoffs. Querrey finished second in the league in men's singles, behind Washington's Bobby Reynolds, with a .580 winning percentage in six matches.     
   Also playing for Sacramento will be 40-year-old Mark Knowles, formerly No. 1 in the world in men's doubles, Yasmin Schnack and Asia Muhammad. 
   In the eight-team league, the Capitals finished third in men's singles (.552), fourth in men's doubles (.518) and fourth in mixed doubles (.532). They placed fifth in women's singles (.485), boosted by part-time player CoCo Vandeweghe (12-8, .600), and seventh in women's doubles (.429).
TV SCHEDULE  
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Cincinnati (men and women), quarterfinals, ESPN2, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Saturday -- Cincinnati (men and women), semifinals, ESPN2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), 4-8 p.m. (live).
   Sunday -- Cincinnati, men's final, CBS, 9:30 a.m.-noon (live), women's final, ESPN2, 1-3 p.m. (live).
CALENDAR
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Welcome to tennis heaven

Center court at the Seascape Sports Club in Aptos, Calif., features permanent
bench seating for 1,180 fans. Photo by Paul Bauman
   If you have to be in tennis' minor leagues, there are worse places to play than Aptos, Calif.
   There's a reason the Comerica Bank Challenger, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last week, is the second-longest-running men's event on the USTA Pro Circuit behind Little Rock, Ark., (32 years). Actually, there are several reasons.
   Let's start with the glorious weather. For one week, the pros can escape the oppressive heat on the various North American summer circuits. While they toil on the court, fans bask in sunny, 75-degree weather. During the daily featured match at 5:30 p.m., a cool breeze from the nearby Pacific Ocean wafts over the Seascape Sports Club. It does get chilly as the sun sets, but it's nothing that a sweatshirt can't solve.
   Then there's the beautiful setting. The club, 80 miles south of San Francisco, is perched on a hill about a quarter-mile from the ocean. Unfortunately, trees block the view, except from one small area near a side court.
   Seascape's center court is one of the few at the minor league level with permanent seating. Dark green wooden benches surrounding the court accommodate 1,180 fans. A nice touch is that the matchup for the evening's featured match is shown on a board above the east stands.
   The tournament's purse, $100,000, is the highest for a Challenger in the United States. Steve Johnson, a wild card who turned pro last month after a stellar career at USC, pocketed $14,400 for winning the singles title. Ticket prices rise from $16 for Monday through Thursday to $30 (50 percent discount for seniors 50 and over) for the final.
   The Comerica Bank Challenger attracts a mix of prospects such as Johnson, 22, journeymen such as 204th-ranked Alex Kuznetsov and veterans returning from injuries such as 2005 U.S. Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri. Past champions include International Tennis Hall of Famer Patrick Rafter (1993) and Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray (2005). 
   Beginning this year, the Comerica Bank Challenger was moved back three weeks to Aug. 4-12, when there's less competition from other tournaments. The USTA wanted the Comerica to attract a better field to provide more competition for Americans, tournament director Judy Welsh said.        
   The strategy worked, as the cutoff for direct acceptance in the main draw rose from No. 389 last year to No. 275 this year. Three top-100 players (No. 78 Brian Baker, No. 92 Igor Andreev and No. 93 Rajeev Ram) entered the tournament vs. one last year (No. 62 Igor Kunitsyn). The field might improve even more next year without the Olympics being held the previous week.
   In short, Aptos is minor-league tennis heaven.
   "The tournament was great, the environment was awesome, and I hope to come back next year," Colombia's Robert Farah, the runner-up to his former USC teammate, Johnson, said in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
   Perhaps the best tribute to the Comerica Bank Challenger, though, came from 2011 champion Laurynas Grigelis. The 20-year-old Lithuanian didn't enter the 2012 tournament because he has slumped recently and didn't feel good about his game, according to the woman who housed him last year. But he enjoyed the area so much that he returned for a few days the week before the tournament to visit his 2011 host family and surf.
   Aptos notes -- Welsh has served as the tournament director for all 25 years.
   "It's a passion," she said. "I like trying to figure out who the next star will be."
   Welsh lives in Palm Desert, Calif., and stays in Aptos for three months before each Comerica Bank Challenger to work full-time on it.     
   --Johnson has a rather short fuse. It took him all of three games in the second round against Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian who has residences in Moscow and the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, to receive a warning for an audible obscenity. Tursunov retired from the match with a groin injury while trailing 4-6, 0-0.   Johnson, by the way, wears a necklace with a cross while he's playing.
   --This year's tournament featured three former top-20 players (Ginepri, Andreev and Tursunov) and the last four NCAA singles champions (Johnson in 2012 and 2011, Stanford's Bradley Klahn in 2010 and Mississippi's Devin Britton in 2009).
   --Tursunov described his second Olympics experience as "very brief." He played one match, losing in the first round to Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-7 (5), 6-2, 9-7 at Wimbledon.
   "It didn't really feel like the Olympics," said Tursunov, adding that he did not watch any other events. "We stayed in the Wimbledon village, not the athletes' village. It felt like another Wimbledon. If you get to the medal round, it might feel completely different."
   At least Tursunov didn't have to play Roger Federer. Tursunov lost to the Swiss star twice at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, falling in the first round of singles and (with Mikhail Youzhny) in the second round of doubles to eventual gold medalists Federer and Stansilas Wawrinka.  
   Tursunov's Olympic career probably is over. He will turn 30 in December.
   --Another tournament, another hair color for John Paul Fruttero. The doubles specialist showed up in Aptos with white spiked hair. Fruttero is old (31), but not that old. At the Natomas Challenger in Sacramento last October, his hair was blue and gold in honor of his alma mater, Cal.
   What's next, J.P.? Black and orange at this year's Natomas Challenger? After all, Halloween is only three weeks later.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NORCAL TENNIS CZAR CHANGES FORMAT

   Beginning now, NorCal Tennis Czar will provide more quality and less quantity.
   I will continue to post the television schedule, rankings and calendar weekly, usually early Tuesday morning, and cover Northern California professional tournaments daily.
   But instead of tracking players' results daily, I will write one or two stories -- news, profiles, features, notes or columns -- a week. I have a lot of good ideas.
   Thank you for reading NorCal Tennis Czar.
TV SCHEDULE  
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Cincinnati (men and women), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (live).
   Wednesday -- Cincinnati (men and women), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (live).
   Thursday -- Cincinnati (men and women), early rounds, ESPN2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), 4-7 p.m. (live).
   Friday -- Cincinnati (men and women), quarterfinals, ESPN2, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Saturday -- Cincinnati (men and women), semifinals, ESPN2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), 4-8 p.m. (live).
   Sunday -- Cincinnati, men's final, CBS, 9:30 a.m.-noon (live), women's final, ESPN2, 1-3 p.m. (live).
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. 34 in singles (-2), No. 94 in doubles (-2).
   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. 20 in singles (-7), No. 737 in doubles (-4).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 97 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Artem Ilyushin, Granite Bay resident -- No. 876 in singles (+36), No. 1,253 in doubles (+312).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 489 in singles (+66), No. 1,045 in doubles (-2). 
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 99 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 32 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 29 in singles (+6), No. 45 in doubles (no change).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 128 in singles (+2), No. 855 in doubles (-3).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 147 in singles (+3), No. 184 in doubles (-3).
   Jimmy Wang, trains part-time in Granite Bay -- No. 183 in singles (+12), No. 348 in doubles (-4).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 626 in singles (+4), No. 716 in doubles (+18).
Women
   Jana Juricova, NCAA singles (2011) and doubles (2009) champion from Cal -- No. 939 in singles (-1), unranked in doubles.
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 5 in doubles (no change), No. 51 in singles (+1).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 19 in doubles (no change), No. 710 in singles (-5).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- No. 219 in doubles (-1), No. 553 in singles (-4).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 155 in doubles (-1), career-high No. 215 in singles (+2).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 152 in doubles (+1), No. 459 in singles (-4).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 468 in singles (-4), No. 1,135 in doubles (-4).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 72 in singles (+2), No. 496 in doubles (+5).
CALENDAR
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ex-USC star Johnson rolls to Aptos title

Ex-USC star Steve Johnson, shown against Dmitry
Tursunov in the second round, dominated Aptos
the way he did college tennis. Photo by Paul Bauman
   What does Steve Johnson think this is, college?
   The former USC star dominated the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif., the way he did college tennis.
   Playing in his first Challenger singles final, Johnson cruised past ex-Trojan teammate Robert Farah 6-3, 6-3 Sunday at the Seascape Sports Club.They have practiced together many times, but this was their first official match against each other.
   Johnson, a 22-year-old wild card from Orange, Calif., did not lose a set during the week. His closest match actually came in the first round, 6-3, 7-5 against 6-foot-5 left-hander Carlos Salamanca of Colombia.
   Johnson then got a break when Russian Dmitry Tursunov, a former top-20 player who owns a townhouse in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, retired from their second-round matchup at 4-6, 0-0 with a groin injury. 
   With the title, Johnson soared 141 spots in the world rankings to No. 237 after only one month as a professional. The unseeded Farah, 25, of Colombia jumped 36 places to No. 169.
   Johnson was the Michael Phelps of college tennis, ending his USC career in May with 72 consecutive singles victories, four NCAA team titles and two NCAA singles crowns (2011 and 2012).
   Third-seeded John Peers of Australia and Rik de Voest of South Africa won the doubles title in their first tournament together. They edged second-seeded Chris Guccione of Australia and Frank Moser of Germany 6-7 (5), 6-1, 10-4 tiebreak.
   Guccione, a 6-foot-7 left-hander, was bidding for his fourth consecutive Aptos doubles crown. The other three came with ex-partner Carsten Ball, a Southern California native who plays for Australia. Ball did not enter Aptos this year. Guccione also won the 2009 singles title.
   De Voest, 32, won the singles title of the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2005 and took the doubles crown there in 2010 with countryman Izak Van der Merwe. Ball and Guccione captured the doubles title in last year's Sacramento Challenger. 
TV SCHEDULE  
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Montreal (women), final, ESPN2, 7-9 p.m. (delay).
CALENDAR
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ex-USC teammates reach Aptos final

   Former USC teammates Robert Farah and Steve Johnson will meet today in the final of the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif.
   Farah, an unseeded Colombian, outlasted Serb qualifier Ilija Bozoljac, last year's runner-up, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 Saturday at the Seascape Sports Club.
   Johnson, a wild card from Orange, Calif., dispatched unseeded Jan Hernych, a 33-year-old Czech, 6-3, 6-4. Johnson has yet to lose a set in the tournament, which is celebrating its 25th year.
   Farah, 25, is 1-1 in Challenger singles finals. Johnson, 22, will play in his first. They have never met on the pro tour.
   Farah won the NCAA doubles title as a sophomore in 2008 with Kaes Van't Hof and played with Johnson on the Trojans' NCAA championship teams in 2009 and 2010. Johnson led USC to two more NCAA team titles in 2011 and 2012, also winning the singles crown each year.     
   Today's title match will follow the 1 p.m. doubles final, in which second-seeded Chris Guccione of Australia and Frank Moser of Germany will face third-seeded John Peers of Australia and Rik de Voest of South Africa.
   Guccione, a 6-foot-7 left-hander, will seek his fourth consecutive Aptos doubles crown. The other three came with ex-partner Carsten Ball, a Southern California native who plays for Australia. He did not enter the Comerica Bank Challenger this year.
TV SCHEDULE  
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Montreal (women), semifinal, ESPN2, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (live). Toronto (men), final, ESPN2, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Monday -- Montreal (women), final, ESPN2, 7-9 p.m. (delay).
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. 32 in singles (+2), No. 92 in doubles (+52).
   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. 13 in singles (+2), No. 733 in doubles (-1).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 96 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Artem Ilyushin, Granite Bay resident -- No. 912 in singles (no change), No. 1,565 in doubles (-5).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 555 in singles (+4), No. 1,043 in doubles (-179). 
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 100 in doubles (-9), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 32 in doubles (+2), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 35 in singles (+3), No. 45 in doubles (+13).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 130 in singles (-6), No. 852 in doubles (-2).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 150 in singles (-9), No. 181 in doubles (+2).
   Jimmy Wang, trains part-time in Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay -- No. 195 in singles (+16), No. 344 in doubles (+50).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 630 in singles (-2), No. 734 in doubles (-1).
Women
   Jana Juricova, NCAA singles (2011) and doubles (2009) champion from Cal -- No. 938 in singles (+2), unranked in doubles.
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 5 in doubles (no change), No. 52 in singles (+3).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 19 in doubles (no change), No. 705 in singles (-4).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- No. 218 in doubles (-35), No. 549 in singles (-20).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 154 in doubles (-11), career-high No. 217 in singles (+5).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 153 in doubles (+2), No. 455 in singles (-5).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 464 in singles (-11), No. 1,131 in doubles (+16).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 74 in singles (-1), No. 501 in doubles (-2).
CALENDAR
   Through today -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993. 
   Through today -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich., www.usta.com.
   Through today -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego., www.usta.com.
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

NorCal players ousted in Aptos Challenger

   Friday was a good day for ex-USC stars at the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif.
   Not so much for Northern California players.
   In a quarterfinal matchup of former Pacific-10 Conference rivals, unseeded Robert Farah (USC) of Colombia topped wild card Bradley Klahn (Stanford) of Poway in the San Diego area 6-4, 7-5 at the Seascape Sports Club.
   In the other half of the draw, wild card Steve Johnson, who completed his eligibility at USC in May, outclassed unseeded Rik de Voest, a 32-year-old South African, 6-3, 6-4.
   Johnson, who played on four NCAA team champions and won the last two NCAA singles crowns, will meet unseeded Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic in today's first semifinal at about 12:30 p.m.
   Hernych, 33, downed Jimmy Wang of Chinese Taipei 6-3, 7-6 (5). Wang trains part-time at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay.
   Farah will take on Ilija Bozoljac, last year's runner-up, after the first semifinal. Bozoljac, a qualifier from Serbia, eliminated lucky loser Michael McClune of Irvine, Calif., 7-6 (4), 6-2.   
 TV SCHEDULE  
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Toronto (men), semifinal, ESPN2, 1:30-3:30 p.m. (delay). Toronto (men), semifinal/Montreal (women) quarterfinal, ESPN2, 3:30-5:30 p.m. (live).
   Sunday -- Montreal (women), semifinal, ESPN2, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (live). Toronto (men), final, ESPN2, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Monday -- Montreal (women), final, ESPN2, 7-9 p.m. (delay).
CALENDAR
   Through Sunday -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993. 
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich., www.usta.com.
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego., www.usta.com.
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Last remaining seed falls in Aptos Challenger

   The last remaining seed lost Thursday in the second round of the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif.
   No. 6 Florent Serra of France fell to Serbian qualifier Ilija Bozoljac, last year's runner-up, 6-3, 6-4 at the Seascape Sports Club.
   Also losing were wild card Robby Ginepri, a U.S. Open semifinalist in 2005, and Maxime Authom, who upended top seed Brian Baker on Tuesday in the first round.
   Lucky loser Michael McClune took out Ginepri 6-1, 7-6 (4) in an all-American matchup, and Jimmy Wang of Chinese Taipei outclassed Authom 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Wang trains part-time at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, Calif.
   In today's quarterfinals, beginning at 11 a.m., Wang will face 33-year-old Czech Jan Hernych, wild card Bradley Klahn of Poway (near San Diego) will meet Robert Farah of Colombia, wild card Steve Johnson of Orange will play 32-year-old Rik de Voest of South Africa, and McClune will take on Bozoljac.
   Klahn, the 2010 NCAA singles champion, and Farah are former Pacific-10 Conference rivals from Stanford and USC, respectively.
   Johnson, Farah's ex-teammate, ended his collegiate career in May by helping the Trojans win their fourth consecutive NCAA title and capturing his second straight NCAA singles crown.
CALENDAR
   Through today -- USTA National Championships, boys 14s, San Antonio., www.usta.com
   Through today -- USTA National Championships, boys 12s, North Little Rock, Ark.., www.usta.com.
   Through today -- USTA National Championships, girls 12s, Alpharetta, Ga., www.usta.com
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich., www.usta.com. 
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego., www.usta.com.
   Through Sunday -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993.
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Klahn to face ex-Pac-10 rival in Aptos quarters

Wild card Bradley Klahn, a former Stanford star,  beat qualifier
Matt Reid of Australia 7-5, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the
$100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger. Photo by Paul Bauman
   APTOS, Calif. -- It will be like old times for Bradley Klahn in the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger.
   The 21-year-old left-hander will face his former Pacific-10 Conference rival, Robert Farah, on Friday at the Seascape Sports Club. Klahn, the 2010 NCAA singles champion, graduated from Stanford in March and completed his eligibility in May. Farah won the 2008 NCAA doubles with Kaes Van't Hof and finished at USC in 2010.
   "It will be a fun match," Klahn, a wild card from Poway in the San Diego area, said after defeating qualifier Matt Reid of Australia 7-5, 6-4 Wednesday. "We have a rivalry that goes back to my first two years at Stanford. We played multiple times, and every one seemed to go to five or six in the third (set)."
   Well, two of them did. Farah, a 25-year-old Colombian, won both in 2010 and went 4-2 overall against Klahn in college. They have not met on the pro circuit. Farah advanced to the Comerica quarterifinals with a 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory over Amir Weintraub of Israel.
   Farah's ex-USC teammate, Steve Johnson, also moved into the quarterfinals after qualifier Dmitry Tursunov, a Sacramento-area resident from Russia, retired with a groin injury with Johnson leading 6-4, 0-0.
Qualifier Dmitry Tursunov, a Sacramento-area resident
from Russia, retired from his second-round match against
ex-USC standout Steve Johnson. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Johnson ended his collegiate career in May after helping the Trojans win their fourth consecutive NCAA team title and capturing his second straight singles crown. He will play 32-year-old South African Rik de Voest, who won the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2005.
   Klahn reached his first quarterfinal since turning pro last month and his second overall on the USTA Pro Circuit. He upset second-seeded Igor Andreev, ranked 95th in the world after climbing to a career-high 18th in 2008, Monday in the first round. Wednesday's match featured many spirited baseline rallies, but Reid double-faulted three times in the last game.
   "It's nice when you get those gifts in the last game," Klahn said.
   He is playing only a one-hour drive south of Stanford.
   "It's nice to get support from some of the same fans I see at Stanford," Klahn said. "I'm familiar with this tournament after playing the last two years even though I lost in the first round. I feel comfortable this week."
   Klahn was anything but comfortable as a junior at Stanford. He was plagued by a herniated disc, underwent surgery last October and sat out until February.
   Ironically, Reid took a medical timeout at 5-7, 0-1 for a lower-back problem. It could have been gamesmanship, as he seemed fine before and after.
   Klahn's back problems appear to be behind him, so to speak.
   "It's held up great," he said. 
CALENDAR
   Through Thursday -- USTA National Championships, girls 14s, Peachtree City, Ga.., www.usta.com.
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, boys 14s, San Antonio., www.usta.com
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, boys 12s, North Little Rock, Ark.., www.usta.com.
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, girls 12s, Alpharetta, Ga., www.usta.com
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich., www.usta.com. 
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego., www.usta.com.
   Through Sunday -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993.
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

No. 1 Baker becomes latest victim in Aptos Challenger

Top-seeded Brian Baker of Nashville, Tenn., lost to Maxime Authom of Belgium
5-7, 6-4, 6-2 Tuesday in the first round of the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger
in Aptos, Calif. Photo by Paul Bauman
   APTOS, Calif. -- In any other tournament, top-seeded Brian Baker's first-round loss would have been shocking.
   But not in the wild, wacky $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger.
   Baker -- "one of the greatest stories in the history of our sport," television analyst Justin Gimelstob told the New York Times in May -- was just the latest seed to fall. After the first round, only No. 6 Florent Serra of France remains.
   On a typically cool summer evening at the Seascape Sports Club, near the Pacific Ocean 80 miles south of San Francisco, Maxime Authom of Belgium rifled returns of serve and groundstrokes to oust Baker of Nashville, Tenn., 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 Tuesday.
   No top seed has won the title in the 25-year history of the tournament, the second-longest-running men's event on the USTA Pro Circuit behind Little Rock, Ark. (32 years).
Sacramento-area resident Dmitry Tursunov, middle, poses with fellow Moscow
natives Mischa Zverev, left, and Igor Andreev. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Joining Baker on the sideline were No. 3 Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., and No. 5 Tobias Kamke of Germany. Ram lost to qualifier Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian with residences in Moscow and the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, 6-3, 6-4 in a matchup of former Aptos runners-up. Kamke fell to Sergei Bubka of Ukraine 6-3, 7-6 (2).
   Three other seeds -- No. 2 Igor Andreev of Russia, No. 7 Izak Van der Merwe of South Africa and No. 8 Denis Kudla of Arlington, Va. -- exited Monday.
   An ex-Aptos champion also was upset Tuesday. Alex Kuznetsov, the 2006 titlist, succumbed to lucky loser and fellow American Michael McClune 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2). Kuznetsov, a Ukraine native who moved to the United States as a young child, complained about line calls throughout the match and declined the customary handshake with the chair umpire afterward.
   The craziness in the Comerica Bank Challenger actually started before the first ball was struck. Defending champion Laurynas Grigelis, 20, of Lithuania came to Aptos but didn't enter the tournament. He didn't feel good about his game with five straight losses and a No. 291 world ranking, according to Linda Feldbrugge, whose family housed Grigelis last year.
   Grigelis showed up anyway with the Italian contingent -- his coach is Italian -- for three days last week "to hang out and surf," Feldbrugge said. "My husband taught them how to surf last year."
   The runner-up to Grigelis -- Serbia's Ilija Bozoljac, flashy as always with his bandanna, sunglasses and earrings -- had to survive qualifying to reach this year's main draw and won his first-round match in three sets Tuesday.
   Authom was ebullient and Baker distraught after their encounter.
   "I think it was the best match of my life, " Authom gushed after his Aptos debut. The tournament is already perfect. Now is a bonus."
   Authom, 25, has struggled with physical and mental issues. The right-hander underwent surgery for tendinitis in his left wrist in 2010 and sat out for one year.
   "I had three tournaments (before Aptos) that were really bad, but they were very good players," Authom said in halting English. "My coach said to try to have fun on the court. Even after the first set, for the first time in my life I was happy. Normally, it would be 7-5, 6-2.
   "My problem is I think a lot. I say, '(Opponents) are very good. I'm not (good enough) to beat them.' Here, my goal is mental (toughness)."
   Baker, head in hands in the locker room, was not available for comment after his fourth consecutive loss. However, he repeatedly criticized himself aloud during the match.
   --After netting a down-the-line backhand: "That's not your shot today. Go cross-court."
   --After another miss with his two-fisted backhand: "If you're not going to move your feet, chip the ball."
   --And in the last game: "I've never hit my backhand this bad four weeks in a row."
   Baker, 27, launched a comeback last year after missing six years with injuries. He underwent five operations, including the Tommy John (elbow ligament replacement) surgery dreaded by baseball pitchers.
   As a qualifier, Baker reached the final at Nice on clay in May and the round of 16 at Wimbledon last month. His ranking has skyrocketed from No. 456 to No. 78 this year.
   Baker is one of the few players who has been injured more than Tursunov. Ranked a career-high No. 20 in 2006, he has plunged to No. 150.
   Tursunov, a right-hander with a two-fisted backhand, is struggling with not only a lingering left wrist injury but motivation and added responsibility following the death of his father last summer. Igor Tursunov was a tennis fanatic who recognized his son's talent when Dmitry was very young and pushed him hard to become a professional player. Dmitry's mother, Svetlana, lives in Moscow.
   "My mom feels she doesn't have a pillar," revealed Tursunov, who moved to Northern California at 12 and speaks English like a native. "I feel quite a bit of responsibility. It forces me to be there a little bit more. It definitely affects my life. Sometimes I have to compromise and go there. There's not much I can do about it."
   Tursunov's only sibling -- brother Denis, who's seven years older and single -- also lives in Moscow. But Dmitry conceded that his mother and Denis "are fighting a little bit here and there."
   Tursunov was buoyed by a one-week training camp with the rest of the Russian Olympic men's tennis team in England before competing last week in the London Games.
   "I did some fitness, and it was fun to be with the team," he said. "It was one of the rare occasions this year when I felt pretty motivated to work hard. It helps when people around you are trying to help you out."
   Tursunov fell in the first round of the Olympics to 29th-ranked Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-7 (5), 6-2, 9-7 at Wimbledon. Lopez, a left-hander, is a three-time quarterfinalist there.
   "It was a good barometer," said Tursunov, a member of Russia's 2006 Davis Cup championship team. "It shows I haven't forgotten how to play tennis. But it's still a loss. I'm not ready mentally to play well. I'm in better physical condition, but it takes more than one week."
   Tursunov has no lofty goals at this point in his career. He will turn 30 in December.
   "I want to do well in this tournament," said Tursunov, who will face 2011 and 2012 NCAA champion Steve Johnson in Wednesday's featured match at 5:30 p.m. "I want to get back in the mind-set of winning a few matches in a row, not lose my marbles on the court and play well day in and day out."
   Tursunov hopes to play for a few more years.
   "Right now, it's definitely a tough proposition," he admitted. "Sometimes I wake up and don't want to do it. But I want to get through it. If I can't, I'll quit."
CALENDAR
   Through Thursday -- USTA National Championships, girls 14s, Peachtree City, Ga.., www.usta.com.
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, boys 14s, San Antonio., www.usta.com
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, boys 12s, North Little Rock, Ark.., www.usta.com.
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, girls 12s, Alpharetta, Ga., www.usta.com
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich., www.usta.com. 
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego., www.usta.com.
   Through Sunday -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993.
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Ex-Stanford star shocks No. 2 seed in Aptos

   The $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger got off to a wild start as all three seeds in action lost.
   Wild card Bradley Klahn topped the list of upsets, stunning No. 2 Igor Andreev of Russia 7-6 (3), 6-4 Monday at the Seascape Sports Club in Aptos, Calif. The tournament site is 80 miles south of San Francisco.
   Klahn, a 21-year-old left-hander from the San Diego suburb of Poway, turned pro last month after completing his eligibility at Stanford. He won the 2010 NCAA singles title.
   Andreev is ranked 95th in the world after reaching a career-high No. 18 in 2008. The 29-year-old veteran advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 French Open.
   Meanwhile, No. 7 Izak Van der Merwe of South Africa lost to Amir Weintraub of Israel 6-4, 7-6 (1), and and No. 8 Denis Kudla, 19, of Arlington, Va., fell to Rik de Voest of South Africa 6-2, 6-2. De Voest, 32, won the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2005.
   Longtime Sacramento-area resident Dmitry Tursunov, seeded first in qualifying, advanced to the main draw with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph over seventh-seeded Daniel Kosakowski of Downey in the Los Angeles area. Kosakowski won last year's Sacramento Futures after his freshman year at UCLA, then turned pro.
   Tursunov, a Russian who reached a career-high No. 20 in 2006, will meet third-seeded Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., today at about 2 p.m.  
    Top-seeded Brian Baker of Nashville, Tenn., will face Maxime Authom of Belgium in the opening round today at 5:30 p.m. or later. 
CALENDAR
   Through Thursday -- USTA National Championships, girls 14s, Peachtree City, Ga.., www.usta.com.
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, boys 14s, San Antonio., www.usta.com
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, boys 12s, North Little Rock, Ark.., www.usta.com.
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, girls 12s, Alpharetta, Ga., www.usta.com
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich., www.usta.com. 
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego., www.usta.com.
   Through Sunday -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993.
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Stanford's Burdette wins $100,000 tourney

   Even if Mallory Burdette were a professional, she would be having a great summer.
   But she's still in college.
   Two weeks after winning a $10,000 tournament for her first pro singles title, Burdette won the $100,000 Odlum Brown VanOpen in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a wild card.
   Burdette, who has said she will return to Stanford next month for her senior year, drubbed unseeded Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-0 in Sunday's final. With the title, Burdette earned a wild card into the main draw of the U.S. Open, Aug. 27-Sept. 9 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., and soared from No. 409 in the world to No. 245.
   At last month's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, Burdette recorded her first career victory on the elite WTA tour by beating No. 75 Anne Keothavong of Great Britain 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the first round. Burdette, this year's NCAA singles runner-up and doubles champion from Jackson, Ga., then fell to second seed and 10th-ranked Marion Bartoli of France 7-5, 6-0 after holding a set point. 
   Pegula, an 18-year-old resident of Boca Raton, Fla., lost to Maria Sanchez of Modesto in the final of the $50,000 Gold River Women's Challenger in the Sacramento area in June.
   Olympics at Wimbledon -- Former Stanford All-American Mike Bryan picked up his second medal of the London Games.
   Bryan and fellow American Lisa Raymond, the third seeds, topped unseeded Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas of Germany 6-3, 4-6, 10-4 tiebreak to win the bronze medal in mixed doubles.
   On Saturday, Bryan and his identical twin brother, Bob, earned the gold medal in men's doubles.
   ATP World Tour in Washington, D.C. -- Kevin Anderson and Sam Querrey, who both played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis during last month's regular season, lost to Treat Conrad Huey and Dominic Inglot 7-6 (7), 6-7 (9), 10-5 tiebreak in the final of the Citi Open. Both teams were unseeded.
   Anderson, a 6-foot-8 South African, and Querrey, a 6-6 native of San Francisco living in Dallas, made their ATP World Tour debut as a team during the week.
   Huey, a Washington, D.C., native who plays for the Philippines, and Inglot, from Great Britain, won their first doubles title on the ATP World Tour. They played together at the University of Virginia in nearby Charlottesville.
   Men's Challenger in Aptos, Calif. -- Top-seeded Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian and longtime Sacramento-area resident, downed Austin Krajicek of Brandon, Fla., 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the second round of qualifying for the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger.
   Tursunov, the 2003 runner-up to former Stanford star Jeff Salzenstein, will meet seventh-seeded Daniel Kosakowski, who won last year's $15,000 Sacramento Futures, today for a berth in the main draw.
   In its 25th year, the Comerica Bank Challenger is the second-longest-running men's tournament on the USTA Pro Circuit. It trails Little Rock, Ark., which has been held for 32 years. 
CALENDAR
   Through Thursday -- USTA National Championships, girls 14s, Peachtree City, Ga.., www.usta.com.
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, boys 14s, San Antonio., www.usta.com
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, boys 12s, North Little Rock, Ark.., www.usta.com.
   Through Friday -- USTA National Championships, girls 12s, Alpharetta, Ga., www.usta.com
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich., www.usta.com. 
   Through Sunday -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego., www.usta.com.
   Through Sunday -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993.
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bryan twins earn Olympic gold medal

   Eleven Grand Slam men's doubles titles, including all four majors.
   A Davis Cup championship.
   And now, an Olympic gold medal.
   Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States added more hardware to their trophy case Saturday, defeating second-seeded Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-4, 7-6 (2) at Wimbledon. Afterward, Mike Bryan jumped into his identical twin's arms.
   "That's the longest we've hugged," Bob Bryan told reporters. "We've spent 50,000 hours together, and probably 30,000 on the court, working our butts off to get here. That hug right there was the culmination of it all."
   The 34-year-old former Stanford All-Americans competed in their third Olympics. They lost in the quarterfinals at Athens in 2004 and won the bronze medal at Beijing in 2008. After Saturday's match, Bob Bryan said he and his brother will retire after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
   In the mixed doubles semifinals, top-seeded Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi of Belarus edged third-seeded Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan 3-6, 6-4, 10-7 tiebreak. Azarenka and Mirnyi will play Andy Murray and Laura Robson of Great Britain for the gold medal.
   ATP World Tour in Washington, D.C. -- Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis lost in the semifinals of the Citi Open.
   Fish, seeded first, fell to fourth-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany 6-3, 7-5 in a matchup of 30-something players. Haas is 34 and Fish 30.
   Second-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine ended the eighth-seeded Querrey's winning streak at seven matches with a 6-4, 6-4 victory. Querrey won the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles, the area where he grew up, for the third time in four years last Sunday. He missed last year's tournament because of elbow surgery.
   Women's/men's Challenger in Vancouver, British Columbia -- Mallory Burdette, a wild card from Stanford, beat fellow American Chi Chi Scholl 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals of the $100,000 Odlum Brown Vanopen.
   Burdette will face unseeded Jessica Pegula of Boca Raton, Fla., for the title. Pegula, 18, reached the final of the Gold River Women's Challenger in the Sacramento area in June.
   Chinese Taipei's Jimmy Wang, who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, lost in the semifinals of men's doubles.
   Men's Challenger in Aptos -- Three top-100 players are entered in the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger starting Monday at the Seascape Sports Club, 80 miles south of San Francisco.
   Heading the field are No. 78 Brian Baker of Nashville, Tenn., No. 92 Igor Andreev of Russia and No. 93 Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind. Baker, 27, has shot up the rankings after missing six years because of multiple surgeries. He returned to action last year.
   Folsom resident Dmitry Tursunov, seeded first in qualifying, topped Devin Britton of Brandon, Miss., 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the first round. Britton, the 2009 NCAA champion as a freshman at Mississippi, won the $15,000 Sacramento Futures in June.
   Both Andreev and Tursunov, a Moscow native, have reached the top 20 in the world.
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Sunday -- Olympics, mixed doubles final, NBCSN, 4-5:30 a.m. (live); men's singles bronze-medal match, MSNBC, 4-6 a.m. (live); men's singles final, NBC, 6-8:30 a.m. (live); women's doubles final, NBCSN, 9:15-11 a.m. (live).  
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. 34 in singles (-1), No. 144 in doubles (-1).
   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. 15 in singles (-2), No. 732 in doubles (+1).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 94 in doubles (+4), unranked in singles.
   Artem Ilyushin, Granite Bay resident -- No. 912 in singles (-10), No. 1,560 in doubles (-4).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 559 in singles (+54), No. 864 in doubles (-2). 
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 91 in doubles (-20), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 34 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 38 in singles (+19), No. 58 in doubles (+5).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 124 in singles (-6), No. 850 in doubles (-1).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 141 in singles (-3), No. 183 in doubles (+3).
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 211 in singles (+5), No. 394 in doubles (-4).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 628 in singles (-5), No. 733 in doubles (+1).
Women
   Jana Juricova, NCAA singles (2011) and doubles (2009) champion from Cal -- No. 940 in singles (-2), unranked in doubles.
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 5 in doubles (no change), No. 55 in singles (+1).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 19 in doubles (no change), No. 701 in singles (+2).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- No. 183 in doubles (no change), No. 529 in singles (-49).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 143 in doubles (-4), No. 222 in singles (-5).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 155 in doubles (-9), No. 450 in singles (+2).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 453 in singles (+37), No. 1,147 in doubles (-6).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 73 in singles (-3), No. 499 in doubles (-1).
CALENDAR
   Through Sunday -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT, Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.
   Through Aug. 12 -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich. 
   Through Aug. 12 -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego.
   Through Thursday -- USTA National Championships, girls 14s, Peachtree City, Ga.
   Through Aug. 12 -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993.
   Sunday-Aug. 10 -- USTA National Championships, boys 14s, San Antonio.
   Sunday-Aug. 10 -- USTA National Championships, boys 12s, North Little Rock, Ark.
   Sunday-Aug. 10 -- USTA National Championships, girls 12s, Alpharetta, Ga. 
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bryans seek their first Olympic gold medal

   For the first time in their illustrious careers, Bob and Mike Bryan will play for an Olympic gold medal.
   The No. 1 seeds and former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford defeated Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet of France 6-4, 6-4 Friday in the semifinals at Wimbledon. The 34-year-old Bryan twins had eliminated Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram of Israel 7-6 (4), 7-6 (10) Thursday.
   The Bryans have won 11 Grand Slam men's doubles titles to tie the Open Era record. They will face another French team, second-seeded Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, on Saturday (8:30-11 a.m. PDT, NBCSN) for the gold. Llodra and Tsonga outlasted Spaniards David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 4-6, 18-16 in 3 hours and 29 minutes.    
   "This will top off everything we have ever done if we win gold," Mike Bryan said on atpworldtour.com. "But it will be a very difficult match. Tomorrow, we will begin to focus and prepare for the match. But we’re definitely in for a sleepless night."
   The American pair won the bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics four years ago, defeating Arnaud Clement and Llodra. 
   In mixed doubles at the London Olympics, third-seeded Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan have reached the semifinals, but second-seeded Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan lost in the first round to Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas of Germany. Mixed doubles returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1924.
   ATP World Tour/WTA tour in Washington, D.C. -- Eighth-seeded Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, extended his winning streak to seven matches with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over third seed and doubles partner Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the quarterfinals of the Citi Open.
   Querrey played six matches for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in July. While Querrey was winning the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles last week, Anderson played the last four matches of the regular season for Sacramento.
   Top-seeded Mardy Fish, who played two matches for the Capitals early in the three-week season, joined Querrey in the semifinals of the Citi Open with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Xavier Malisse of Belgium.
   Fish, 30, will meet fourth-seeded Tommy Haas, a 34-year-old German, and Querrey will play fourth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine.
   Anderson and Querrey reached the doubles final with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
   In the women's singles semifinals, top-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia held off fourth-seeded Vania King 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in a battle of former and current Capitals, respectively. King had beaten seventh seed and Sacramento teammate CoCo Vandeweghe 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 Thursday.   
    Women's/men's Challenger in Vancouver, British Columbia -- Mallory Burdette, a wild card from Stanford, knocked off second-seeded Olivia Rogowska of Australia 7-5, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Odlum Brown Vanopen. Qualifiers Nicole Gibbs and Krista Hardebeck of Stanford lost in the second round earlier in the week.    
   On the men's side, Chinese Taipei's Jimmy Wang, who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, lost to sixth-seeded Sergei Bubka of Ukraine in the singles quarterfinals but reached the doubles semifinals with Danai Udomchoke of Thailand.
   Men's Futures in Decatur, Ill. -- Artem Ilyushin, a Russian living in Granite Bay, lost in the singles and doubles quarterfinals of the $10,000 Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic.
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Saturday -- Olympics, women's singles final, NBC, 6-8 a.m. (live); men's doubles final, NBCSN, 8:30-11 a.m. (live).
   Sunday -- Olympics, mixed doubles final, NBCSN, 4-5:30 a.m. (live); men's singles bronze-medal match, MSNBC, 4-6 a.m. (live); men's singles final, NBC, 6-8:30 a.m. (live); women's doubles final, NBCSN, 9:15-11 a.m. (live).  
CALENDAR
   Through Sunday -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT, Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.
   Through Aug. 12 -- USTA National Championships, boys 18s and 16s, Kalamazoo, Mich. 
   Saturday-Aug. 12 -- USTA National Championships, girls 18s and 16s, San Diego.
   Saturday-Aug. 9 -- USTA National Championships, girls 14s, Peachtree City, Ga.
   Saturday-Aug. 12 -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003, www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger, (831) 688-1993.
   Sunday-Aug. 10 -- USTA National Championships, boys 14s, San Antonio.
   Sunday-Aug. 10 -- USTA National Championships, boys 12s, North Little Rock, Ark.
   Sunday-Aug. 10 -- USTA National Championships, girls 12s, Alpharetta, Ga. 
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y., www.usopen.org.
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002, www.sunoakschallenger.com, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 14 -- World TeamTennis, Western Conference finals, Sacramento Capitals vs. Orange County Breakers, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 15 -- WTT, Eastern Conference finals, Washington Kastles vs. New York Sportimes, 3:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 16 -- WTT Finals, Western Conference champion vs. Eastern Conference champion, 12:30 p.m. PDT, Charleston, S.C.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- Natomas Men's $100,000 Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833, www.natomaschallenger.com, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- First Republic Bank Men's $100,000 Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon challenger.com, (415) 789-7900.