Monday, June 30, 2014

Wimbledon Day 7 highlights: Djokovic tops Tsonga

NOVAK DJOKOVIC
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- Novak Djokovic looked vulnerable entering his fourth-round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Djokovic, the top seed and 2011 champion, had hurt his left shoulder on Friday in the third round. Tsonga, seeded 14th, reached the semifinals in 2011 (beating Roger Federer) and 2012. Djokovic, however, defeated Tsonga for the ninth straight time, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5).
   Biggest upset -- No. 22 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia pounded No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up from Poland, 6-3, 6-0 in 53 minutes to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Radwanska's loss makes sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champion, the strong favorite to gain the final in the bottom half of the draw.
   Notable -- Third seed and defending champion Andy Murray beat 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) to set up a much-anticipated quarterfinal against rising star Grigor Dimitrov, a 23-year-old Bulgarian. ...
   Barbora Zahlavova Strycova knocked off her third straight seed, No. 16 Caroline Wozniacki, to advance to her first major quarterfinal. Zahlavova Strycova, a 28-year-old Czech who stands only 5-foot-4 1/2 (1.64 meters), had ousted No. 32 Elena Vesnina in the second round and No. 2 Li Na in the third round. ...
   No. 25 Alize Cornet, coming off a stunning victory over Serena Williams, lost to No. 20 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 7-6 (5), 7-5. Bouchard, 20, is the only woman to have reached the semifinals of both previous Grand Slams this year. She will face either No. 5 Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion and reigning French Open titlist, or No. 9 Angelique Kerber of Germany in the quarters. ...
   Rain again delayed play for much of the day. However, the forecast calls for a zero percent chance of rain until Saturday, when there's a 70 percent chance of precipitation. But Centre Court has a retractable roof, so the women's final is not in danger.
   U.S. report -- For the first time since 1911, no American man or woman reached the fourth round of singles at Wimbledon. No. 9 John Isner lost to No. 19 Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-7 (8), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), 7-5, and Madison Keys, 19, was unable to resume her match against Yaroslava Shvedova because of a leg injury. Shvedova led 7-6 (7), 6-6 when play was suspended by darkness on Saturday.
   Northern California connection -- Former Stanford stars Bob and Mike Bryan, the top seeds and defending champions in men's doubles, coasted into the round of 16. ... Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian who trains in the Sacramento area, and Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan lost to ninth-seeded Julian Knowle, a 40-year-old Austrian, and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 6-1, 7-6 (9), 6-3 in the second round. Knowle, one of the few players who uses two hands on both sides, won the 2007 U.S. Open with Simon Aspelin of Sweden and reached the 2004 Wimbledon final with Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia. Melo, 6-foot-8 (2.03 meters), and Ivan Dodig of Croatia lost to the Bryan twins in last year's Wimbledon final.
   Fast fact -- Three Czechs, all women, reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time: Kvitova, Zahlavova Strycova and No. 23 Lucie Safarova. Kvitova and Safarova are left-handed.
   Quote -- Bouchard: "You can ask my coach or my parents or anyone that I can be a princess. I can be moody in the morning. My fitness trainer carries my tennis bag around. But that's so I don't get tired because I want to save all my energy for the match. I can demand a few things once in a while, but I do it with love (smiling)."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wimbledon Day 6 highlights: Cornet stuns Serena

SERENA WILLIAMS
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- Serena Williams' Grand Slam slump continued on Saturday as 25th-seeded Alize Cornet of France shocked the top seed and five-time champion 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the third round. Cornet also beat Williams in the semifinals at Dubai in February. Williams, 32, has won 17 major singles crowns (one behind Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth place all-time). But she has lost before the quarterfinals in all three Slams this year and in four of the last five. This was her earliest loss at Wimbledon since 2005, when she also fell in the third round.
   Biggest upset -- Cornet's conquest of Williams.
   Biggest rout -- Fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova, who won Wimbledon 10 years ago at 17 for her first Grand Slam title, drubbed unseeded Alison Riske of Atlanta 6-3, 6-0 in 69 minutes. After trailing 3-1, Sharapova won the last 11 games.
   Notable -- Australian Nick Kyrgios (pronounced KEER-ee-ose), 19, backed up his upset over No. 13 Richard Gasquet with a four-set victory over 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Jiri Vesely, 20, of the Czech Republic. It was the first time two wild cards had met as deep as the third round at Wimbledon. The 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter) Kyrgios, who saved nine match points against Gasquet, will face No. 2 seed and two-time champion Rafael Nadal on Tuesday in the round of 16. ... Two semifinalists from last year, No. 15 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland and No. 24 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, exited in the third round. The 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Janowicz lost to No. 23 Tommy Robredo of Spain in five sets, and Flipkens fell to No. 9 Angelique Kerber of Germany in three sets. ... After a brief start, rain delayed play until about 5:30 p.m. London time, forcing some matches to be suspended and others to be postponed until Monday. Wimbledon is observing its traditional middle Sunday off. The weather forecast for the second week is good.
   U.S. report -- Only one American man, No. 9 John Isner, and one U.S. woman, unseeded Madison Keys, are left in singles. And Keys is in serious trouble. She trailed Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 7-6 (7), 6-6 when the match was stopped because of darkness, and Keys had taken a medical timeout for a right leg injury before serving at 6-5 in the second set. She was in tears as she was helped off the court when play was halted. Isner's third-round match against Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez, seeded 19th, was postponed.
   Northern California connection -- Playing second-round matches on Monday will be former Stanford stars Bob and Mike Bryan in men's doubles and mixed doubles, Sacramento-area resident Dmitry Tursunov in men's doubles, and San Jose resident and former Cal standout Raquel Kops-Jones in women's doubles and mixed doubles. CiCi Bellis, a 15-year-old Atherton resident seeded second in girls singles, will begin play on Tuesday.
   Fast facts -- This is the first time in eight years that neither of the Williams sisters will play singles in the second week at Wimbledon. Venus, also a five-time champion, lost to No. 6 seed and 2011 winner Petra Kvitova in the third round. However, the eighth-seeded Williams sisters will play in the second round of women's doubles on Monday. They have won the title five times, most recently in 2012. ... Nadal has lost the first set in all three of his matches before winning in four sets.
   Quote -- Cornet on Serena Williams: "It might be a bit premature to talk about her decline, but when she plays someone who finds the right tactics, she looks a bit lost on the court. In my opinion, there are more and more players understanding how to play her."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wimbledon Day 5 highlights: Venus, Li ousted

PETRA KVITOVA
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- In a battle of former champions, sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova outlasted No. 30 Venus Williams 5-7, 7-6 (2), 7-5 on Friday to reach the round of 16. Kvitova recorded her only break of the match in the final game, at love. There were only three break points among the 224 total points. Kvitova, a 24-year-old Czech, won Wimbledon in 2011 for her only Grand Slam title. Williams, 34, has won Wimbledon five times, but her last title at the All England Club came six years ago. She was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an energy-sapping autoimmune disease, in 2011.
   Biggest upset -- Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic took out second-seeded Li Na 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). Li, a three-time quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, fell in the first round of the French Open last month after winning the Australian Open in January for her second Grand Slam crown. 
   Biggest rout -- Fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up from Poland, dismantled qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal 6-2, 6-0 in 57 minutes. Larcher de Brito, 21, is the top-ranked player entered in the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, July 7-12 at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area, at No. 102 in the world.
   Notable -- Top seed and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic defeated Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 but hurt his left shoulder in a fall midway through the third set. Djokovic is right-handed. ... Sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, the 2010 runner-up from the Czech Republic, lost to 26th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (6). ... Third-seeded Andy Murray, who last year became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years, coasted past No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.  
   U.S. report -- With losses by Williams and 5-foot-2 (1.57-meter) Lauren Davis, no American women remain in the bottom half of the draw. Three U.S. ladies -- top-seeded Serena Williams, Madison Keys and Alison Riske -- are left in the top half. They are scheduled to play their third-round matches today, as is No. 9 John Isner, the only American man remaining.
   Northern California connection -- Top seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford stars, topped Matthew Ebden and Samuel Groth of Australia 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of men's doubles. Groth is credited with the fastest serve in history, 163 mph (263 kph) in the 2012 Busan (South Korea) Challenger. ... Seventh-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of San Jose and Abigail Spears of San Diego advanced in the first round of women's doubles. ... Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, and 5-foot (1.52-meter) Megan Moulton-Levy of Washington, D.C., fell in the opening round of mixed doubles.
   Statistic -- Qualifier Tereza Smitkova, a 19-year-old Czech ranked No. 175, had won just one match on the WTA tour entering Wimbledon. By reaching the round of 16, she is guaranteed almost $200,000, almost triple her career earnings of $75,562. 
   Quotes --ESPN analyst Pam Shriver of the Kvitova-Venus Williams clash: "That was the best-serving women's match I've seen since the 1980s or early '90s." ... Li, on skipping the Wimbledon tuneup tournaments: "I think I (made the) wrong decision. I need to play some matches before (Wimbledon)." ... Murray on his mother and first coach, Judy, watching older brother Jamie's doubles match instead of Andy's singles encounter: "It’s a shame that we were on the same time. None of my family came to watch me, so obviously I’m the No.2 son. My brother is the priority – he’s No.1 son. He’s always had the preference, which is why I’m so competitive since I’ve been a kid.”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wimbledon Day 4 highlights: Teen saves 9 match points

Nick Kyrgios, 19, recovered after losing the first two sets and 
saved nine match points to beat 13th-seeded Richard Gasquet
in the second round. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
    Matches of the day -- Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios (pronounced KEER-ee-ose), the youngest player in the men's singles draw at 19, saved nine match points in a 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8 victory over 13th-seeded Richard "Blow A" Gasquet of France in the second round. Kyrgios, the winner of the Colin Kaepernick look-alike contest, reached the semifinals of the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger last October despite a sore right (playing) arm. ... Second seed and two-time champion Rafael Nadal avenged a loss to Lukas Rosol two years ago in the second round with a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-4 win over the Czech. Nadal, who reached the third round for the first time since 2011, saved a set point in the tiebreaker.
    Biggest upset -- Kyrgios' triumph over Gasquet.
    Biggest rout -- Five-time champion Serena Williams, seeded first, thrashed Chanelle "No. 5" Scheepers of South Africa 6-1, 6-1 in 49 minutes.
    Notable -- Former Wimbledon champions Roger Federer, seeded fourth, and Maria Sharapova, seeded fifth, won in straight sets.  ... Russian wild card Vera Zvonareva, a 29-year-old right-hander who missed 2013 because of surgery on right shoulder, ousted No. 21 seed Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-4, 6-4. Vekic will turn 18 on Saturday.
    U.S. report -- Ninth-seeded John Isner -- who topped 32-year-old Finn Jarkko Nieminen 7-6 (17), 7-6 (3), 7-5 -- is the only remaining American man after two rounds. Sam Querrey, Jack Sock and Denis Kudla lost to seeds. ... Five U.S. women have reached the third round: Williams, 30th-seeded Venus Williams, Madison "Avenue" Keys, Alison "Take A" Riske and Lauren Davis. Another, 18-year-old qualifier Victoria Duval, will meet 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic, last year's Wimbledon girls champion, in the second round.
    Northern California connection -- Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, fell to 14th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 14-12 in the completion of a match suspended by darkness at 9-9 in the fifth set. Querrey held a match point with Tsonga serving at 5-6 in the fifth set. ... Two former Stanford stars, Scott Lipsky and Bradley "Wrath Of" Klahn, played first-round doubles matches. Lipsky, a 32-year-old Irvine resident, and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico beat Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Paul Hanley of Australia 7-6 (7), 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (3). Klahn, 23, of Poway in the San Diego area and Michael Venus of New Zealand lost to Americans Austin Krajicek and Donald "Forever" Young 7-5, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-0. The match featured three left-handers, the exception being Venus. Krajicek is a distant relative of 1996 Wimbledon singles champion Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands.
    Statistics -- The Isner-Nieminen tiebreaker was the second-longest in Wimbledon history behind the 20-18 marathon between Bjorn Borg and India's Premjit Lall in the first round in 1973. Isner, of course, edged Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in 2010 in the longest match in Wimbledon history. ... The nine match points saved by Kyrgios were the most in a Wimbledon victory since 1966, when Helga Schultze survived 11 against Janine Lieffrig.
    Quote -- The 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter) Kyrgios, who has a monster serve and forehand: “There are obviously signs that I can do something special in the sport. I’ve just got to keep my head down.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wimbledon Day 3 highlights: Djokovic tested

Novak Djokovic, practicing at Indian Wells in
2012, struggled to beat Radek Stepanek, 35,
in the second round. Photo by Paul Bauman
    Match of the day -- Novak Djokovic, the top seed and 2011 champion, was pushed by 35-year-old Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) on Centre Court in the second round. Afterward, the players hugged at the net.
   Biggest upsets -- Seventh-seeded David Ferrer, a quarterfinalist the last two years, battled a stomach problem and lost to Andrey Kuznetsov, the 2009 Wimbledon junior champion, 6-7 (5), 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. ... No. 8 Victoria Azarenka, sidelined by a left foot injury for most of the year, fell to Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
   Biggest rout -- Andy Murray, the third seed and defending champion, demolished Slovenia's Blaz Rola, last year's NCAA champion from Ohio State, 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 in 84 minutes. It was Murray's fastest match at Wimbledon ever.
   Notable -- Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky, who stunned Roger Federer in the second round last year, ousted 12th-seeded Ernests Gulbis, a Latvian and French Open semifinalist this month, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5). 
   U.S. report -- No. 30 seed and five-time champion Venus Williams, 34, reached the third round for the first time since a fourth-round appearance in 2011. She beat Kurumi Nara of Japan 7-6 (4), 6-1. ... Lauren Davis, only 5-foot-2 (1.57 meters) and 121 pounds (55 kilograms), upset 12th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 7-6 (4). ... Varvara Lepchenko and CoCo Vandeweghe lost their second-round matches.
   Northern California connection -- The match between Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, and 14th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a semifinalist in 2011 and 2012, was suspended by darkness at 9-9 in the fifth set. ... Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito, the top-ranked player entered in next month's $50,000 Sacramento Challenger at No. 102, reached the third round as a qualifier for the second straight year. Larcher de Brito, 21, next plays Agnieszka Radwanska, the fourth seed and 2012 runner-up. ... Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, and Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan defeated Tomasz Bednarek of Poland and Benoit Paire of France 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2), 6-2 in the first round of doubles.
   Statistic -- Even though he's only 5-foot-11 (1.80 meters) and 157 pounds (71 kilograms), 21st-seeded Aleksandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine blasted 42 aces in a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (0), 6-3, 6-4 victory over Benjamin Becker of Germany.
   Quote -- The free-spirited Gulbis, denying reports that he lost all his French Open prize money gambling in Monte Carlo: "Maybe I'm a little bit crazy, but I'm not stupid."

Good as Goldstein: Stanford tabs alum as coach

Paul Goldstein helped Stanford win the NCAA
team title in all four years on the Farm.
Photos courtesy of Stanford University
   It's official.
   Paul Goldstein, a former Stanford star who reached the top 60 in the world in singles and doubles, was named the Cardinal men's coach on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.
   Goldstein succeeds John Whitlinger, who announced his retirement at age 60 on May 29 after Stanford's second consecutive first-round exit from the NCAA Tournament.
   Although Goldstein is Stanford's 10th men's tennis coach, he is only the third since 1967.
   Whitlinger went 160-85 (.653) in his 10-year stint, but the Cardinal never advanced past the NCAA quarterfinals. In contrast, Stanford won 17 NCAA team titles in 38 years under Whitlinger's predecessor, Dick Gould (776-148 overall, .840). The last one came in 2000.
   Stanford went 14-6 (5-2 in the Pacific-12 Conference) this season but finished No. 32 in the national rankings. The Cardinal was 5-6 against ranked teams and 9-0 against others.
   “I am humbled, honored, but most of all inspired by the opportunity to lead a program with such a strong intergenerational legacy of athletic and academic excellence,” Goldstein, a 37-year-old native of Washington,
PAUL GOLDSTEIN
D.C., said in a news release. “I have been a proud member
of the Stanford tennis family since I first arrived on campus in 1994 and am thrilled to be returning to the Farm. I look forward to working with our student-athletes and the broader Stanford community to drive success both on and off the court.”
   Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir said Goldstein “has enjoyed success at every level of his career, and his noticeable passion for our men’s tennis program makes him a great fit to be our next head coach. Paul’s infectious enthusiasm and ability to cultivate and sustain positive relationships stood out as dynamic qualities during the search process, which attracted both national and international candidates. Throughout the search, Paul’s name continued to rise above an extremely deep, talented and distinguished pool.”
    Goldstein has impeccable playing and leadership credentials, as well as outstanding character, but little coaching experience. He has worked part-time with juniors while serving in sales and business development roles for a clean energy company in the San Francisco Bay Area since retiring from pro tennis in 2008.
   Goldstein was ranked among the top 10 juniors in the world and became the first player to capture three consecutive boys national championships (16s in 1992, and 18s in 1993 and 1994) in Kalamazoo, Mich.
    He then became the first player in college tennis history to compete on four NCAA championship teams (1995-98), a feat also accomplished by USC's Steve Johnson (2009-12).
   An All-American for all four years, Goldstein reached the NCAA singles final as a senior before losing to teammate Bob Bryan.
   Goldstein was named All-Pac-10 three times and the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a senior. He ranks fifth in school history with 84 career dual-match singles victories.
   The first two-time recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership (1997 and 1998), Goldstein also earned the ITA's Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award in 1997.
   He was inducted in the ITA Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame last year.
   Goldstein attended high school and college with Chelsea Clinton, who's three years younger, and graduated from Stanford in 1998 in human biology.
   Only 5-foot-10 (1.77 meters) and 160 pounds (72.6 kilograms), Goldstein went on to an 11-year career as a pro player. He attained career highs of No. 58 in singles in 2006 and No. 40 in doubles in 2007. For much of his career, Goldstein was the highest-ranked singles player in the world with a college degree.
   Goldstein never won an ATP singles or doubles title but captured a record 30 championships combined on the minor-league USTA Pro Circuit. In 2006, he earned the singles crown in the second Sacramento Challenger.
   At the top level of men's tennis, Goldstein owns singles victories over International Tennis Hall of Famer Patrick Rafter, future Hall of Famers Novak Djokovic (when the Serb was 18) and Lleyton Hewitt, and former top-10 players Greg Rusedski and Alex Corretja.
   In doubles, Goldstein reached the semifinals of the 2005 U.S. Open with former Stanford teammate Jim Thomas and was a two-time runner-up in San Jose (2003 with Robert Kendrick and 2006 with Thomas).
   During his pro career, Goldstein was elected by his peers to serve on the 10-member ATP Player Council for a two-year term, representing the interests of more than 1,000 players while acting as a liaison between the ATP Board of Directors and senior management.
   Goldstein is familiar with the current collegiate landscape, having served as a Pac-12 Networks color analyst for the previous two seasons.
   He resides in San Francisco with his wife, Abbie, and their three children: Sadie (7), Maggie (5) and Charlie (18 months). Goldstein met Abbie at Stanford.

Reigning champ Hibi out of Gold River Challenger

Mayo Hibi, who won last year's Gold River Challenger
at 17, dropped off the acceptance list for next month's
tournament. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Mayo Hibi, who won last year's $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger at 17, has withdrawn from next month's tournament.
   Hibi, an Irvine resident who plays for her native Japan, dropped off the acceptance list today for the July 7-12 tournament at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.
   Instead, the 234th-ranked Hibi is entered in a $25,000 Challenger, also on hardcourts, in Gatineau, Canada, that week.
   "I need (ranking) points for the U.S. Open," Hibi, who has struggled for the past three months, explained by telephone from home. "Now I'm borderline (to get into qualifying in Flushing Meadows). Sacramento is a week later this year, so players have a chance to rest after (the first week of) Wimbledon. Last year, they wanted to rest. The draw is much tougher this year."
   Hibi added that she'll be seeded in Gatineau but wouldn't have been in Sacramento. Therefore, she won't risk facing a seed in the first round.
   "I need to get a lot of matches in and get more confidence," Hibi said.    
   Also pulling out of the Gold River Challenger was Germany's Anna-Lena Friedsam. Ranked No. 110 in the world, Friedsam plans to play in a $100,000 Challenger on clay in Biarritz, France, that week. Friedsam was the second-highest-ranked player in the Gold River Challenger behind No. 102 Michelle Larcher de Brito.
   Larcher de Brito ousted a Grand Slam champion at Wimbledon as a qualifier for the second straight year on Tuesday. The 21-year-old Portuguese player knocked off 28th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, who took the 2004 U.S. Open and 2009 French Open crowns, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round after stunning 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova in the second round last year.
   Larcher de Brito is familiar with the Sacramento area. She became the youngest player in World TeamTennis history at 14 in 2007, helping the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals win the last of their record six league titles.
   Two years later, however, American Madison Keys surpassed Larcher de Brito by 19 days as a 14-year-old with the Philadelphia Freedoms.
   The 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) Keys, now 19, won her first career title last week at Eastbourne on grass to rise to a career-high 30th in the world. She ranks third among U.S. women behind No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 18 Sloane Stephens.
   Other Gold River withdrawals moved Maria Sanchez, a Modesto product who won the inaugural Gold River Challenger in 2012, into the main draw. Sanchez, 24, has plunged from a career-high No. 107 last July to No. 309.
   Gold River qualifying starts July 5.
   Here's a link to the Challenger's full acceptance list: http://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/women%27s-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100032268   

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wimbledon Day 2 highlights: Nadal ends skid

Rafael Nadal, practicing at Indian Wells in March,
snapped a three-match losing streak on grass.
Photo by Paul Bauman
    Match of the day -- The encounter lacked high drama, but No. 2 seed and two-time champion Rafael Nadal ended a three-match losing streak on grass with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Martin Klizan of Slovakia in the first round. Nadal will meet Lukas Rosol, who stunned the Spanish star two years ago on Centre Court in the second round.
   Biggest upset -- Actually, Kaia Kanepi's 6-3, 6-2 victory over seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic was an upset waiting to happen. Kanepi, a 29-year-old Estonian ranked 42nd, has reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals twice (2010 and last year), whereas Jankovic, formerly ranked No. 1, has never advanced past the fourth round in 11 appearances at the All England Club. Jankovic now has won one match at Wimbledon in the last four years. 
   Biggest rout -- Fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova, who won her first Grand Slam title 10 years ago at Wimbledon, crushed British wild card Samantha Murray (no relation to Andy) 6-1, 6-0 in just under one hour. 
   Notable -- Fourth-seeded Roger Federer, seeking a record eighth Wimbledon men's singles title, dismissed Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. ... Top seed and five-time
No. 7 seed Jelena Jankovic, also shown
at Indian Wells in March, lost to Kaia
Kanepi. Photo by Paul Bauman
champion Serena Williams cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Georgia-born American Anna Tatishvili. ... Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon champion, lost a tiebreaker 16-14, but the 33-year-old Australian recovered to beat Michal Przysiezny of Poland 6-2, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4.  
   U.S. report -- After one round, eight of 13 American women (including Tatishvili and Uzbekistan native Varvara Lepchenko) remain but only four of 10 U.S. men. And it could get worse fast for the men. Three will face seeds in the second round: Jack Sock vs. No. 8 Milos Raonic, qualifier Denis Kudla vs. No. 10 Kei Nishikori and Sam Querrey vs. No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a two-time Wimbledon semifinalist. Meanwhile, No. 9 John Isner of Tampa, Fla., will take on 32-year-old Finn Jarkko Nieminen, who reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2006.
   Northern California connection -- No. 32 seed Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, lost to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan for the fourth straight time in their fifth meeting of the year. This time, it was 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. ... Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, completed a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 victory over Stanford graduate Bradley Klahn in a match suspended late in the fourth set by rain on Monday.
   Statistic -- Six-foot-11 (2.11-meter) Ivo Karlovic, a Wimbledon quarterfinalist in 2009, fired 32 aces (the equivalent of eight games) but lost to lucky loser Frank Dancevic of Canada 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).
   Quote -- Caroline Wozniacki, whose engagement to Rory McIlroy recently was ended by the golf star, on whether she might try Internet dating: "I'm not that desperate."

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sharapova slayer tops Gold River entries

   Michelle Larcher de Brito, who stunned Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon last year and helped the Sacramento Capitals win the World TeamTennis title at 14 years old, heads the acceptance list for the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger.
   Entries for the third annual tournament, July 7-12 at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento suburb of Gold River, were released today by the International Tennis Federation.
   Larcher de Brito, 21, of Portugal tops the list, which is subject to change, with a world ranking of No. 104. Following Larcher de Brito are Anna-Lena Friedsam, 20, of Germany at No. 111, Olivia Rogowska, 23, of Australia at No. 128 and Allie Kiick, 18, of Aspen, Colo., at No. 141.
   Kiick, the daughter of former Miami Dolphins running back Jim Kiick, won a $25,000 hardcourt tournament in Merida, Mexico, in December and reached the semifinals of another in Redding last October. She will turn 19 on June 30.
Reigning champion Mayo Hibi, right, and 2013 runner-up
Madison Brengle plan to return for next month's $50,000 FSP
Gold River Women's Challenger. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Gold River entries also include:
   -- Defending champion Mayo Hibi, 18, of Japan.
   -- Inaugural winner Maria Sanchez, a 24-year-old Modesto product.
   -- Last year's runner-up, 24-year-old Madison Brengle of Bradenton, Fla.
   -- Nicole Gibbs, a 21-year-old resident of Santa Monica in the Los Angeles area who won back-to-back NCAA singles titles at Stanford.
   -- Six-foot-2 (1.89-meter) Naomi Broady, a 24-year-old Briton who reached the second round of singles at Wimbledon today and won last year's Gold River doubles title with Storm Sanders, then 18, of Australia.
   -- Alexandra Stevenson, a 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist who's now 33 years old.
   Broady, who received a wild card at Wimbledon, is one of three Gold River entrants in the singles main draw at the All England Club. Larcher de Brito, a qualifier, leads 28th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam singles champion from Russia, 2-1 in a suspended first-round match. Friedsam lost to Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-4, 6-4 today in the opening round.
   The 5-foot-5 (1.65-meter) Larcher de Brito outslugged the 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Sharapova, the third seed at Wimbledon last year and 2004 champion, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round before losing to Karin Knapp of Italy in the next round.
   Larcher de Brito became the youngest player in WTT history in 2007, helping the now-defunct Capitals win the last of their record six league titles.
   Two years later, American Madison Keys surpassed Larcher de Brito by 19 days as a 14-year-old with the Philadelphia Freedoms.
   The 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) Keys, now 19, won her first career title last week at Eastbourne on grass to rise to a career-high 30th in the world. She ranks third among U.S. women behind No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 18 Sloane Stephens.
   Sanchez, the 2011 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Player of the Year as a senior at USC, has plummeted from a career-high No. 107 in the world last July to No. 310. That would put her in Gold River qualifying at the moment, but as a former champion from nearby Modesto, she probably will receive a wild card into the main draw if necessary.
   Qualifying starts July 5.
   Here's a link to the Gold River Challenger's full acceptance list: http://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/women%27s-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100032268    

Querrey leads Klahn at Wimbledon; play halted

San Francisco native Sam Querrey, playing at Indian Wells in
March, led Stanford graduate Bradley Klahn 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1,
6-5 in the first round of Wimbledon when rain halted play.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Here's a shocker: Wimbledon's opening day was suspended by rain.
   At least the precipitation waited until the evening to fall, allowing 57 of 64 scheduled matches to be completed. 
   One exception was the contest between Sam Querrey and Bradley Klahn, both of whom have strong Northern California ties.
   Querrey, a 26-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, led Klahn, a 23-year-old Stanford graduate from Poway in the San Diego area, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1, 6-5 when play was halted.
   The match is scheduled to resume on Tuesday, with the winner likely meeting 14th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Tsonga, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2011 and 2012, leads Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 5-4.
   Melzer, a 33-year-old left-hander, reached a career-high No. 8 in the world in 2011 and won the Wimbledon men's doubles title in 2010 with Philipp Petzschner of Germany.
   Also scheduled for Tuesday is a first-round encounter between Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. They will meet for the fifth time this year and seventh overall. Istomin has won the last three matches to even the series. 
   The forecast for Tuesday is partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain. Wednesday and Thursday should be dry, but the likelihood of precipitation rises to 30 percent on Friday and 60 percent on Saturday.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, who turned pro out of Thousand Oaks High School in the Los Angeles area in 2006, is playing at Wimbledon for the seventh year. His best result at the All England Club is a fourth-round appearance in 2010.
   Klahn, a 6-foot (1.83-meter) left-hander, is making his Wimbledon main-draw debut after graduating from Stanford in economics is 2012.
   Querrey is 34-22 lifetime on grass, including a semifinal showing at Eastbourne last week. Klahn is only 0-2 on the surface, losing in Wimbledon qualifying last year and to Tursunov in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, last Monday.
   Klahn and Querrey are ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, in the United States. Klahn is No. 73, and Querrey is No. 77 after climbing to a career-high No. 17 in 2011.
   Querrey is 1-0 lifetime against Klahn, winning in four sets in the opening round of the 2010 U.S. Open. Klahn had received a wild card for winning the NCAA singles title as a sophomore that year.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Players to watch at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic, the 2011 champion, is seeded first at Wimbledon.
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Following are players to watch at Wimbledon, scheduled for Monday through July 6 (seedings in parentheses): 
MEN
      Novak Djokovic (1)   
   Why he'll win -- Djokovic has won six Grand Slam singles titles, including Wimbledon in 2011.
   Why he won't -- He has fallen short in the last five Slams, losing in the final three times and the semifinals and quarterfinals once each. The right-hander withdrew from an exhibition in London this week with a recurrence of a right wrist injury but said it won't affect him at Wimbledon.
   NorCal connection -- None.
    Rafael Nadal (2)
   Why he'll win -- Nadal has won Wimbledon twice (2008 and 2010) and finished as the runner-up three times (2006, 2007 and 2011).
   Why he won't -- He has lost his last three matches on grass, falling to journeymen Dustin Brown at Halle last week, Steve Darcis in the first round at Wimbledon last year and Lukas Rosol in the second round at the All England Club in 2012. 
   Northern California connection -- None.  
   Andy Murray (3)
   Why he'll win -- In 2013, Murray became the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon.
   Why he won't -- He underwent "minor" back surgery last September and hasn't reached a tournament final since his Wimbledon triumph.
   NorCal connection -- Murray won the SAP Open in San Jose in 2006 at 18 years old and repeated in 2007. He also won the Aptos Challenger in 2005.
Roger Federer seeks a record eighth Wimbledon men's
singles title. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
Roger Federer (4)
   Why he'll win -- Federer can break the record of seven Wimbledon men's singles titles that he shares with Pete Sampras and Willie Renshaw (who played in the 1880s).
   Why he won't -- Federer will turn 33 next month and has lost before the quarterfinals at three of the past four majors, including a second-round exit to Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon last year.
   NorCal connection -- None.
Tomas Berdych (6)
   Why he'll win -- Berdych has gained experience and maturity since advancing to the 2010 Wimbledon final at 25 years old, losing to Nadal in straight sets.
   Why he won't -- Berdych has never reached another Grand Slam final. Also, he's 6-foot-5 (1.96 meters), and tall players struggle to reach low balls on grass.
   NorCal connection -- He made the quarterfinals of the 2009 SAP Open as the fifth seed in his only appearance in San Jose.
  Others
   Stan Wawrinka (5) -- He won his first Grand Slam title in this year's Australian Open but lost in the first round of the French Open.
   Milos Raonic (8) -- The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Canadian has a monster serve but has lost in the second round in all three of his Wimbledon appearances. Raonic won the last three SAP Opens before it was dropped from the calendar this year.
   John Isner (9) -- The 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) American's serve is the biggest weapon in tennis, but he has never been past the second round in five Wimbledons. Isner will always be known for winning the longest match in tennis history, 70-68 in the fifth set against Nicolas Mahut, at Wimbledon in 2010.
   Grigor Dimitrov (11) -- Nicknamed "Baby Fed" for his Federer-like game, the 23-year-old Bulgarian won the Queen's Club title on grass last week.
   Ernests Gulbis (12) -- The 25-year-old Latvian reached his first Grand Slam semifinal in the recent French Open, but he has failed to advance past the third round in six Wimbledon appearances.
   Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (14) -- The French veteran reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2011 (beating Federer) and 2012.
   Jerzy Janowicz (15) -- The 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Pole has struggled since gaining the Wimbledon semis last year. He could meet Federer in the fourth round. 
Champion
   Federer will summon the magic one last time.
Serena Williams has won five Wimbledon singles titles.
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
WOMEN
Serena Williams (1)
   Why she'll win -- Five of her 17 Grand Slam singles titles have come at Wimbledon, most recently in 2012.
   Why she won't -- She lost early in this year's first two Grand Slam tournaments and at Wimbledon last year.
   NorCal connection -- Williams won the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2011 and 2012, and was a semifinalist in 2008 and quarterfinalist in 2009. She is entered in this year's tournament, July 28-Aug. 3.
Li Na (2)
   Why she'll win -- Li has won two Grand Slam singles titles, the 2011 French Open and this year's Australian Open, and she's a three-time quarterfinalist at Wimbledon.
   Why she won't -- Li is coming off a first-round loss in the French Open, suggesting she's still celebrating her Australian Open crown.
   NorCal connection -- She lost in the first round of the 2009 Bank of the West Classic to top-seeded Williams in her only appearance there.
  Simona Halep (3)
   Why she'll win -- Halep advanced to her first Grand Slam final in the French Open earlier this month.
   Why she won't -- She has never been past the second round at Wimbledon in three attempts. The right-hander retired from her second-round match in a tuneup tournament this week with a right shoulder injury (but says she has recovered).
   NorCal connection -- Halep lost to Sabine Lisicki in the first round of the 2011 Bank of the West Classic in her only appearance.
Agnieszka Radwanska (4)
   Why she'll win -- The 2012 finalist and 2013 semifinalist has a favorable draw.
   Why she won't -- She is 0-8 lifetime against Williams. They could meet in a rematch of the 2012 final, which went to 6-2 in the third set.
   NorCal connection -- Radwanska was the runner-up to Dominika Cibulkova in last year's Bank of the West Classic. Radwanska also reached the semifinals in 2010, quarterfinals in 2011 and second round in 2009.
Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon 10 years ago at 17.
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
  Maria Sharapova (5)
   Why she'll win --Sharapova is coming off the French Open title and won her first Grand Slam crown 10 years ago at Wimbledon at 17.
   Why she won't -- She could meet Williams in the quarterfinals. Sharapova is 2-16 overall against Williams with a 15-match losing streak since 2004.
   NorCal connection -- Sharapova was the runner-up to Victoria Azarenka in the 2010 Bank of the West Classic, and she's a two-time quarterfinalist at Stanford.
  Others
   Petra Kvitova (6) -- The erratic left-hander won Wimbledon in 2011 for her only Grand Slam title.
   Eugenie Bouchard (13) -- The 20-year-old Canadian is the only woman to reach the semifinals of the first two majors, but she has a tough draw. Bouchard won the Wimbledon girls title two years ago.
   Sloane Stephens (18) -- A quarterfinalist last year at 20, she plays her best in the Slams.
   Sabine Lisicki (19) -- She knocked off Serena Williams in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year en route to first Grand Slam final.
Champion
   Williams' Grand Slam stumbles will only add motivation.

Wimbledon TV schedule

WIMBLEDON TV SCHEDULE
(All times in California; all live, except as noted)
Monday-Tuesday
   First round, ESPN, 4-8:30 a.m.
   First round, ESPN News, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
   First round, ESPN2, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
Wednesday-Thursday 
   Second round, ESPN, 4-8:30 a.m.
   Second round, ESPN News, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
   Second round, ESPN2, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Friday
   Third round, ESPN, 4 a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday
   Third round, ESPN, 4 a.m.-1 p.m.
Sunday
   Week 1 highlights, ABC, noon-3 p.m.
Monday, June 30
   Round of 16, No. 1 Court and outer courts, ESPN, 4-8:30 a.m.
   Round of 16, Centre Court, ESPN2, 5 a.m.-1 p.m.
   Round of 16, No. 1 Court and outer courts, ESPN News, 8:30 a.m.-noon.
Tuesday, July 1
   Ladies' quarterfinals, Centre Court, ESPN2, 5-10 a.m.
   Ladies' quarterfinals, No. 1 Court, ESPN, 5-8:30 a.m.
   Ladies' quarterfinals, No. 1 Court, ESPN News, 8:30 a.m.-noon.
Wednesday, July 2
   Gentlemen's quarterfinals, Centre Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon.
   Gentlemen's quarterfinals, No. 1 Court, ESPN2, 5 a.m.-1 p.m.
Thursday, July 3
   Ladies' semifinals, ESPN, 5-10 a.m.
Friday, July 4
   Gentlemen's semifinals, ESPN, 5-11 a.m.
Saturday, July 5
   Ladies' championship and doubles championships, ESPN, 6 a.m.-noon.
   Ladies' championship, ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
Sunday, July 6
   Gentlemen's championship, ESPN, 6 a.m.-noon.
   Gentlemen's championship, ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).

Piedmont's McDonald loses in Futures semis

Unseeded Mackenzie McDonald, shown in the 2012
Australian Open juniors, lost to seventh-seeded Jared
Donaldson in the semifinals of the $15,000 Tulsa
(Okla.) Pro Championships. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Unseeded Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area lost to seventh-seeded Jared Donaldson of Cumberland, R.I., 6-3, 7-6 (1) on Saturday in the semifinals of the $15,000 Tulsa (Okla.) Pro Championships.
   McDonald, 19, earned All-America honors this month after reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., in May as a freshman at UCLA.
   Last summer in Cincinnati, McDonald became the first unranked teenager to qualify for an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, the highest level for men besides the Grand Slams. He is now ranked No. 691.
   Piedmont also is the hometown of renowned coach and commentator Brad Gilbert. As a player, Gilbert peaked at No. 4 in the world in 1990. 
   Donaldson, ranked No. 474 at only 17 years old, will play top-seeded Jarmere Jenkins of Coconut Creek, Fla., in today's final. Jenkins dismissed unseeded Ernesto Escobedo, 17, of West Covina in the Los Angeles area 6-3, 6-1.
   Donaldson, the runner-up to Sacramento native Collin Altamirano in the USTA  Boys 18 National Championships last summer, won a Futures tournament in Turkey two weeks ago.
   Altamirano lost in the second round in Tulsa to fifth-seeded Dennis Nevolo, a former Illinois All-American from Gurnee, Ill.   
    Jenkins, 23, has soared to No. 238 in just over one year after graduating from the University of Virginia in anthropology. Last year, he led the Cavaliers to their first NCAA team title, advanced to the singles final and won the doubles crown with then-freshman Mac Styslinger.
   As a wild card in Sacramento in October, Jenkins reached his first Challenger semifinal.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tursunov to play -- who else? -- Istomin at Wimbledon

Dmitry Tursunov, practicing in
Indian Wells in March, will meet
Denis Istomin for the fifth time
this year. Photo by Paul Bauman
Denis Istomin, playing in San
Jose in 2013, has beaten Dmitry
Tursunov three straight times.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Dmitry Tursunov and Denis Istomin are getting to know each other better than Simon and Garfunkel.
   Tursunov, seeded 32nd, is scheduled to play Istomin for the fifth time this year in the first round at Wimbledon.
   The winner could meet fifth-seeded Stan Warwinka of Switzerland in the third round. Wawrinka won his first Grand Slam title in the Australian Open in January but lost in the opening round of the French Open last month.
   The Wimbledon draw was conducted on Friday, and play is scheduled for Monday through July 6.
   Istomin, 27, of Uzbekistan has won his last three meetings with Tursunov, a 31-year-old Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, to even the career head-to-head series at 3-3.
   But Tursunov is ranked 32nd in the world and Istomin 49th.
   Both players' best results at Wimbledon are fourth-round appearances, Istomin in 2012 and Tursunov in 2005 and 2006, and both have residences in Moscow.
   Tursunov defaulted his second-round match in Hertogenbosch, where he won the 2011 title, on Wednesday with a left foot injury. He has a long history of physical problems but might have been cautious this time to ensure he'll be ready for Wimbledon.
   In another first-round match at Wimbledon, San Francisco native Sam Querrey will face ex-Stanford star Bradley Klahn. The survivor probably will face 14th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a two-time Wimbledon semifinalist from France, in the second round.
   Querrey is 1-0 against Klahn, winning in four sets in the opening round of the 2010 U.S. Open. Klahn had received a wild card for winning the NCAA singles title as a sophomore.
   Klahn and Querrey are ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, in the United States. Klahn, a 23-year-old left-hander, is No. 73. Querrey, 26, is No. 77 after climbing to a career-high No. 17 in 2011.
   Querrey is 34-22 lifetime on grass, including a semifinal showing at Eastbourne this week, while Klahn in 0-2 after losing to Tursunov on Monday in the first round at Hertogenbosch. Querrey will be making his seventh main-draw appearance at Wimbledon, having reached the fourth round in 2010, and Klahn his first.   
   Querrey, 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters), turned pro out of high school in 2006. Klahn, 6 feet (1.83 meters), joined the pro ranks in 2012 after graduating from Stanford in economics.
   Futures circuit -- Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area upset second-seeded Dimitar Kutrovsky of Bulgaria 7-5, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the $15,000 Tulsa (Okla.) Pro Championships.
   McDonald, who earned All-America honors two weeks ago as a UCLA freshman, will meet seventh-seeded Jared Donaldson of Cumberland, R.I.
   Donaldson was the runner-up to Sacramento-based Collin Altamirano in the USTA Boys 18 National Championships last summer in Kalamazoo, Mich.
   Altamirano lost in the second round in Tulsa to fifth-seeded Dennis Nevolo, a former Illinois All-American from Gurnee, Ill.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rankings, TV schedule, calendar

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, 36 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 36 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 23 years old, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 73 in singles (-1), No. 178 in doubles (no change).
   Scott Lipsky, 32 years old, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 41 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, 26 years old, San Francisco native, Sacramento Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 77 in singles (+1), No. 146 in doubles (-12).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31 years old, trains at Gorin Tennis Academy in Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay -- No. 32 in singles (no change), No. 135 in doubles (no change).
Women
   Mallory Burdette, 23 years old, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- No. 897 in singles (+8), unranked in doubles.
   Nicole Gibbs, 21 years old, NCAA singles champion in 2012 and 2013 and NCAA doubles champion in 2012 from Stanford -- Career-high No. 152 in singles (+7), No. 544 in doubles (-2).
   Macall Harkins, 28 years old, Redding resident -- No. 355 in doubles (-1), No. 692 in singles (+1).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 31 years old, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 14 in doubles (+2), No. 1,048 in singles (+24).
   Maria Sanchez, 24 years old, born and raised in Modesto -- No. 105 in doubles (+1), No. 310 in singles (-33).
   Allie Will, 23 years old, born in San Mateo -- No. 126 in doubles (no change), No. 424 in singles (-2).
TV SCHEDULE
(All times in California)
Today
   Hertogenbosch (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (delay).
   Eastbourne (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5-9 p.m. (delay).
   Eastbourne (men), semifinal, Tennis Channel, 9-11 p.m. (delay).
Saturday
   Eastbourne (women), final, Tennis Channel, 9:30-11:30 a.m. (delay).
   Eastbourne (men), final, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (delay).
   Hertogenbosch (women), final, Tennis Channel, 1:30-3:30 p.m. (delay).
CALENDAR
   Saturday -- Generation Gap Invitational, Taube Family Tennis Stadium at Stanford, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
   MONDAY-JULY 6 -- WIMBLEDON. 2013 champions: Andy Murray, Marion Bartoli, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai, Daniel Nestor/Kristina Mladenovic. 
   July 7-12 -- $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif. 2013 champions: Mayo Hibi, Naomi Broady-Storm Sanders.
   July 13-19 -- USTA National Clay Court Championships (boys and girls), various sites.
   July 28-Aug. 3 -- Bank of the West Classic (women), Stanford. Entries include Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Dominika Cibulkova, Ana Ivanovic, Samantha Stosur, Daniela Hantuchova and Garbine Muguruza. 2013 champions: Cibulkova, Raquel Kops-Jones-Abigail Spears.
   Aug. 2-10 -- USTA National Championships (boys and girls), various sites.
   Aug. 4-10 -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger (men), Seascape Sports Club, Aptos, Calif. 2013 champions: Bradley Klahn, Jonathan Erlich-Andy Ram. 
   Aug. 5-10 -- $25,000 Heritage Bank of Commerce Tennis Championships (men and women), Moraga Country Club, Moraga, Calif.
   Aug. 25-Sept. 8 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y. 2013 champions: Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Leander Paes/Radek Stepanek, Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka, Andrea Hlavackova/Max Mirnyi.
   Sept. 8-14 -- $25,000 Redding Challenger (women), Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, Redding, Calif. 2013 champions: Adriana Perez, Robin Anderson/Lauren Embree.
   Sept. 22-28 -- $50,000 Napa Valley Challenger (men), Napa Valley Country Club, Napa, Calif. 2013 champions: Donald Young, Bobby Reynolds/John-Patrick Smith.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 5 -- $100,000 Sacramento Pro Circuit Challenger (men), Natomas Racquet Club, Sacramento, Calif. 2013 champions: Donald Young, Matt Reid/John-Patrick Smith.
   Oct. 6-12 -- $100,000 Tiburon Challenger (men), Tiburon Peninsula Club, Tiburon, Calif. 2013 champions: Peter Polansky, Austin Krajicek/Rhyne Williams.

Ex-Stanford star falls in Wimbledon qualifying

Nicole Gibbs, above, lost to Victoria Duval
in the final round of Wimbledon qualifying.
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Nicole Gibbs' main draw debut at Wimbledon will have to wait.
   The former Stanford star lost to fellow American Victoria Duval, seeded 15th, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Thursday in the final round of qualifying at Roehampton.
   Duval is ranked No. 115 and Gibbs No. 152, both career highs.
   The men's and women's draws will be conducted today, and main-draw play is scheduled for Monday through July 6.
   Gibbs, 21, became the fifth woman in history and fourth from Stanford to win back-to-back NCAA singles titles (2012 and 2013) and led the Cardinal to its 17th NCAA team championship last year. She then turned professional, forgoing her senior season, and lost in the opening round of qualifying at Wimbledon in her first appearance there.
   Duval, 18, is playing at Wimbledon (qualifying or main draw) for the first time. She made headlines last August at the U.S. Open by stunning 11th seed and 2011 champion Samantha Stosur in the first round as a qualifier. Duval then lost to Daniela Hantuchova.
   Earlier last summer, the eighth-seeded Duval lost in the first round of the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger to eventual champion Mayo Hibi in a matchup of 17-year-olds. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tursunov seeded 32nd at Wimbledon

Dmitry Tursunov, practicing at Indian Wells in March,
reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2005 and 2006.
Photo by Paul Bauman 
   Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian veteran based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, received the 32nd and last men's seeding at Wimbledon today.
   The 31-year-old Moscow native also is ranked No. 32 in the world.
   The men's and women's draws will be conducted Friday, and play is scheduled for Monday through July 6.
   Tursunov, meanwhile, defaulted his second-round match to Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, with a left foot injury. Tursunov, the 2011 champion, has a long history of injuries but might have been cautious this time to ensure he'll be ready for Wimbledon.
   Tursunov's best Grand Slam singles results have come at Wimbledon, where he reached the fourth round in 2005 and 2006. However, he is 1-5 there in the past five years.
   See below for a list of all men's and women's seeds in singles and doubles.
   Wimbledon qualifying -- Former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs moved within one victory of her first main-draw berth at Wimbledon, defeating Carina Witthoeft of Germany 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of qualifying. Gibbs had knocked off ninth-seeded Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine in the first round on Tuesday.
   Gibbs will face fellow American Victoria Duval, seeded 15th, on Thursday in the final round. Duval coasted past Misa Eguchi of Japan 6-2, 6-2.
   Duval is ranked No. 115 and Gibbs No. 152, both career highs.
   Duval, 18, is playing at Wimbledon for the first time. She made headlines last August at the U.S. Open by stunning 11th seed and 2011 champion Samantha Stosur in the first round as a qualifier. Duval then lost to Daniela Hantuchova.
   Earlier last summer, the eighth-seeded Duval lost in the first round of the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger to eventual champion Mayo Hibi in a matchup of 17-year-olds. 
   Gibbs, 21, became the fifth woman in history and fourth from Stanford to win back-to-back NCAA singles titles (2012 and 2013) and led the Cardinal to its 17th NCAA team championship last year. She then turned professional, forgoing her senior season, and lost in the opening round of qualifying at Wimbledon in her first appearance there.
WIMBLEDON SEEDINGS
Gentlemen’s singles 
DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB) [1]
NADAL, Rafael (ESP) [2]
MURRAY, Andy (GBR) [3]
FEDERER, Roger (SUI) [4]
WAWRINKA, Stan (SUI) [5]
BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE) [6]
FERRER, David (ESP) [7]
RAONIC, Milos (CAN) [8]
ISNER, John (USA) [9]
NISHIKORI, Kei (JPN) [10]
DIMITROV, Grigor (BUL) [11]
GULBIS, Ernests (LAT) [12]
GASQUET, Richard (FRA) [13]
TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) [14]
JANOWICZ, Jerzy (POL) [15]
FOGNINI, Fabio (ITA) [16]
YOUZHNY, Mikhail (RUS) [17]
VERDASCO, Fernando (ESP) [18]
LOPEZ, Feliciano (ESP) [19]
ANDERSON, Kevin (RSA) [20]
DOLGOPOLOV, Alexandr (UKR) [21]
KOHLSCHREIBER, Philipp (GER) [22]
ROBREDO, Tommy (ESP) [23]
MONFILS, Gael (FRA) [24]
ALMAGRO, Nicolas (ESP) [25]
SEPPI, Andreas (ITA) [26]
CILIC, Marin (CRO) [27]
BAUTISTA AGUT, Roberto (ESP) [28]
GARCIA-LOPEZ, Guillermo (ESP) [29]
KARLOVIC, Ivo (CRO) [30]
GRANOLLERS, Marcel (ESP) [31]
TURSUNOV, Dmitry (RUS) [32]
Ladies’ singles 
WILLIAMS, Serena (USA) [1]
LI, Na (CHN) [2]
HALEP, Simona (ROU) [3]
RADWANSKA, Agnieszka (POL) [4]
SHARAPOVA, Maria (RUS) [5]
KVITOVA, Petra (CZE) [6]
JANKOVIC, Jelena (SRB) [7]
AZARENKA, Victoria (BLR) [8]
KERBER, Angelique (GER) [9]
CIBULKOVA, Dominika (SVK) [10]
IVANOVIC, Ana (SRB) [11]
PENNETTA, Flavia (ITA) [12]
BOUCHARD, Eugenie (CAN) [13]
ERRANI, Sara (ITA) [14]
SUAREZ NAVARRO, Carla (ESP) [15]
WOZNIACKI, Caroline (DEN) [16]
STOSUR, Samantha (AUS) [17]
STEPHENS, Sloane (USA) [18]
LISICKI, Sabine (GER) [19]
PETKOVIC, Andrea (GER) [20]
VINCI, Roberta (ITA) [21]
MAKAROVA, Ekaterina (RUS) [22]
SAFAROVA, Lucie (CZE) [23]
FLIPKENS, Kirsten (BEL) [24]
CORNET, Alize (FRA) [25]
PAVLYUCHENKOVA, Anastasia (RUS) [26]
MUGURUZA, Garbine (ESP) [27]
KUZNETSOVA, Svetlana (RUS) [28]
CIRSTEA, Sorana (ROU) [29]
WILLIAMS, Venus (USA) [30]
KOUKALOVA, Klara (CZE) [31]
VESNINA, Elena (RUS) [32]
Gentlemen’s doubles
BRYAN, Bob (USA) / BRYAN, Mike (USA) [1]
PEYA, Alexander (AUT) / SOARES, Bruno (BRA) [2]
NESTOR, Daniel (CAN) / ZIMONJIC, Nenad (SRB) [3]
BENNETEAU, Julien (FRA) / ROGER-VASSELIN, Edouard (FRA) [4]
PAES, Leander (IND) / STEPANEK, Radek (CZE) [5]
GRANOLLERS, Marcel (ESP) / LOPEZ, Marc (ESP) [6]
KUBOT, Lukasz (POL) / LINDSTEDT, Robert (SWE) [7]
BOPANNA, Rohan (IND) / QURESHI, Aisam-Ul-Haq (PAK) [8]
KNOWLE, Julian (AUT) / MELO, Marcelo (BRA) [9]
HUEY, Treat (PHI) / INGLOT, Dominic (GBR) [10]
ROJER, Jean-Julien (NED) / TECAU, Horia (ROU) [11]
LLODRA, Michael (FRA) / MAHUT, Nicolas (FRA) [12]
BUTORAC, Eric (USA) / KLAASEN, Raven (RSA) [13]
MURRAY, Jamie (GBR) / PEERS, John (AUS) [14]
CABAL, Juan Sebastian (COL) / MATKOWSKI, Marcin (POL) [15]
CUEVAS, Pablo (URU) / MARRERO, David (ESP) [16]
Ladies’ doubles
HSIEH, Su-Wei (TPE) / PENG, Shuai (CHN) [1]
ERRANI, Sara (ITA) / VINCI, Roberta (ITA) [2]
PESCHKE, Kveta (CZE) / SREBOTNIK, Katarina (SLO) [3]
BLACK, Cara (ZIM) / MIRZA, Sania (IND) [4]
MAKAROVA, Ekaterina (RUS) / VESNINA, Elena (RUS) [5]
BARTY, Ashleigh (AUS) / DELLACQUA, Casey (AUS) [6]
KOPS-JONES, Raquel (USA) / SPEARS, Abigail (USA) [7]
WILLIAMS, Serena (USA) / WILLIAMS, Venus (USA) [8]
HLAVACKOVA, Andrea (CZE) / ZHENG, Jie (CHN) [9]
GOERGES, Julia (GER) / GROENEFELD, Anna-Lena (GER) [10]
KUDRYAVTSEVA, Alla (RUS) / RODIONOVA, Anastasia (AUS) [11]
MEDINA GARRIGUES, Anabel (ESP) / SHVEDOVA, Yaroslava (KAZ) [12]
HRADECKA, Lucie (CZE) / KRAJICEK, Michaella (NED) [13]
BABOS, Timea (HUN) / MLADENOVIC, Kristina (FRA) [14]
HUBER, Liezel (USA) / RAYMOND, Lisa (USA) [15]
MUGURUZA, Garbine (ESP) / SUAREZ NAVARRO, Carla (ESP) [16]

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

With stroke of genius, Miller wins Junior Sectionals

Alaina Miller, 15, slugs her unorthodox two-fisted forehand
during her victory over Vanessa Nommensen in the final of
the NorCal Sectionals. Photo by Paul Bauman
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- It looks more like a baseball hitter's stroke than a tennis player's.
   But, boy, is it effective.
   And it could carry Alaina Miller, a 15-year-old San Francisco Bay Area resident, all the way to the pros.
   Crushing the ball like the Giants' Buster Posey with her two-fisted forehand, the fifth-seeded Miller overcame a slow start to defeat second-seeded Vanessa Nommensen 6-4, 6-3 today for the 18-and-under title in the NorCal Girls' 18 & 16 Sectional Championships at the Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa. 
   "I haven't coached anybody who can do the things she does," said John Pierre Fruttero, Miller's 43-year-old coach and the older brother of former world top-100 doubles player John Paul Fruttero. "I coached a couple of very good (female) two-handers on both sides when I was in L.A., but not like her. ... She's fearless. Her racket speed and ball speed are as high as I've seen in junior tennis."
   When asked if Miller, ranked seventh nationally in the 16s, has pro potential, Fruttero said: "Absolutely. ... In a lot of ways, she's already knocking on the door."
   Miller will play as an amateur in her first pro tournament this summer, Fruttero added.
   "Maybe even here," he said.
   Fruttero was referring to the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, July 5-12 at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area. Miller needs a wild card to play in the qualifying event.
   "If she gets in, she'll be here," Fruttero said.
   Fruttero concedes that Miller's two-handed backhand isn't as big a weapon as her forehand, "but it's getting a little closer. We're going to try to continue to make it such, but her forehand is world class."
   Only a handful of male or female pros have hit with two hands on both sides. They include:
   -- International Tennis Hall of Famers Pancho Segura and Monica Seles.
   -- Marion Bartoli, who retired last summer at 28 after winning Wimbledon for her only Grand Slam title.
   -- China's Peng Shuai, who's co-ranked No. 1 in the world in women's doubles.
   -- Thailand's Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, the top-ranked junior girl in the world in 2008.
   -- Julian Knowle, a 40-year-old Austrian who reached No. 6 in the world in men's doubles in 2008 and teamed with Andre Begemann of Germany to edge Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli and Roger Federer on Sunday for the title in Halle, Germany, on grass.
   -- Retired men's standouts Fabrice Santoro, Jan-Michael Gambill, Byron Black and Gene Mayer. The latter starred at Stanford in the mid-1970s and reached a career-high No. 4 in the world in 1980.
   "I knew Jan-Michael Gambill pretty well," Fruttero said. "My brother used to practice with him, and I used to help him a little bit. I learned something from that and from my other girls."
Miller, right, beat Nommensen in straight sets in Sacramento
for the second time in six weeks. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Miller, a home-schooled junior-to-be from Saratoga in the San Jose area, has used two hands on both sides since she began playing tennis at 5.
   "I was tiny, so I couldn't hit one-handed," said the braces-wearing Miller, who's now 5-foot-5 1/2 (1.7 meters) and 118 pounds (53.5 kilograms). "I started with two, and I was like, 'Yeah, this could work,' so I kept it.
   "I'm enjoying it. I think it's a good thing to have. It kind of confuses them in the beginning."
   Miller is working on her serve and return of serve to set up her forehand.
   "She needs to start points a little more consistently in a positive manner," Fruttero said. "Just starting points is going to determine a lot as to whether she's in control on the baseline or not. The serve and return are going to be keys for her game."
   Then there's the mental aspect, especially knowing when to unleash her forehand and staying composed.
   "She's not afraid to take risks, as her game shows," Fruttero said. "It's just about taking proper risks that have a good reward balance."
   Although many of Miller's forehand missiles whizzed by Nommensen for passing shots, others sailed long or wide. Miller could have imploded, particularly after trailing 3-0 and 4-2 in the first set, but didn't.
   "Mentally, I feel I was really good," she said. "Usually, I'm not very good mentally. I usually get really frustrated. That was a big achievement for today."
   Instead, Nommensen appeared to get frustrated as Miller's rockets often left her flat-footed.
   "You can't hit a bad shot," observed Nommensen, ranked 75th nationally in the 16s. "If you hit a bad shot in the middle of the court, you're done. Every shot has to be well-placed and deep."
   Miller, though, came out sluggishly. She had dismissed Nommensen, a 16-year-old San Jose resident who will attend Tulane in New Orleans on scholarship in the fall, 6-1, 6-3 six weeks ago in Sacramento in their last meeting and had needed almost three hours to subdue top-seeded Rachel Chong of Danville in Monday's semifinals.
   "My feet were dead," Miller admitted. "I couldn't move. I felt like I was very off. Then I started getting it back, and I was, 'OK, I can roll with this.' I felt much better after that."
   From 2-4, Miller reeled off seven consecutive games.
   "My shots started getting a little bit shorter," Nommensen said, "and she was being more patient. She wasn't going for shots too early in the point." 
   Pouncing on Nommensen's second serve, Miller broke six straight times during one stretch and seven of 10 times overall.    
   Miller's second match point summarized the contest. On Nommensen's second serve, Miller ran around her backhand and, for the umpteenth time, ripped a forehand passing shot down the line.
   Posey would have been proud.
NORCAL GIRLS 18 & 16 JUNIOR SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Finals
At Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa in Sacramento
18-and-under
Singles
   Alaina Miller (5), Saratoga, def. Vanessa Nommensen (2), San Jose, 6-4, 6-3.
Doubles
   Allison Chuang, Albany, and Vanessa Nommensen (1), San Jose, def. Paige Cline, Kentfield, and Alaina Miller, Saratoga, 6-4, 2-6 [12-10].
16-and-under
Singles
   Jenna Friedel (9), Mill Valley, def. Carolyn Campana (2), Hillsborough, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Doubles 
   Sarah Bahsoun, Los Gatos, and Carolyn Campana (1), Hillsborough, def. Alexa Corcoleotes, Hillsborough, and Katya Tabachnik (2), San Francisco, 6-4, 3-6 [10-8].
  NORCAL BOYS 18 AND 16 JUNIOR SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sacramento State
18-and-under
Singles
   JT Nishimura (2), San Jose, def. Cameron Klinger (4), Elk Grove, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
Doubles
   William Griffith, Fresno, and JT Nishimura (1), San Jose, def. David Ball, Palo Alto, and Logan Staggs (2), Tracy, 6-2, 6-3.
16-and-under
Singles  
   Sam Riffice (1), Roseville, def. Alexandre Rotsaert (3), Fresno, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles
   Dominic Barretto and Paul Barretto (2), Tiburon, def. Jayson Fung, San Francisco, and Sam Riffice (1), Roseville, 6-4, 6-4.
  NORCAL 14 JUNIOR SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At University of the Pacific in Stockton
Boys
 Singles
   Keenan Mayo (1), Roseville, def. Aditya Singh (2), Cupertino, 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles
   Ryan Ali, Mill Valley, and Stevie Gould (4), Corte Madera, def. Nicholas Khamphilath, San Jose, and Issa Yoshida (5), Campbell, 4-6, 6-3 [10-5].
Girls
Singles
   Niluka Madurawe (3), Sunnyvale, def. Katie Volynets (2), Walnut Creek, 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles
   Niluka Madurawe, Sunnyvale, and Jacquie Tan (1), Elk Grove, def. Jenna Schlatter, Saint Helena, and Jillian Taggart (2), Fair Oaks, walkover.
NORCAL 12 JUNIOR SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sunnyvale Tennis Center
Boys
 Singles 
   Aidan Mayo (1), Roseville, def. Sima Pesic (5), Del Rey Oaks, 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles
   Zachery Lim, Fairfield, and Sima Pesic (1), Del Rey Oaks, def. Brandon Aprill, Mountain View, and Marshall Leung (3), Tiburon, 4-6, 6-2 [10-7].
Girls
Singles
   Laura Sanders (3), El Cerrito, def. Azaria Hayes (2), Pinole, 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles
   Katherine Duong, Cupertino, and Molly Heber (1), Mill Valley, def. Leslie Ligier, Cupertino, and Stephanie Nguyen (2), Fremont, 6-4, 6-2.

Miller beats top seed, reaches Junior Sectional final

   Fifth-seeded Alaina Miller of Saratoga outlasted top-seeded Rachel Chong of Danville 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 on Monday to reach the 18-and-under final in the NorCal Girls' 18 & 16 Junior Sectional Championships at the Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa in Sacramento.
   The 15-year-old Miller will meet second-seeded Vanessa Nommensen of San Jose today at 11 a.m. Nommensen, 16, routed fourth-seeded Sarah Hu of Oakland 6-1, 6-2.
   Miller overwhelmed Nommensen 6-1, 6-3 six weeks ago in the semifinals of the NorCal Junior Excellence tournament at the Rio del Oro Racquet Club in Sacramento. Miller then edged Chong in the final, surviving a match point in a third-set tiebreaker.
   Miller is ranked first and Nommensen third in the 16s in Northern California. Nommensen recently signed a letter of intent to enroll at Tulane in New Orleans in the fall.  
   In the 16-and-under semifinals, ninth-seeded Jenna Friedel of Mill Valley knocked off top-seeded Rachel Eason of Union City 6-4, 6-3. Friedel will face second-seeded Carolyn Campana of Hillsborough for the title today at 11 a.m.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Nishimura tops Klinger for Junior Sectional crown

   Second-seeded JT Nishimura of San Jose defeated fourth-seeded Cameron Klinger of Elk Grove 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 on Sunday to win the 18s in the NorCal Boys' 18 and 16 Junior Sectional Championships at Sacramento State.
   Nishimura, who's headed for Cal in the fall, is ranked 32nd nationally. Klinger, 16, is ranked 37th.
   The girls 18 semifinals are scheduled for today at 1 p.m. at the Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa in Sacramento. Top-seeded Rachel Chong of Danville will meet No. 5 Alaina Miller, 15, of Saratoga, and No. 2 Vanessa Nommensen of San Jose will play No. 4 Sarah Hu of Oakland.
   NORCAL BOYS 18 AND 16 JUNIOR SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sacramento State
Finals
18 singles
   JT Nishimura (2), San Jose, def. Cameron Klinger (4), Elk Grove, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
18 doubles
   William Griffith, Fresno, and JT Nishimura (1), San Jose, def. David Ball, Palo Alto, and Logan Staggs (2), Tracy, 6-2, 6-3.
16 singles  
   Sam Riffice (1), Roseville, def. Alexandre Rotsaert (3), Fresno, 6-1, 6-1.
16 doubles
   Dominic Barretto and Paul Barretto (2), Tiburon, def. Jayson Fung, San Francisco, and Sam Riffice (1), Roseville, 6-4, 6-4.
  NORCAL 14 JUNIOR SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At University of the Pacific in Stockton
Boys finals
Singles
   Keenan Mayo (1), Roseville, def. Aditya Singh (2), Cupertino, 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles
   Ryan Ali, Mill Valley, and Stevie Gould (4), Corte Madera, def. Nicholas Khamphilath, San Jose, and Issa Yoshida (5), Campbell, 4-6, 6-3 [10-5].
Girls finals
Singles
   Niluka Madurawe (3), Sunnyvale, def. Katie Volynets (2), Walnut Creek, 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles
   Niluka Madurawe, Sunnyvale, and Jacquie Tan (1), Elk Grove, def. Jenna Schlatter, Saint Helena, and Jillian Taggart (2), Fair Oaks, walkover.

San Jose's Kops-Jones wins WTA doubles title

Raquel Kops-Jones, shown in 2012, and Abigail Spears
won a Wimbledon warmup tournament in Birmingham,
England. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Raquel Kops-Jones of San Jose and Abigail Spears of San Diego won their first title of the year, beating defending champions Ashley Barty and Casey Dellacqua of Australia 7-6 (1), 6-1 on Sunday in the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England.
   Kops-Jones and Spears, the third seeds who had ousted No. 1 Cara Black and Sania Mirza in the semifinals, saved three set points while trailing 6-5 on Kops-Jones' serve in the Wimbledon warmup tournament.
   "We never give up," Spears said on wtatennis.com. "We have played together for a long time. We'll have some bad matches, maybe some bad days, but we're always wanting to get better.
   "Our friendship as well is a huge thing. We're pretty much best friends. I think that really helps us to be able to talk through things." 
   Spears, 32, won her 13th WTA doubles title and Kops-Jones, a 31-year-old former NCAA doubles champion from Cal, her 11th. They captured the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford last July and reached the Australian Open semifinals in January for their best Grand Slam result.
   Barty and Dellacqua, seeded second in Birmingham, were 12-1 on grass entering the final. They had beaten Kops-Jones and Spears 6-4, 6-1 in the round of 16 at Wimbledon last year.
   Dellacqua, 29, has reached the women's doubles final in all four Grand Slam tournaments. She's still looking for her first major title in that event but won the 2011 French Open mixed doubles crown with former Stanford star Scott Lipsky.
   Barty, 18, has advanced to the women's doubles final in every Grand Slam tournament except the French Open.