Saturday, December 31, 2016

Querrey stunner highlights top 10 stories of 2016

Sam Querrey, shown in 2014, ended Novak Djokovic's 30-match
Grand Slam winning streak. Photo by Paul Bauman
   From beginning to end, 2016 was an exceptional year in Northern California tennis.
   Three NorCal juniors won gold balls in the USTA National Winter Championships in Arizona in early January.
  In July, San Francisco native Sam Querrey pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year in men's professional tennis at Wimbledon.
   And 14-year-old Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area achieved an unprecedented sweep in December.
   Here are the top 10 stories of the year, plus 10 honorable mentions:
   1. Querrey stuns Djokovic at Wimbledon -- Querrey, seeded 28th, ended top-seeded Novak Djokovic's 30-match Grand Slam winning streak with a 7-6 (6), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) victory over two days in the third round at Wimbledon on Centre Court.
   "It's definitely the biggest win I've ever had," the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, who rallied in the fourth-set tiebreaker after missing his first serve at 1-3, crowed to reporters.
   Querrey, who turned 29 in October, went on to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal before losing to sixth-seeded Milos Raonic.
   2. Bellis, 17, wins three straight pro titles -- Newly minted pro CiCi Bellis of Atherton in the Bay Area outclassed top-seeded Zhang Shuai, a Chinese veteran who reached the Australian Open quarterfinals in January, 6-4, 6-2 in the inaugural $125,000 Hawaii Open in Honolulu in late November for her third consecutive title.
   Bellis, who was coming off championships in a pair of $50,000 indoor tournaments in Canada (Saguenay and Toronto), rose to No. 75 in the world with her first WTA crown.
   3. Volynets wins back-to-back junior international titles -- Volynets, only 5-foot-4 1/2 (1.64 meters) and 105 pounds (47.6 kilograms), became the first player to win the girls 16 title in the Eddie Herr International Championships and Orange Bowl in the same year.
   The Eddie Herr is played on hardcourts in Bradenton, Fla., and the Orange Bowl is contested the following week on clay in Plantation, Fla. Volynets rarely plays on clay.
   4. Stanford women, Virginia men win NCAA team titles -- The No. 15 Stanford women became the lowest-seeded team to win an NCAA title, knocking off No. 12 Oklahoma State 4-3 in Tulsa. Four of the Cardinal's six dual matches came down to the last encounter. Stanford trailed 3-1 in the final.
   Collin Altamirano, a sophomore from Sacramento, won his second NCAA team title as No. 1 seed Virginia defeated No. 11 Oklahoma 4-1 in Tulsa. Altamirano's match at No. 2 singles was abandoned, and he won at No. 3 doubles.
   5. McDonald sweeps NCAA men's titles -- Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont in the Bay Area became the first man in 15 years to sweep the NCAA titles.
   The UCLA junior, seeded sixth, downed top-seeded Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State 6-3, 6-3 in Tulsa, Okla. McDonald and Martin Redlicki, seeded second, then beat unseeded Arthur Rinderknech and Jackson Withrow of Texas A&M 6-4, 6-1. McDonald turned pro less than three weeks later.
CiCi Bellis, shown in July, climbed to No. 75 in the world at age 17.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   6. Bellis reaches third round of U.S. Open, turns pro -- Bellis, a qualifier, reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time by upsetting fellow American Shelby Rogers, a French Open quarterfinalist in June, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the U.S. Open.
   After losing 6-1, 6-1 to second seed and eventual champion Angelique Kerber of Germany in Arthur Ashe Stadium in the third round, Bellis turned pro. That allowed her to keep her singles prize money of $140,000.  
   7. Bellis gains first WTA Premier quarterfinal in home tournament -- As a wild card playing five minutes from home, Bellis defeated fellow American Sachia Vickery 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford to reach her first WTA Premier Level quarterfinal.
   Bellis then lost to top seed and two-time champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-1.
   8. Konta tops Venus for Bank of the West title -- Great Britain's Johanna Konta, seeded third, won her first WTA tour title with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Williams, who was seeking her 50th tour-level title in the tournament where she began her career 22 years ago.
   No. 2 seeds Raquel Atawo (formerly Kops-Jones) of nearby San Jose and Abigail Spears of Colorado Springs, Colo., captured their second Bank of the West title.
   9. NorCal juniors win gold balls in Winter Nationals -- Earning earned gold balls in the USTA National Winter Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz., were Austen Huang of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area, Sara Choy of Palo Alto in the Bay Area and Andrew Ton of Milpitas in the Bay Area.
   Huang triumphed in boys 18 singles, Choy prevailed in girls 16 singles, and Ton reigned in boys 16 doubles.
   10. NorCal sweeps boys No. 1 rankings, earns five overall -- Five NorCal juniors earned No. 1 national singles rankings in February.
   Climbing to the top were Sam Riffice of Roseville in the Sacramento region, Huang in the boys 16s, Stefan Leustian of Mather in the Sacramento area in the boys 14s, Hugo Hashimoto of San Jose in the boys 12s, and Volynets in the girls 14s.
   Honorable mention -- Querrey won his first ATP Tour title in four years, in Delray Beach, Fla.
   --Qualifier Nicole Gibbs, a former Stanford star, reached the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
   --Ex-Stanford standouts Bob and Mike Bryan, who have won a record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, failed to win one for the second consecutive year.
   --Frances Tiafoe, 18, cracked the top 100 in the world for the first time by winning the $100,000 Stockton Challenger.
   --Bradley Klahn, another former Stanford star, reached the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Champaign (Ill.) Challenger after missing almost two years because of injuries.
   --Freshman Olivia Hauger lifted the Cal women to their first national team title, the ITA Team Indoors in Madison, Wis.
   --Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael in the Sacramento region reached the boys 16 singles final in the USTA National Hard Court and Clay Court Championships.
   --Riffice advanced to the boys 18 singles final in the USTA International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif.
   --In an all-NorCal final, Jessi Muljat of Sacramento defeated Volynets to win the USTA International Spring Championships girls 16s.
   --Leustian captured the prestigious Les Petits As title in Tarbes, France.

Brooksby tops No. 3 seed, gains Winter Natl. QFs

   No. 16 seed Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael in the Sacramento area surprised No. 3 Mason Beiler of Palm Harbor, Fla., 6-2, 6-2 on Friday to reach the boys 18 quarterfinals in the USTA National Winter Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz.
   Brooksby, 16, will face No. 8 Matthew Lord of Bloomfield, Conn., today. Lord dismissed No. 12 Duo of Portage, Mich., 6-2, 6-3.
   Brooksby was the runner-up in the national hard court and clay court 16s last summer. He won the national hard court 12s in 2013.
   Also reaching the National Winter quarterfinals were No. 7 Sara Choy of Palo Alto in the girls 18s and unseeded Marcus McDaniel of Vacaville in the boys 16s. Choy won the girls 16 title last year.
   Advancing to the semifinals in Tucson, Ariz., were No. 2 Aryan Chaudhary of Santa Clara in the boys 14s and No. 1 Vivan Ovrootsky of San Jose in the girls 12s.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Coming soon: Top 10 stories of 2016

   A highly scientific survey on the top 10 stories of 2016 in Northern California tennis -- consisting of my opinion and exhaustive research of an hour or so -- will be posted next week.
   Happy holidays, and thank you for reading NorCal Tennis Czar.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

NorCal's Leustian, McDaniel fall in Jr. Orange Bowl

   Northern Californians Stefan Leustian and Marcus McDaniel lost by identical scores today in the boys 14 round of 16 in the Junior Orange Bowl in Key Biscayne, Fla.
   The No. 9-seeded Leustian, from Mather in the Sacramento region, fell to No. 1 Bu Yunchaokete of China 6-4, 6-4. No. 17 McDaniel, from Vacaville, succumbed to No. 9 Spencer Brachman of Commack, N.Y.
   Leustian faced Yunchaokete for the second time this month. Yunchaokete won 6-1, 6-2 in the boys 14 quarterfinals of the Eddie Herr International Championships on Dec. 1 in Bradenton, Fla.
   McDaniel, the runner-up in the NorCal Sectional 14s in Sacramento in June, is ranked sixth nationally in the 14s. Leustian, who won the prestigious Les Petits As (Small Champions) title in Tarbes, France, in January, is eighth.
   McDaniel, 14, was playing in his first Junior Orange Bowl. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Two NorCal boys reach last 16 in Jr. Orange Bowl

Stefan Leustian, shown last year, crushed Barney Fitz-
patrick of Great Britain 6-1, 6-0 in the Junior Orange
Bowl. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Two Northern Californians have reached the boys 14 round of 16 in the Junior Orange Bowl.
   No. 9 seed Stefan Leustian of Mather in the Sacramento area crushed 17th-seeded Barney Fitzpatrick of Great Britain 6-1,
6-0 today in Key Biscayne, Fla.
   Also, No. 17 Marcus McDaniel of Vacaville, between Sacramento and San Francisco, surprised No. 6 Han-chih Lin of Taiwan 6-3, 6-2.
   McDaniel is ranked sixth nationally in the 14s and Leustian eighth.
   Leustian, who won the prestigious Les Petits As (Small Champions) title in Tarbes, France, in January, will take on No. 1 Bu Yunchaokete of China. Yunchaokete saved two match points in a 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (9) victory over No. 17 Shunsuke Mitsui of Japan.
   Yunchaokete dominated Leustian 6-1, 6-2 in the boys 14 quarterfinals of the Eddie Herr International Championships on Dec. 1 in Bradenton, Fla.
   McDaniel, the runner-up in the NorCal Sectional 14s in Sacramento in June, will face No. 9 Spencer Brachman of Commack, N.Y. Brachman eliminated Peter Alam of Great Britain 6-4, 6-4.
   McDaniel, 14, is playing in his first Junior Orange Bowl
   "My level has been rising and I've been playing in bigger and bigger tournaments and having better results throughout the year," McDaniel, who will begin training part-time at the new USTA center in Orlando, Fla., next month, told Zoo Tennis. "I wanted to get a taste of what international was like, so we came here for the experience, to see what the top players around the world are like, to see what I need to go back and work on."
   Mayo named -- Aidan Mayo, 13, of Roseville in the Sacramento region and three other American boys were chosen to play in next month's Nike International in Bolton, England, and Les Petits As.
   Also picked were Toby Kodat and Martin Damm of Bradenton and Alexander Bernard of Naples, Fla. Damm's father, a Czech also named Martin, won the 2006 U.S. Open men's doubles title with Leander Paes of India and peaked at No. 5 in the world in doubles in 2007.
   Mayo's brother, Keenan, reached the quarterfinals of the 14s in Les Petits A's two years ago.
   Past winners of Les Petits As, for 12- to 14-year-olds, include Rafael Nadal, Michael Chang, Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another NorCal junior completes rare sweep

Katie Volynets became the first girl to sweep the
Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl 16s titles. Sam Riffice
achieved the feat two years ago on the boys' side.
2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   For the second time in three years, a Northern Californian swept the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl 16s titles in consecutive weeks.
   Unseeded Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area outclassed 14th-seeded Imani Graham of Saint Johns, Fla., 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday in the Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla.
   Sam Riffice of Roseville in the Sacramento area achieved the rare feat two years ago on the boys' side. The Eddie Herr International Championships are played on hardcourts in Bradenton, Fla.
   Volynets plays on hardcourts at home. Riffice trains in Florida, so he has more experience on clay than Volynets.
   Volynets, who did not lose a set in the Orange Bowl, became the first girl to win the 16s title in both tournaments in the same year.
   "No, I didn't know that," Volynets, who won the USTA National 12s in 2014 and 14s last year, told Zoo Tennis. "Now I'm really happy, and I feel really good. I appreciate these titles very much. They mean a lot to me because I know these are internationals, while the other ones were nationals, so this to me is almost a bigger deal. I feel really good, but of course I'm going to go back to work and back on the court when I get home."
   Saturday's match was delayed almost six hours by rain.
   Graham and the diminutive Volynets, known for her mental toughness, will turn 15 on Dec. 20 and Dec. 31, respectively.
   The Orange Bowl, one of the top junior tournaments in the world, was founded by Eddie Herr in 1947. It was played on clay until 1998, then on hardcourts until 2011. It has been contested on clay again since then.
   Past winners of the Orange Bowl 18s include Chris Evert (1969-70), Bjorn Borg 1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Mary Joe Fernandez (1985), Jim Courier (1987) and Anna Kournikova (1995).
   Winners of the tournament on hardcourts include Roger Federer (1998), Elena Dementieva (1998), Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000 and 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003) and Caroline Wozniacki (2005).
  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

NorCal's Volynets can make history with title

Katie Volynets could become the first girl to win
the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl 16s titles in
the same year. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area can become the first girl to win the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl 16s titles in the same year.
   Volynets dismissed Angelica Blake of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-2, 6-3 on Friday in a semifinal matchup of unseeded players in the Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla. It was Volynets' 11th consecutive singles victory.
   Volynets defeated Blake 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of last week's Eddie Herr International Championships en route to the title of the hardcourt tournament in Bradenton, Fla.
   Volynets will face 14th-seeded Imani Graham of Saint Johns, Fla., today at 7 a.m. PST. Graham beat qualifier Arabella Koller of Austria 6-1, 7-6 (4).
   Both finalists will turn 15 this month.
   Volynets defeated Graham 6-3, 6-4 in the second round in Tulsa, Okla., in October.
   In the boys 18 quarterfinals, unseeded Sebastian Baez of Argentina overwhelmed 13th-seeded Sam Riffice of Roseville in the Sacramento area 6-0, 6-0.
   Baez won the 16s title last year. Riffice swept the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl 16s crowns two years ago.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Volynets faces rematch in Orange Bowl semis

Katie Volynets, shown last year, will face
Angelica Blake for the second time in one
week. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The only player who gave girls 16s champion Katie Volynets trouble in last week's Eddie Herr International Championships was Angelica Blake.
   They will meet again on Friday in the Orange Bowl semifinals. Both players are unseeded in the clay-court tournament in Plantation, Fla.
   Volynets, a resident of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, elminated qualifier Elvina Kalieva of Staten Island, N.Y., 7-5, 6-0 today. Blake, from Boca Raton, Fla., subdued unseeded Amber O'Dell of New Milford, N.J., 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. 
   Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, topped Blake 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the Eddie Herr on hardcourts in Bradenton, Fla. It was the only set Volynets lost in the tournament.
   In the other Orange Bowl semifinal, 14th-seeded Imani Graham of Saint Johns, Fla., will play qualifier Arabella Koller of Austria.
   Meanwhile, 13th-seeded Sam Riffice of Roseville in the Sacramento area beat qualifier Sangeet Sridhar of Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the boys 18 quarterfinals. Sridhar had shocked Canada's Benjamin Sigouin, the third seed and Eddie Herr runner-up, in the first round.
   Riffice, who swept the 16s singles titles in the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl two years ago, will meet Sebastian Baez of Argentina. Baez defeated Vasil Kirkov of Tampa, Fla., 6-4, 6-4. Kirkov was coming off a victory over seventh-seeded Liam Caruana of Italy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

NorCal's Volynets takes out No. 2 seed in Orange Bowl

Katie Volynets, shown last year, beat No. 2 seed Oana
Corneanu 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) to reach the girls 16 quarter-
finals in the Orange Bowl. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area continued her hot streak today, ousting second-seeded Oana Corneanu of Romania 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) to reach the girls 16 quarterfinals in the Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla.
   Volynets, who won the 16s in last week's Eddie Herr International Championships on hardcourts in Bradenton, Fla., will play qualifier Elvina Kalieva of Staten Island, N.Y. Kalieva outclassed Anika Yarlagadda of West Bloomfield, Mich., 6-4, 6-3.
   Volynets will turn 15 on
Dec. 31. Her parents, Andrey and Anna, emigrated from Ukraine 20 years ago.
   Also in the girls 16s, Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz., beat Niluka Madurawe of Sunnyvale in the Bay Area 7-6 (2), 6-0. Stein reached the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals (with Volynets) in the Eddie Herr.
   In an all-American doubles quarterfinal, Jayci Goldsmith and Kacie Harvey defeated Melissa Sakar and Volynets 6-4, 6-2.
   In the second round of the Orange Bowl boys 18s, 13th-seeded Sam Riffice of Roseville in the Sacramento area topped Alan Fernando Rubio Fierros of Mexico 7-6 (6), 6-2.
   Riffice, who swept the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl 16s titles two years ago, will meet qualifier Sangeet Sridhar of Scottsdale, Ariz. Sridhar stunned Canada's Benjamin Sigouin, the third seed in the Orange Bowl and runner-up in the Eddie Herr, in the first round.
   Fin Bass of Great Britain and Jack Lin of Canada held off Riffice and Stanford-bound Timothy Sah of San Diego 6-4, 7-5 in the first round.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Volynets romps in rematch of Eddie Herr final

Katie Volynets, shown last year, dismissed 13th-seeded
Victoria Hu 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the 16s in the
Orange Bowl. Photo by Paul Bauman
   This time, it was even more one-sided.
   In a rematch of Sunday's girls 16 final in the Eddie Herr International Championships, Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area routed 13th-seeded Victoria Hu of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the 16s in the Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla.
   Volynets defeated Hu 6-3, 6-2 in the Eddie Herr tournament on hardcourts in Bradenton, Fla.
   Also advancing to the round of 16 in the Orange Bowl was Niluka Madurawe of Sunnyvale in the Bay Area. Madurawe beat Ava Hrastar of Duluth, Ga., 7-5, 6-4.
   Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, will face second-seeded Oana Corneanu of Romania. Madurawe will play Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz. Stein reached the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals (with Volynets) in the Eddie Herr.
   Volynets also moved into the doubles quarterfinals of the Orange Bowl with Melissa Sakar of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. Madurawe and Chelsea Kung of Fort Worth, Texas, lost to Anna Brylin of Short Hills, N.J., and Amber O'Dell of New Milford, N.J., 7-6 (11), 4-6 [10-7].
   Meanwhile, third-seeded Anton Matusevich of Great Britain upended Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael in the Sacramento area 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the boys 16s. Matusevich won the Eddie Herr 16s.
   In the first round of boys 18 doubles, Caleb Chakravarthi of Irvine and Keenan Mayo of Roseville in the Sacramento region lost to second-seeded Juan Aguilar of Bolivia and Yibing Wu of China 6-4, 3-6 [10-8].
   Roseville's Sam Riffice, seeded 13th in boys 18 singles, is scheduled to meet Alan Fernando Rubio Fierros of Mexico in the second round on Wednesday.

NorCal's Madurawe stuns seed in Orange Bowl 16s

Niluka Madurawe, shown last year, crushed
15th-seeded Willa Breunich in the first round
of the Orange Bowl. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Niluka Madurawe, a lucky loser from Sunnyvale in the San Francisco Bay Area, shocked 15th-seeded Willa Breunich of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., 6-1, 6-0 on Monday in the first round of the Orange Bowl girls 16s in Plantation, Fla.
   Breunich reached the doubles quarterfinals of the Eddie Herr International Championships last week in Bradenton, Fla.
   Also coasting in the Orange Bowl were 13th-seeded Sam Riffice of Roseville in the boys 18s, Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael in the boys 16s, and Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the girls 16s.
   Roseville and Carmichael are suburbs of Sacramento, and Walnut Creek is in the San Francisco Bay Area.
   Volynets will face wild card and 13th seed Victoria Hu of Boca Raton, Fla., in a rematch of the Eddie Herr final, won by Volynets 6-3, 6-2.
   Brooksby will take on third-seeded Anton Matusevich, a Briton who won the Eddie Herr 16s.
   In the opening round of girls 16 doubles, Volynets and Melissa Sakar of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., upset eighth-seeded Najah Dawson of Sarasota, Fla., and Klanah Motosono of Peru 6-0, 6-3.
   The Orange Bowl, one of the top junior tournaments in the world, was founded by Eddie Herr in 1947. It was played on clay until 1998, then on hardcourts until 2011. It has been contested on clay again since then.
   Past winners of the Orange Bowl 18s include Chris Evert (1969-70), Bjorn Borg 1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Mary Joe Fernandez (1985), Jim Courier (1987) and Anna Kournikova (1995).
   Winners of the tournament on hardcourts include Roger Federer (1998), Elena Dementieva (1998), Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000 and 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003) and Caroline Wozniacki (2005).
   

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bay Area's Volynets, Greenwald win big titles

Katie Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31,
won the girls 16 title in the Eddie Herr Inter-
national Championships. 2015 photo by
Paul Bauman
   Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area added another big singles title to her resume today.
   The seventh-seeded Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, outclassed fourth-seeded Victoria Hu of Northborough, Mass., 6-3, 6-2 on a hardcourt in the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   Volynets, ranked No. 2 nationally in the 16s behind Nicole Mossmer of San Diego and No. 1 in the 14s, lost only one set in the tournament. She beat 11th-seeded Angelica Blake of Boca Raton, Fla., 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
   The Eddie Herr is one of the most prestigious junior tournaments in the world. Past competitors include Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, David Nalbandian, Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic.
   Herr, the father of international junior tennis, died in 2000 at 93.
   Volynets also won the USTA National Championships last year in the 14s, saving five match points in the semifinals, and two years ago in the 12s. She reached the semifinals this year in the 16s in San Diego.
   Volynets' parents, Andrey and Anna, emigrated from Ukraine 20 years ago. Anna was a top swimmer there.
   In next week's prestigious Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla., the unseeded Volynets is scheduled to play qualifier Makayla Mills of Wilmington, N.C., in the first round.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- In an all-Bay Area matchup, sixth-seeded Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo won the title over fourth-seeded Oren Motevassel of San Jose by walkover.
   Motevassel, 49, pulled out with a right knee injury.
   Greenwald, 50, equaled Motevassel with two singles titles in the tournament. He also won in 2009. Motevassel triumphed in 2011 and 2012.
   Since winning the title in 2009, Greenwald had met Motevaseel in the tournament on four occasions, including three times in the semifinals, and lost each encounter.
   Chase Helpingstine of San Francisco teamed with Ronald Keiger to capture the grandfather-grandson title. Seeded third, they demolished unseeded Bob Hoffman of West Hempstead, N.Y., and Christopher Schwab of Massapequa, N.Y. (Jerry Seinfield's hometown) 6-0, 6-0.

NorCal's Volynets coasts into Eddie Herr final

No. 7 seed Katie Volynets will play No. 4
Victoria Hu for the girls 16 title in the
Eddie Herr International Championships.
2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   No. 7 seed Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area thrashed No. 3 Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine 6-0, 6-2 on Saturday in the girls 16  semifinals of the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, will play No. 4 Victoria Hu of Northborough, Mass., today for the title. Hu dominated No. 9 Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C., 6-1, 6-2.
   Volynets reached the semifinals of the 16s in the USTA National Championships at San Diego in August.
   In the girls 16 doubles semifinals, No. 3 seeds Volynets and Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz., lost to No. 7 Saara Orav of Estonia and Sarka Richterova of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-3.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- Two former champions from the Bay Area will meet today for the men's title.
   No. 6 seed Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo surprised No. 1 Stuart Duncan of Long Beach 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in three hours. And No. 4 Oren Motevassel of San Jose subdued No. 5 Jesse Walter of Mercer Island, Wash., 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
   Greenwald, 50, won the title in 2009. Motevassel, 49, triumphed in 2011 and 2012.
   In the women's final, No. 4 Hiromi Sasano of San Diego beat No. 1 Dina McBride of Stevenson Ranch 6-1, 5-5, retired (leg).
   No. 7 Patrick Crow of Lake Forest and Jeff Tarango, a former Stanford star living in Manhattan Beach, fell to No. 1 Michael Noel of Bakersfield and Peter Smith of Long Beach 6-1 in the third set in the men's doubles final.
   No. 6 seeds Brad Gilbert and Zach Gilbert of San Rafael lost in the father-son quarterfinals to No. 2 Bruce Man Son Hing and Bruce A. Man Son Hing of Calabasas 6-4, 6-2.
   No. 3 Chase Helpingstine of San Francisco and Ronald Keiger of Wilmington, N.C., reached the grandfather-grandson final.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

NorCal's Volynets pulls off big comeback in Eddie Herr

Katie Volynets, shown last year, beat Angelica
Blake 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the girls 16 quarterfinals
in the Eddie Herr International Championships
in Bradenton, Fla. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area staged a remarkable comeback on Friday to reach the girls 16 semifinals in the Eddie Herr International Championships.
   The seventh-seeded Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, beat 11th-seeded Angelica Blake of Boca Raton, Fla., 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 on a hardcourt in Bradenton, Fla.
   Volynets, a 16s semifinalist in the USTA National Championships in San Diego in August, next will face third-seeded Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine. Bilokin clobbered Volynets' doubles partner, 10th-seeded Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz., 6-0, 6-2.
   In the other semifinal, fourth-seeded Victoria Hu of Northborough, Mass., will meet ninth-seeded Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C.
   Volynets also advanced to the doubles semifinals. Stein and Volynets, seeded third, topped fifth-seeded Willa Breunich of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., and Renata Lombera of Mexico 7-5, 7-5.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- Two Bay Area men will play in today's semifinals, though not against each other.
   No. 4 seed Oren Motevassel of San Jose will meet No. 5 Jesse Walter of Mercer Island, Wash., and No. 6 Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo will take on No. 1 Stuart Duncan of Laguna Beach.
   Greenwald won the title in 2009, Motevassel took the crown in 2011 and 2012.
   In today's women's final, No. 1 seed Dina McBride of Stevenson Ranch will face No. 4 Hiromi Sasano of San Diego.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Volynets becomes lone NorCal survivor in Eddie Herr

Katie Volynets, shown last year, reached today's girls 16
quarterfinals in the Eddie Herr International Champion-
ships in Bradenton, Fla. Photo by Paul Bauman
   It's down to the aptly named Katie Volynets.
   Volynets, from Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the only remaining Northern Californian in the prestigious Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   The seventh-seeded Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, on Thursday advanced to the girls 16 quarterfinals in singles and doubles.
   Volynets, a girls 16 semifinalist in the USTA National Championships in San Diego in August, overwhelmed unseeded Alexandra Mikhailuk of Canada 6-3, 6-0.
   Volynets will play 11th-seeded Angelica Blake, a resident of Boca Raton, Fla., who ousted second-seeded Alexandra Vagramov of Canada 6-3, 7-5.
   In doubles, third-seeded Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Volynets crushed Narela Burigotto of Argentina and Nada Ostojic of Serbia 6-1, 6-0.
   Wild cards Anna Campana of Hillsborough in the Bay Area and Petra Miszczak of Blaine, Wash., lost to fifth-seeded Willa Breunich of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Renata Lombera of Mexico, 6-3, 4-6 [10-6].
   In boys 18 singles, seventh-seeded Sam Riffice, who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, fell to 12th-seeded Ergi Kirkin of Turkey 6-4, 6-1 in the round of 16. Riffice won the boys 16s two years ago and repeated in the Orange Bowl the following week.
   Stefan Leustian of Mather in the Sacramento area bowed out to top-seeded Bu Yunchaokete of China 6-1, 6-2 in the boys 14 quarterfinals.
   Also, fourth-seeded Spencer Brachman of Commack, N.Y., and Aidan Mayo, a former neighbor of Riffice's in Roseville, succumbed to sixth-seeded Juan Torres and Santiago De La Fuente of Argentina 6-4, 6-1 in the boys 14 quarters.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- Two former tournament men's champions from NorCal reached Saturday's semifinals.
   No. 4 seed Oren Motevassel of San Jose whipped No. 13 Joshua Prager of Yuba City 6-0, 6-0. Also, No. 6 Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo beat No. 3 Marcio Carlsson of Newport Beach 3-2, retired.
   Motevassel, who won the title in 2011 and 2012, will face No. 5 Jesse Walter of Mercer Island, Wash. Walter outlasted No. 2 Tony Bujan, the three-time defending champion from Tustin, 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3.
   Greenwald, the 2009 champion, will take on top-seeded Stuart Duncan of Laguna Beach. Duncan held off No. 8 Leon Bax of Mountain View 6-4, 7-5.
   In today's women's final, No. 1 seed Dina McBride, a two-time tournament champion from Stevenson Ranch, will face No. 4 Hiromi Sasano of San Diego.
   McBride demolished No. 3 Fanny Gamble of San Rafael 6-0, 6-0. Sasano, a 41-year-old Japan native, topped No. 2 Ros (Fairbank) Nideffer of San Diego 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4 in 3 hours, 25 minutes.
   Nideffer, a 56-year-old South Africa native, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1988 and 1989 and peaked at No. 15 in the world rankings in 1990.